Wednesday, November 16, 2011

baby's day out

At my workplace, we get three personal days every year. Unlike vacation days, they don't roll over, so I took my final PT day today to get some shit done.

Unfortunately, getting some shit done involved getting up earlier than usual. But I managed to get my ass out the door at 8:40 somehow, and I drove to my mechanic's for some routine maintenance on Ginji. I chose this particular place because it's within easy walking distance of a mall, and I figured I could kill time there while they worked on my car. But I still had an hour before they opened, so I sat in the waiting room and dicked around on my Kindle.

At 10AM sharp, I walked to the mall and immediately hit Anthropologie to look for a dress for G's parents' anniversary dinner and/or my dad's wedding next spring. I found a cute black one with a white origami print (tres Heavy Rain) and tried it on, but the cut was absolutely atrocious on me. It did a weird ballooning thing under my arms that made me look like I had enormous lumpy boobs, and they may be enormous but they are NOT lumpy, thank you very much. So that went back on the rack, but I did buy a delicious-smelling candle.

I bought a shitload of perfume in Sephora---Poetica, Harajuku Lovers Jingle G, and the holiday gift set---and then continued looking in assorted stores, adding a sweater, two t-shirts, patterned tights, and an amusingly gaudy $2 cocktail ring from Forever 21 to my purchases. And I cooed over the puppies in the pet shop, though a depressed-looking black French bulldog and a German shepherd who whined and pawed desperately at the glass when I walked by just broke my heart. I'm a staunch cat person and have been/will be my entire life, but goddamn if I didn't want to rush to the counter with my credit card in hand and yell "GRANT ME YOUR PUPPEHS!"

...which wouldn't have worked out so well, since I can't have pets at my place, but maybe when I win that lottery I keep daydreaming about.

When I left the pet store, I saw Santa Claus sitting and waiting for kids to come meet him, which made me break out into a huge grin. Yeah, yeah, I'm an agnostic and an old, but Santa! Who the fuck could hate Santa? Granted, his presence and the Christmas Muzak made me think "um, Jesus, guys, can we get through Thanksgiving first?" but your argument is invalid because SANTA.

I had worked up an appetite from all my shopping, so I ducked into a restaurant and ordered a French dip sandwich. 9 times out of 10, I've been disappointed by French dip sandwiches---seriously, guys, how hard can it be?---but this place did a decent one.

Pro tip #1: If you ever want a great French dip sandwich and you happen to be in Minnesota, try the Twin Cities Grill in the Mall of America. Not only is it delicious, but it comes with salt and vinegar-dusted fries that will change your fucking LIFE.

Pro tip #2: If you're a waiter/waitress and you don't make me feel like a loser for eating by myself, I will tip you 25%.

By the time I'd finished eating, the mechanic had called to let me know Ginji was ready to roll, so I walked back over. As he was going over the paperwork with me, he suddenly sniffed the air and said, "Something smells REALLY good."

"I bought a candle," I said, and he asked if he could see it, so I dug it out of the bag and held it out for him to smell. He bent his head down, took a deep breath, and looked up at me while saying "Mmmmmmmmm."


Now, I am generally so oblivious that the only way I can tell a guy is flirting with me is if he's giving me elevator eyes while frantically pawing at his junk. But this guy was SERIOUSLY flirting with me. Not just because he wanted to smell my candle (which is not a euphemism), but the way he was looking at me while he did it and his tone of voice while he was talking to me. But I thought I was overreacting until he asked if I had any big plans for Thanksgiving and I said, "Oh, my boyfriend and I are just going to order pizza or something and watch movies and play Red Dead Redemption."

He actually DEFLATED. Like, visibly. And SIGHED.

"Lucky guy," he said, handing over my keys and giving me a big grin. "Have a great day."

So that was different. Even if I wasn't with the love of my life (stop gagging, why do you hate romance?), I don't think I would have been interested, but I won't lie: it was definitely an ego boost.

I climbed into Ginji, filled out my maintenance record because I am obsessive and I need this car to last me basically forever, cooed at him and patted his dashboard because I am mentally deficient and anthropomorphize everything, and drove to Lenscrafters to get new nose pads on my glasses, an item that has been on my chore/errand list (yes, I have one on my fridge, shut up) for literally months. It took less than 5 minutes and they did it for free, so don't ask me why I didn't get it done sooner. Then I went to the library and read magazines and picked up some books, and then I came home, putzed around online, read 100 pages of 11/22/63, and took a nap. When I woke up, I realized that on an ordinary Wednesday, I would have still been at work for another half-hour.

It was a good day.