It's probably a good thing that I'm joining civilization again (albeit a very small, secluded sect of society.) In the midst of all this snow and silence, it does not appear that I am growing intellectual. Nay, I do appear to be regressing:
1) I drove through a winter advisory today all the way to New Hampshire to go to Radio Shack. Needed a new charger for my cell phone, BAD. The guy working behind the counter led me past the iPods and the iMacs and showed me the wall of iGO chargers. And tips. "The tips are free today," he informed me. "Big promotion on the tips. Which tip do you need?" Luckily, ikept it together. Then iFollowed him to the check-out counter. "Now remember I'm not charging you for the tip. You sure this tip will fit?" And then iLost it. Because, iDon't know, he kept saying TIPS.
2) A few weeks back I mailed a block of Cabot Cheddar to my friends at Astral Buoyancy co. They were gracious enough to put up with me at Outdoor Retailer this summer and I thought I'd introduce them to The Cheese That Changes Life. Cabot is a Vermont company that wins the world Cheddar Contest every single year and it's the SHIT for lack of a better term. It's hella wicked stuff. We're very proud of it. So I brought some to the post office and sent it down to North Carolina along with my own hand-drawn impression of a penguin wearing The Norge. A few days later I was talking on the phone to the manager there. He told me how great the cheddar was and how everyone at the factory was eating it. "But you know," he added gently, "they do sell that at grocery stores down here. Like, everywhere."
Oh riiiight. I had a flashback of shopping in Florida when I was at nationals with Riot and seeing a lot of Cabot. Because it's a major company. And it's all over the East Coast. Essentially what I did was like living in New Jersey and sending some Peanut Butter over to Pennsylvania with a note, "You'll never believe this: it's crushed up peanuts- but you'd never know it! There has got to be a million uses for this stuff- we use it all the time here in New Jersey. You could say that as a state, we're pretty advanced culinary. And culturally."
3) I went out to dinner tonight by myself to celebrate the end of my confinement. Tomorrow Lisa arrives, we pal around New England for a few days, and then I leave for Huge. So, I'm out at my favorite restaurant in Hanover. I order and settle back to reflect on the past 4 months of subzero temperatures and pattern-solitude. Then I notice that everyone in the restaurant is staring at me. Some of them are really craning their necks to get a look. Now, I know what it is. It's my boots. In the winter I have to wear these boots that are 3x bigger than what anyone else is wearing on their feet. Especially in the middle of a cold snap like right now (Radio tells me the high will be six below, windchill bring us down to 29 below.) It really makes me look imbalanced and I understand why they stare.
Still, tonight it's really noticeable. Some of them study me, then turn to their friends and discuss! They make hand gestures towards me! Were I a touch more sensitive, it could have really ruined my dinner. Good thing I'm stalwart: I spend the evening meeting their prying eyes and returning to them my coldest, fiercest "so what I have damaged toe-tissue, back off" glare.
Then at the end of the evening I get up, turn to take my jacket off the chair and realize that the hostess had seated me directly in front of the big chalk-board drink menu.