Scarlett’s Letter August 29, 2013

My “pre-morning” routine; the routine that occurs before I get out of bed, unless, of course, I’m on vacation, in which case, it may or may not occur at all. I have vacation on the brain, it begins tomorrow. My last official vacation of the year, and only a week, I’m happy and sad, simultaneously.  So, my “pre-morning” routine; roll over, grab phone, scroll through emails, delete ads, decide which emails I’m going to ignore until I am officially “at work” at 9:00 AM in whatever time zone I happen to be in, cruise through Facebook, unplug phone, get out of bed, begin actual morning routine.

My self-discipline has been, though well intended, a bit lackadaisical. I did my fast four miles earlier this week, slacked off yesterday, and began making excuses for today at some point last night. I follow a friend’s page on Facebook, “Runner Girl” and there was some motivational something or other this morning that made me just jump out of bed at an unusually early hour, only because it’s Thursday and the garbage trucks come by at an unusually early hour and wake me up. I donned my running clothes, had a super fast breakfast, a wee bit of coffee and headed out the door before anyone else in the house (Mom) woke up. I’d hoped to get a ten-mile run in before vacation because I know I won’t be running during vacation. I’m not even going to humor myself by putting my running shoes in my suitcase. Will not happen. So, I set out, from the house, for a ten-mile run. I had a route in mind, the combination of a couple of routes I run regularly, and doing “Scarlett math”, I figured it ‘d be about ten miles. I ran and ran and ran. Another reason I took advantage of running this morning, it was foggy and cool, perfect for summer running in the Valley. I ran and ran and ran. I felt energized. I felt like I could run forever. I tried to keep my pace down because of the distance I had planned, but every time I looked at my watch, I was running a full thirty to forty-five seconds faster per mile than my planned pace.

I ran and I ran and I ran. The clouds broke as I ran through the Oak Knoll District, past the vineyards. By the time I neared home, the sun was out and the increasing heat was evident. Still, I ran and ran and ran. Once you’re out there, and you get to the far corner of your route, you really have no choice but to run home. Sure, I could’ve stopped and called Mom for a ride home at any point, but I still felt so energized, like I could run, at this pace, forever. And besides, Mom would never let me live that down. When I got to my preferred point to stop and walk for cool down, I’d run 11.6 miles a full and at a constant thirty seconds faster per mile than plan. I still felt energized. I felt energized, I think, because I didn’t let myself down, I followed through with my original plan and didn’t employ any of the long list of excuses I had ready to justify not running today.

A lovely morning for an 11.6 mile run in the OKD.
A lovely morning for an 11.6 mile run in the OKD.
A lovely morning for an 11.6 mile run in the OKD.
A lovely morning for an 11.6 mile run in the OKD.
A lovely morning for an 11.6 mile run in the OKD.
A lovely morning for an 11.6 mile run in the OKD.
Early harvest this year, most of the white grapes have been picked and they have started on some of the Pinot Noir grapes.
Early harvest this year, most of the white grapes have been picked and they have started on some of the Pinot Noir grapes. WINE BABIES!!

Even though I devoted over two-hours to my run, and hadn’t actually begun to pack for my trip, other than a couple of tiny piles (link), I managed to get everything done. My self-indulgence continued today, after last night’s two hour massage and sugar scrub for my feet, I further indulged in a pedicure and a bikini wax today. Yes, I am spoiled. But as I am doing the spoiling, I really don’t see any issue with it. I pay my bills and afford myself a little spoiling. Problem? Everyone deserves to be pampered, by someone, and if you pamper yourself, hell, at least you know what you like!

My day was fab. My only “observation” for the day; people just don’t think, or apply logic. Either, or both. This is true of more people than not, and I witness examples all over the country. My closest, example, however, today, is at home. When I came home from my pedicure, Mom was gone, out shopping. For some reason, when she returns home, habitually, she sits in the driveway and revs the engine at a constant three grand, for about five minutes. I am only slightly terrified, I have visions of her not being in park and letting off the brake and crashing through the garage, through all of my treasures therein, causing the front half of the second story, my bedroom and my office, to implode. So, far, not the case. At least I know it’s time to go downstairs and help unload groceries. I do. Mom meets me half way up the steps, looks down at my bare feet for an extended period, then asks, as she is looking at them, “what color are they?’ Um. Red. I could not have selected a more obvious shade of red, and I know, for a fact, she is not color blind, and actually, overall, I think her eyesight is better than mine, and when last tested, I was 20/20. So, I wonder, why ask?

