My dear love, such was my day, this 11/11/11. Around eleven, my new toy, at a critical moment of use, suddenly cut out - went dead - broke. Bitter sobbing ensued. It wasn't the batteries. I bought this new toy last Sunday, to replace the very same type that after months of service had finally given out - conveniently enough, in Brooklyn, where I could immediately go for a walk to get another.
Up here, however, I'm some 125 miles away. Thus the feeling of utter abjectness & despair, as I knelt in deshabille on the carpet obsessing over the now lifeless object. What else is to be denied me?!!
I have another toy, it happens to be more expensive, but simply doesn't do the trick, believe me, I've tried again, since morning.
Did I blow some kind of fuse in the universe at around 11:11 on 11/11/11? All those one's.
I tried to fiddle with it for a bit, change out batteries, etc., and the blue toy briefly showed flickering stirs of buzzing life - but such hopes were immediately dashed as it refused to come alive. There is abject absurdity in trying to resuscitate such a thing to no avail. If only I could have been Dr. Frankenstein at that moment and had the powers to resurrect the member.
I regathered myself, dressed, tried to be sensible. Found the receipt. Turns out I can exchange a defective toy, within 30 days, with receipt - but original packaging required. Which I had not only tossed - but cut into tiny pieces & disposed of in the Brooklyn trash. I'd had a fear of my bag perhaps being randomly searched at the train station or train, so I didn't want the packaging. Besides I didn't think I'd ever need it again, that the thing would possibly break so quickly.
I'm sorry I didn't buy two while I had the chance, when I was in the shop. It crossed my mind to, and it was sheer optimism on my part that prevented me from doing so. It seemed excessive, somehow - to need two!
But need two, I do indeed. I emailed the shop HQ to see what can be done if I don't have the packaging - I imagined maybe I'd mail it to Seattle with the receipt & maybe they'll replace it. Who knows. I haven't heard back...
I went for a walk around here, just to try to get my day back on some sort of groove, fitfully crying now & then as I walked along the desolate country road. It's raw today, gray, damp, and cold, and I was bundled in black: black jacket, hat, and gloves - peripatetic mourner of sorts.
On my walk I tried to think of my options. I realize how dependent I've become on that toy, it is quite an effective stand-in, absent all other viable options. Once a day does the trick & completely lifts my spirits, makes me feel that I have a life. To have that sweet session with you colors my entire day, helps make it go right. It's the stolen moment between things - in today's case, before it died, between assembling & baking a pear frangipane, and baking cookies from scratch, the new favorites - chocolate-chip/walnut/oatmeal/raisin, all combined.
I marched along with weights, and such is my madness - truly like that of an addict, though I don't consider myself one - I can't live without this - how am I going to get my next fix?
The shop also has an outlet in Soho in Manhattan. I thought, the neighbors - the ones with the chickens - the ones who don't speak to me at all (why? it has occurred to me that perhaps the husband is aware of my blog - could that be?) but who like D and deal with him all the time - is there some way that perhaps D could ask one of them to run this strange, mad errand - buy new toy, remove packaging, exchange broken toy, proffering receipt & packaging? But that's kind of weird to ask neighbors to run an errand of that nature - isn't it? Yes, but these are - on some level - rather bohemian neighbors, and of all people - might actually (I imagined, in my utterly mad Pollyannish plottings) understand perfectly and take to such a mad errand with a sense of humor. Don't they live in Soho? Maybe even Mercer Street? Could she take her toddlers to the shop? Or would that arouse suspicions of child-protective types? Maybe she has a neighbor to whom she can entrust the toddlers while she exchanges my blue toy. Maybe she needs a toy herself. Okay, maybe she's too busy, mom of three young ones after all - but he, I know, works in Soho. All kinds of mad crazy hours, I know, but he's right there, only a couple of blocks away from the shop. Couldn't he do it on his lunch hour? (I kind of doubt he actually takes a "lunch hour.") Also would it be weird for a guy to exchange this blue toy at such a shop geared for women? I don't know - but of all people, I think he might actually groove in some mental fashion on the gender-bending lightly transgressive aspects.
Darling -- considering my ability to instantly conjure mad plots, strategic action plans, and the like - how is it that someone with my obvious latent genius finds herself in this position, letting cats in & out all day and trying to keep Penelope - paranoid bully hoarder - from eating off the other girls' plates as well?
D came home and my first question was, with a shrug in neighbor's house direction - do they live in Soho? No - the Village, he said.
(Damn. Forget that then.)
Is there a reason?
Oh yeah, there's a reason.
I went upstairs and took a few minutes to think about my options. D is aware of the toys - at this point I've co-opted the charger entirely - it's taken up residence in my bedroom now, rather than on the kitchen wall. But the fact of them has remained unspoken between us. I mean usually - what is there to say? They've been a problemsolver, frankly.
I went downstairs, and took over from assembling salads for lunch. Mesclun salad, chicken, gorgonzola, apple chunks, walnuts, figs from Sahadi's, croutons, homemade salad dressing...
As I sliced & diced and kept my hands busy I told D my problem. D: I have a problem. It's not a big problem but it's a problem, I announced.
... I have the receipt... but the packaging's gone...
So I thought that if they lived in Soho...
You want them to do - that? You don't want them to do that, said D.
Then D smirked & made some remark about "oh so that's where the other $40 dollars went." And then I lost it and burst out sobbing again and shouted at him that that's not funny, just because he doesn't understand, doesn't mean it's not important to me...
It was a joke!
It wasn't funny.
D heard me. He became really good & nice about it.
Mr. Handyman: Maybe I can fix it, says D.
I don't think you can, I said, any tampering like that would only damage it. (D at that point didn't know what the toy looks like.)
Then I asked the truly ridiculous & out-there: do you think we could drive down to the city on Sunday and maybe I could buy a new one and take the packaging and return the defective one? Then I'd have two ("heir and a spare," as I've come to think of them).
And do you know what? D was open to the idea. "It'll keep me from working on Sunday," he said, happily.
But what if the shop doesn't let us do that - buy a new one, and replace the missing packaging ---
D is always the one to handle such negotiations. I can't handle them at all. He finished his salad and was soon on the line with a manager in the Soho store. Yes, that'll be fine, just buy a new one, and exchange the packaging, but of course if another new one breaks you'll be short the packaging...
and in case I'm not there on Sunday, then -
the manager gives her name, D cheerily thanks her by name & gets off his cell
And so - yes, dear reader, I am headed back down to the city on Sunday, to run a single errand. The shop - the Soho one too - opens at noon. And D wants to be back up here in the afternoon to get some work done.
Let's see it's Friday nearly six now - yes, I think I can hold out til Sunday around four... at least I'll try.
A point for self-reflection... I've always thought of myself as low-maintenance --- but I don't know, maybe not? ---
Mabel is reminiscent
of Manet's Blonde,
the year Mabel,
an ocean away, at age 23,
married David Todd...
Wherever you are darling, I hope all is well with you -
I certainly hope that things go off better for you than they did today for me -
as effectively as potato chips exploded from Dr. Oz's pressurized tubes -
because it turns out that cracking your knuckles doesn't cause arthritis
many kisses for you darling - absent cheesecake -
coconut cake - with all that snow