Wednesday, January 9, 2008

So here I am, one week into my "new year, new me" experimentation, and already bone tired. Seriously. Not that I've undertaken any massive tasks, like building the perfect mousetrap or inventing a new religion (though those ideas seem positively lucritive. Got to look into them later) but it has become abundantly clear to me why I have somehow become a non-capitalist hermit in the past year. It had very little to do with the break-up.

The day-to-day seemingly mundane tasks of American suburbia are anything but simple. I attempted to get "Wuthering Heights" from the library. (what the hell does "Wuthering" mean, anyway? Withering, I understand. Weathering. ok. Wobbling. sure. But wuthering? I don't even think that's a real word!) Ok, back to the library. I jump on the computer to find out where I can find the book. I know, alphabetical by the author's last name. I just don't know who wrote it. Since 2007, they have changed the computer system in the library and you can no longer complete all tasks on all computers. So first, I need to find a computer that will allow me to find a book. That just seems ridiculous to me. Shouldn't we be able to get on the internet, access our account, and find all books, both fiction and non fiction from every computer in the library? Apparently not. So after spending 15 minutes locating such a compter, I learn that every copy of Wuthering Heights in this branch is out. All 7 of them. Is there some book club reading this book for January that I don't know about? Did Oprah tell everyone to get this book? Why hasn't anyone told me about this? How come I'm always the last to get invited to the party? Now I have to go to the other library branch next weekend to get this VERY popular book. (yeah, I could buy it. But I prefer to spend my gift cards on more important literary ventures like the latest shopaholic adventures or US magazine. Not some novel with a fake word in the title.)

And speaking of shopaholics, that brings me to the next big problem of last weekend: returning gifts. Once upon a time, if I got a present that did not suit me, I could go to the store, receipt in hand, and return the item for a refund. Not so, anymore. No store actually will accept the fact that perhaps their items are not for you. They want to impress upon you that if you just think about it for a while longer, you will suddenly have a grand epiphany and run full tilt into the store, snatching up items helter skelter which you will then purchase, using the GIFT CARD that they insist on giving you instead of a refund. No amount of arguing will change the mind of the poor 16 year old sales clerk working during holiday returns madness, her shift manager, or the store assistant-manager. You will be forced to return next weekend when the manager is working, as he is the only one bestowed with the power of the gift return force.

Lastly, is the problem of trying to find a nice pair of jeans and a "going out top" with the GIFT CARD from a store where you may actually want to buy something, other than the actual gift that you went there to return. Does anyone know why there are no fewer than 17 different styles of men's jeans on the left side of the store and only 3 styles of women's jeans on the right side of the store? How about why these 3 styles of women's jeans are actually the same style in three different legnths? (Long, dragging-in-the-mud Long, and can-actually-wear-with sneakers-not-stilletos legnth) One more question: how can this style of jean be simultaneously way too small and way too big for one person? Seriously. I may not be a fit model or anything, but can my body be so grotesquely malformed as to make a pair of jeans from a popular store 2 sizes too big around the waist, slightly snug in the butt, 2 sizes too small in the thigh, and about 15 sizes too big from the knee down? What's up with that? Who are these pants designed for? Needless to say, the going out outfit is still out.

Luckily, the tasks of going to the gym and strumming the guitar are somewhat less involved. I did miss one day for both tasks (the day of returns. I had so much to do that day, and I had no idea it would take so long to get so little accomplished) I don't feel any more musical or healthy, but its something.

So one week down, my sanity somewhat intact, and I'm hoping for more success next week.

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