Unmistakable red.
Unmistakable red.

I have been in need of a new suitcase for a while. My dear, old, purple Samsonite doesn’t have a single zipper pull left, the cording is worn on every side, and every time I see it arrive on the luggage carousel in one piece I do a little happy dance, which onlookers seem to thoroughly enjoy. Mom has been thrusting Kohls’ newspaper ad inserts at me, day after day. I have actually gone to Kohls to view their “closeout” offerings. They have one suitcase, like mine, but way bigger. Believe it. They make them bigger. I want the same exact one, since I have a slightly less worn companion bag, only slightly smaller. If I can’t find and replace my exact bag, in purple, which, sadly, apparently has being discontinued, I will have to buy two bags, at one time, in another color. Heaven forbid I have two bags in two different colors! Quel horreur. The point here, Mom is aware I need a new suitcase. I am taking a number of bottles of wine to Alaska with me. To share. Maybe. I have been shopping and spending feverishly, on wine. It is now time to pack. This time, unlike earlier trips, I have actually secured an “official”, TSA approved, guaranteed not to break (our winery’s) bottles, box, complete with Styrofoam insert. Normally, I use bubble wrap, two-gallon Ziploc bags and my least favorite pairs of jeans to secure their safe arrival, within my suitcase, to their destination. I have my reservations about the box, we shall see. As I am schlepping the box up to my room, from the garage, Mom asks, “Do you think that’s what happened to your suitcase? Did you carry wine in it?” I struggle for a few, long seconds for a response. If the maximum weight for a checked bag is fifty pounds, does it matter if the suitcase contains cotton balls, gold bullion, or razor blades? How would wine bottles within the suitcase deteriorate the exterior of the suitcase? It most certainly couldn’t be the way the airline employees move suitcases from conveyor to plane to conveyor to cart to conveyor. Repeat almost weekly for three years. Lesser suitcases would’ve had busted wheels two years ago, this I know, for a fact. I have a friend who travels as much as I do, perhaps more. She buys and destroys not one, but two, large suitcases from WalMart every year at forty dollars a piece. They last her about six months before the wheels are busted off or the handle breaks or some other such calamity. I buy one suitcase, on sale, for a hundred-fifty and it lasts me four years. The math works. I will always contend, you get what you pay for. Period. End of story.

All but one zipper tab broken, all the cording worn, obviously, it was the wine.
All but one zipper tab broken, all the cording worn, obviously, it was the wine.

Mom is not the only person filling blank airtime with flotsam and jetsam. People seem uncomfortable with quiet or a lull in conversation. There is nothing wrong with a lull. Lulls provide time for the parties to think of something enlivening and relevant to say. If our only interest is to fill empty airtime with noise, may I suggest music or poetry? It, at least, usually makes sense. To prompt the other party or parties with ludicrous questions does not a good conversation make. It makes me want to break things, as I retreat. Far away.

So, not that I like to gripe, but today, but if I were to gripe, my gripe today would be; think before speaking. Far better to have nothing to say if you don’t have something intelligent to say than to piss off and provoke everyone around you by filling empty air with something illogical and inane. Especially in the form of a question requiring a response. Harsh. But true. So, while I am trying my best to bite my tongue, (link) I would greatly appreciate it if others would try, as well. Idle conversation is grand, but incessant questioning, interrogating, inquisitions and illogical queries does not constitute quality idle conversation. Conversation is an art and one that should be taught in public schools, at all grade levels. Those capable of intelligent and engaging conversation can, and do, rule the world. Those who are inept will be tolerated. Barely. In my travels, in my observations, those truly able to carry on a conversation are few and far between. Ironically enough, the most capable conversers are in bars. If you are traveling, alone or with others, do not hesitate to enter a bar, I promise, the conversation there will be far more stimulating than any other public venue you could happen upon.

So, for today, I have retreated upstairs with my box of wine (bottles), to pack my battered though still travel-worthy Samsonite for yet, another trip. I, no doubt, will pack it and its accompanying piece to no less than forty-nine and a half of the allowable fifty pounds. And the wine in a box, pray for the wine. I’m going to Alaska, one must be prepared.

The final pile. Vacay begins at O'Dark thirty tomorrow.
The final pile. Vacay begins at O’Dark thirty tomorrow.

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