Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Crazy Walking Lady

Our neighbors think we're crazy, Baroy and I.

First there's Baroy, with his several-times-a-week runs up and down the main thoroughfare (really, the only thoroughfare) in our town. (He's been running lots of half-marathons, and now training for the LA Marathon, and runs a 3-mile stretch of said thoroughfare several times, back and forth. He's a creature of habit. The mere thought of doing the same thing every week over and over and over sends me into a spiralling depression, but to each his own.) Almost every parent at school greets me with "Saw your husband down on Main Thoroughfare today..." Actually, almost every parent at school eventually greets me with, "Tell Baroy I'm sorry for almost hitting him with my car today down on Main Thoroughfare..."

And then there's me and my walking. I walk to one of two grocery stores down on Main Thoroughfare, and then back up the hill again. (Baroy parks his car down there and then runs back and forth; even HE isn't dumb enough to trudge up the hill that we live on.) I walk to one of several drug stores. I walk to the library. I walk to Office Depot. I walk to the hardware store. I walk to Goodwill. I walk to the 99 cent store. I walk to the pet store. I walk to Starbucks. I walk to Trader Joe's. I walk nowhere specific, giving Snug some exercise. I walk and walk and walk and walk.

I, too, have become a neighborhood topic of conversation. Nobody almost hits me with their car, mind you, but I often get offers of rides back up the hill from friends and acquaintances. More than one mom at the school has told me that she just feels so BAD when she passes me by while I'm sweating my way up the worst of the incline with grocery bags in my hands. (After a minute of two, they'll usually add, "Plus, I feel a little guilty that I'm not out there doing the same thing.") Even after I assure them that this is what I WANT to be doing, they look at me askance. My neighbor and friend, Kim, has now just taken to yelling out her car window, "There she goes again! Crazy walking lady!" This makes me grin.

And now, to my daughter's deep chagrin, I've added *props* to my craziness. Realizing recently that I was unable to bring home some of the items I really need from the stores I visit, I bought myself one of those white-wire old-lady four-wheeled laundry basket/shopping carts. You know, the ones that homeless people keep all their belongings in? So now, about once a week or so, my usual quiet walk becomes a rattling ramble down and then up the hill. The first couple of times, it even embarrassed me a little; it's loud, and it definitely draws attention, and since I like to vary my route back home, I sometimes pass the houses of friends of Em's or Noah's from school.

It doesn't embarrass me any more, though. It makes my life easier. It makes my walks even more useful and worthwhile. It makes true multitasking possible--walking is when I do the bulk of my audiobook listening, after all--and that's key to me having any kind of satisfaction in my life. (If I had to choose between walking and grocery shopping, I'd have to sadly pick grocery shopping...and that would be a pity, because I love my walking time.)

And, besides, three people yesterday asked me where I got my cart. Three. I may just be starting a trend here.


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