Friday, September 08, 2006

Everyday is a winding road...

The craziness didn’t end after the trunk popping phenomenon I told you about on my last post, instead it manifested itself anew the next day. I had to stop no less than 25 times the next day and evening due to continual trunk popping. The drive home from work was completely freaky and my nerves were shot and of course it was raining on top of it. At one point, the trunk began closing itself too. That was about all I could take. Later that night Cael was outside on the phone in the front yard and said the trunk popped twice while parked in the driveway when he was out there. Then as he closed it, it just kept popping. It was really bizarre (like Herbie the Love Bug gone whacked) but thankfully it has once again taken to remaining as it should. It must have been caused by some sort of intense barometric pressure or something scientific or mathematic which would, of course, elude me. Now that the tropical storm is over, so is the popping. I feel almost sane again. I know, the thought of me and "sane" in the same sentence is sort of funny.

But one odd event isn’t enough. This week on an afternoon drive to pick Casey up from school, I was sitting at the light at Prosperity and Lighthouse when I saw in my rearview mirror, three really cute mylar birthday balloons making their way down the street toward me past the SUV in line behind me. They seemed to be making a flying run for it but in sort of a flowy, balloon-in-the-wind way, and I watched to see where they would go, wondering if they had come untied from someone’s mailbox nearby or floated out of a car window. They sidled right up to my open windows as if having chosen me to catch a ride with and latched onto the passenger sideview mirror. Their brightly colored ribbons and plastic tie down thingys at the ends wound themselves around the mirror while the balloons themselves continued on and tried to pass in front of my windshield. I had been at the light a while and figured I’d better get the strings detangled from my mirror quickly so they could be on their way because I couldn’t see past them to drive once the light changed. But they wouldn’t come undone. With no time to spare, I threw it in park, undid my seatbelt, leaned over the passenger seat and began to reel them in from my awkward position. I sensed that the light had changed and I was still reeling, but thankfully those behind me were enjoying the unfolding scenario and the resulting fishing expedition, wondering what would become of the gypsy balloons. I managed to snag them without undue hassle, threw the car back in drive and realized I had been sitting at the green light with lots of empty road in front of me for at least 10 seconds. You ARE aware that 10 static seconds in a car at a green light is enough to create road insanity in fellow drivers. It also brings a certain level of fear to the driver sitting in park, I might add. So I took off as fast as I could, feeling sort of like I had just robbed a bank and was making off with the goods. I was wondering if perchance the people behind me had lost the three pretty balloons and whether they might have a manic three year old in the back screaming for her lost treasure and were thinking me a thief. But when that car turned off to another street a while later, I relaxed and began wishing I had a birthday to celebrate to make use of my little gift from heaven, though none came to mind. I pulled into the school parking lot and Casey walked over with that scrunched up look on her face, where the left side of her mouth curls up and the left eye squints in quizzical fashion. She wanted to know what was with the balloons. I gave her a quick recap about the gift from heaven and asked her if any of her friends were having a birthday that day. She smiled slowly and she looked off and told me it was her friend Chelsey’s birthday the day before, so the balloons changed hands and off they went to their new owner. Perfect. I loved it. This is what it's like to be me while driving.

But it doesn’t end there. Now Mary, I had a sighting this morning while on my way to work that reminded me of our life back in the day. Remember PSSSSSSSSSSSTTTT or however it was spelled. I remember you using it when I was probably in elementary or Jr. High. It was powdery stuff to put in one's hair that made the accumulated greasiness less apparent. It was billed at the time in a positive light as something like dry shampoo, just a way to clean your hair without water. Right, whatever. More like soaking up grease with baking soda. But people weren’t as shower conscious in those days and there were only like three other brands of shampoo back then, Prell, Clairol and No More Tears. Okay, there was also Herbal Essence and Suave, but not much else. Needless to say, self-perceptions were different, hair care was not the art it has become.

So this morning, I had just pulled up to the light at Military while on PGA and there to my left and across a lane was this pretty blond woman using the rearview like she was in the bathroom at home. She was brushing up sections of hair at a time and sprinkling baby powder in her hair, then floofing and brushing and primping each part like she was stylist to the stars, only to do another section and another and another without skipping a beat. She chose her red lights well, as this particular light is the second longest in the PBG area by my standards, so she had plenty of time to change her clothes as well, had she so desired. She didn’t do that as far as I could tell, and she didn't look trashy or unkempt. She was a very attractive young business-looking woman who apparently has poor hygiene and is short on time but finds hair degreasing a necessity and feels dousing her head in baby powder while at stoplights a socially acceptable practice... well, now everyone on the street knows her secret. Come on ladies! Where is the mystery? So maybe it’s a great quick-fix she learned from some fashion magazine, but are no beauty secrets sacred and left to the privacy of home anymore? I was staring, and I mean hard to see if she would notice and be embarrassed... and she didn’t bat an eye. She had a lot to do at that light let me tell you. I dared her in my mind to even look around nervously to see if she’d been busted, but no! She didn’t even give so much as a sideways glance in any direction. Didn’t care. How did she not feel me boring my eyes into her head? This isn’t the 70’s and I haven’t seen PSSSSSSSSTTTT since Farrah hair was the rage (and I think Farrah is like 60 now... yeah.) I am so continually amazed by people. But more so, I am always amazed by what goes on when I'm on the road.

1 comment:

  1. Clearly you attract the odd and unusual. I must tell you though that I, too, have used the baby powder trick - but never in public. I kind of admire her brazenness however, don't you? Glad you're back to blogging, I haven't checked in the longest time as I'd thought you'd given it up. mk


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