I’m well into my seventh decade. You’d think I would have stored up a lot of information by now. Learned how people behave; how things work; why stuff happens. But no.
A long time ago, I thought if I went to law school, I would be able to figure out how the world worked. Then I took a look at the titles of some of those law school courses. No.
Then, I thought if I just lived long enough and toted up enough experience, I’d be pretty savvy about psychology and technology and beauty and truth.
I’m still flummoxed by much of what happens in a day. Five examples:
1.Where does makeup go? I apply pressed powder, blush, mascara and lipstick most mornings after I shower and get dressed. By noon, it’s gone. Where did it go?
Did it rub off on something – my hands, perhaps? I never see traces of it. Was it transferred to the spoon I used to eat my cereal or the glass from which I drank my orange juice? Hardly any.
Does it sink in? If so, I must be really rosy inside by now.
Does it evaporate?
When my friend Judy goes to her hairdresser for a cut and color and maybe an eyebrow re-do, her husband says, “She’s in the shop for maintenance.” I’m not good with maintenance. I hardly ever re-apply makeup during the day. Or get an eyebrow re-do.
2. What do shoe salesmen do when they say they’ll be right back. They disappear through a shadowy arch at the back of the shoe department, and they’re gone for hours. Are they sneaking cigarettes? Watching the soaps? Is there no rational organization to the storeroom, so they’re forced to paw through thousands of boxes of shoes, looking for the size and color I want? Sometimes I give up and go home.
3. How can I open a brand new CD without an X-Acto knife, dynamite or a jackhammer? Must I back over it with my car or toss it to a pack of wild boar? I’m usually in a generally sunny mood, thrilled with my purchase, anxious to hear the music. By the time I get the disc out of its hermetically-sealed, shrink-wrapped, booby-trapped case, I’m sweaty, frazzled and cranky. Listening to music is the last thing I want to do and I’ve probably broken a fingernail.
4. Spaces in parking lots are usually marked by yellow lines. Sometimes the lot owner thinks he needs to erect a sign: “Please park between the lines.” What did the he think we would mistake those yellow lines for?
5. Why, when I have a nasty cough, do I look for sympathy and understanding, but when someone else has a nasty cough, I’m sure he’s doing it just to annoy me?