My parents have this strange little quirk. Well, ok, they have a lot of strange little quirks. But only this one is relevant right now.
We'll be somewhere public. Or they'll be somewhere public without us kids -- yes, I have it on good authority that they do this even without us kids present to embarrass. They do this just because they, personally, think it's funny. So, we'll be somewhere public. Someplace fancy, someplace watched. You know, by security. Or by prissy servers or management. I don't think they've ever actually done this in a store. Always in the unexpected place: a church, a place of business, a tourist attraction, a restaurant, someone's house, a museum, a school, etc. My dad will pick something up, sidle over to my mother, and in a very loud stage whisper (for "very loud" read: practically hollering) tell my mother, "Hey. Put this in your purse." Then my mother, in the same kind of whisper, will start getting flustered and start telling him about how she's so tired of him always making her steal stuff for him and that if he wanted it that bad he could steal it himself. This exchange invariably draws suspicious looks and glares and increased scrutiny.
What makes this funny are the kinds of things my dad will suggest that my mother steal for him: things that are too big, or too bulky, or too messy to fit in a purse. Or things that are permanently attached to a building (he'll start pretending to yank on it in order to get it off). Or things that are just strange: a piece of trash, a small animal. My parents think this is hilarious. They've been married for 33 years this May, and they've been doing this the entire time. It never seems to get old.
As a child, I went through several stages of acceptance of this behavior. When I was younger, I thought it funny, too. When I was a little older, I was worried every time they did it that they were going to get thrown in jail. Older still and I was mortified and would try to distance myself as much as possible. Once I hit adulthood, I thought it was funny again.
Then I met Kristin. And it was so amusing to watch her deal with this bizarre compulsion exhibited by my parents. And then, one day, I did it myself. I made a very loud suggestion, in company, that we just steal something I was admiring.
I have become my father. Though my area of threatened theft happens to be landscaping materials. I'll start arguments with Kristin about how we should just come back and dig up a person's beautifully flowering Russian Sage. They would never miss just one! Or how I could obtain beautiful river rocks for our yard if we would each just put one in our purses when on a walk through the neighborhood and past a certain house. I figure it would only take a couple months to spruce up our rock garden, and they would never miss them. I call it "redistribution of landscaping goods." A certain house has a beguiling statue in their yard: we'll drive by with friends and I'll tell Kristin that tonight's the night we're going to come back and get that.
I find this behavior endlessly amusing, Kristin not so much. I think she worries that one of these days I'll really do it.
My thievery begins and ends at some grapes from the store when I was a kid, and the occasional taste-testing of something from the bulk bins -- stuffed into my mouth hastily and with much trepidation when no one is looking and a great deal of guilty behavior afterward. I just don't have it in me to steal. Neither do my parents. They're probably some of the most honest people around. Which is what makes it so funny.
But, if I really were going to steal something large, inappropriate, and strange, I have found the perfect thing.
My office building is attached to a mall. The mall is dead. They're going to tear it down and do a major remodel. So, for the past year, the stores have been closing. The last 2 months have been creepy. When you walk through the mall to get from the parking structure to our office building, the halls are echoey and strange with the deserted storefronts. It's a ghost mall. It's a ghost mall filled with beautiful...
benches. Yes. I lust after the mall's benches. They're hard wood, beautifully lacquered, elegantly styled. I. WANT. ONE. In fact, I'd love three -- two of the ones with backs for sitting, one of the backless ones to serve as a table. I think they'd look so good in our yard, or in our sunroom.
I've been wondering what they're going to do with them once the remodel gets started. I've been wondering if they're going to store them, or sell them. I wonder how much they're going to sell them for. I doubt I will be able to afford them.
But. Why buy one when I can just steal it? I only see these benches when I drive to work and have to walk through the mall. And I now have an (tiny, third-hand, TRULY necessary) SUV. Every time I walk by a bench I think to myself -- no one's here, I wonder if I could get this bench down the hall, out to the parking structure, and in the back seat of my Kia, without anyone noticing... And each time I think that, I wish Kristin were there so I could turn to her and say: "Hey. Put this in your purse." She might even think it was funny.
All of this was a very long distraction from the fact that I have my RE appointment in less than three hours. I'm nervous. Veeerrrrrrry nervous. I've dressed in my sexy shiznit gray slacks and a floaty little silk top. Hoping to impress the doc with my casual sophistication. I groomed my cootchie snortcher this morning. Which was hard, since I'm blind as a mole without my glasses and my glasses get too steamy in the shower to wear them, so I had to do my grooming by feel. Have you ever tried to feel if you're still hairy somewhere? Yeah. I think the grooming impulse may be one that will come back to bite me this afternoon when it comes time to drop (sexy shiznit) trou. I'm worried that my blood will suck up into my body this time like it did for the serum progesterone test a couple months ago. But, most importantly, I'm worried that I'm going to find out that I can't get pregnant at all. Oh, I know that I won't find that out at this appointment. But this is the first step to what could be that ultimate discovery. And when (if?) we get to that point, if it looks like IVF would be the only way for me to get pregnant? What if we need to use Kristin's eggs? What then? We can't afford IVF. Flat out, we can't. My insurance will pay for all this diagnostic work, all the drugs to get me to ovulate. All that stuff is covered (or so they tell me, I guess we'll see). IVF is not. Not at all. Kristin's insurance doesn't cover it either.
I need to stop leaping ahead of myself. Today, today is just a consultation. Today is just a step. Today is nothing heavy. I actually feel good about today when I'm not stealing stress from tomorrow. This kind of stealing isn't funny. Sometimes you need to let go of old patterns in order to be happy. Sometimes you shouldn't borrow trouble, even in a hypothetical way.**
** ok, that was REALLY pushing it as an ending to tie the previous story together with the musings on my doctor's appointment. I'm sorry. That was less than graceful. Forgive me? I'll steal you some flowers and send them to you...