Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Unprepared Gift

Just when I think I have successfully established myself as a normal person, my weird slips out. I think this is starting to wear on people. By "people" I mean M, and by "wear on" I mean "piss the fuck off."

Sunday I decided that in order to be productive at all (which by the frequency of blog posts, you can tell I have not been recently) I would need to actually remove myself from the couch and write at Borders. Why Borders? Because Starbucks by my house cannot guarantee me a seat. Also because M suggested it and then it was stuck in my head and I was incapable of thinking of alternatives. We decided to walk there together.

Literally three minutes before leaving the house, M pulls out his phone to check the weather and announces that it will rain. We have this conversation:

M: "It's going to rain."

Me: "Ok."

M: "Like storms with 40 mph winds."

Me: "Ok."

M: "So...."

Me: "Umbrellas."

For whatever reason, the idea of 40 mph winds did not stick in my head like the idea of writing at Borders. Maybe because I hate driving places or maybe because I don't mind walking in the rain. Whatever the reason, I tend to ignore any preparation beyond taking an umbrella and hoping things work out. This seems to cause problems. Halfway into the walk it monsooned. We had this conversation:

M: "This is what I meant by 40 mph winds."

Me: "Ok."

Normal people, like M, do not find this situation fun or exciting or even a little dumbly amusing. They think it's annoying and frustrating. Weird people, like me, think this is kind of hilarious. Even a little grossly amusing. Because it's different and messy. We'll dry and then we'll have shared something goofy. Weird people do weird things. Normal people do not like this.

It's not a recent discovery (nor a new blog idea) that I apply these tendencies to the entirety of my life as well. My preparations in life include lugging a giant bag of things-I-might-need-that-somehow-do-not-include-things-like-food and hoping the day works out. It's not that I can't plan. I am very organized and I get to almost all places on time. But I also actively avoid doing these things:

  • Checking the weather before leaving the house
  • Buying groceries that include full meals
  • Creating a specific path to get to my intended destination (instead of whatever way looks the most interesting)
  • Checking to see how much gas is in my car (instead of trying to make it an extra three days with the light on because I used any extra money on useless groceries that do not make a meal) 

My preparations for presents falls into my schizo approach to life as well. For the most part, I can get things to people on time and I have a whole bag of wrapping paper and decorations organized by color in the closet. But I also seem to actively avoid shopping for gifts before the last minute and sometimes end up drawing a picture en route to a wedding to suffice.

The most unprepared I have been has been my most  recent attempt at sending a present to my best friend K. After almost three years in Pennsylvania, K moved last weekend with her (very immediately new!) fiancĂ© J to Arkansas. In preparation for her move, I picked out a bunch of postcards and researched the great state of chicken and rice. (Apparently these are big there.) There are many amazing things about Arkansas...none of which I remember off the top of my head...but I managed to narrow the list down to a top ten. And I planned to send one fun fact on each postcard as a send-off to K and J on their new adventure.

I sent one.

The rest of the nine are now going to be a Welcome to Arkansas present instead of a Bon Voyage from Pennsylvania...I might be unprepared at life, but I do adapt easily. Or at least I don't mind a little rain on the way.