I’ve never been good at paying close attention. This summer I’m going to participate in Teachers Write much more fully than I have in the past. I’m home in Bahrain, for a long hot summer, no more holidays until I start back to school in the middle of August, so I should be able to do some writing.
I think so.
I hope so.
That’s my wish and prayer, anyway.
Today, I carried a small notebook to the mall, where my husband and I took a walk. Though my daughter gave me the notebook for Christmas 2015, it had only one page used up so far. I’ve been carrying it in my purse for close to two years. Now, for the summer it will be my writer’s notebook to record observations, dialogues, words I run across, and more.
So, I wrote some snippets from my afternoon and evening based on conversations and notes I added to my little notebook today.
While I started the car in the stifling ground level garage, Keith carried the hefty, plastic shopping bag overflowing with garbage toward the dumpster. When he came back to the car, he noticed I had opened my sunglasses case and had it sitting on the center console, ready to grab when we pulled out of the dark garage. He started in, “Now, what am I going to do? You know that’s my job. Are you taking my sunglasses job? Now, I guess I’ll just have to do my other side car driving tasks.” I began driving through the cramped garage. “Watch out…Don’t hit that wall…Careful, there’s a car…Ooh, that was close.”
“OK, wise guy, you can keep your job.” When I got to the door of the garage, I handed him my regular eyeglasses and waited for him to pass me the sunglasses. I put them on and pulled into the narrow alleyway, into the 110-degree heat. (It feels like 113, so the humidity isn’t that bad today.) “So, which mall should we go to?” I asked my husband, who is inevitably more opinionated than I about such things.
“Let’s go to the little fancy mall in the Seef district,” my husband said, “It won’t be so crowded on the weekend.” I turned the car toward the mall of our Friday afternoon walk.
As we rode along, I said, “OK, I have some advice I could give you about church today, if you are interested. About prayer.”
“Yeah, go ahead.”
“Well, when all the pastors and elders were in front praying for individuals, you were the only one I could hear.”
“Oh, no, did I leave my mic on?”
“No, the mic wasn’t on. I think you just need to work on your whisper.”
“Ah, I was projecting! I learned that in seminary.”
“Yeah, but you shouldn’t broadcast the person’s prayer request. ‘God, help this sister get over her drug addiction.’ Just kidding. I didn’t really hear that.”
“You maybe just heard my voice above all the others because you are so in love.”
“Oh, yes, that’s it.”
Lots more side car driving, “50…50…50…the speed limit is 50!” And later, “I would have gotten off at this exit.” That sort of thing until we arrived at the upscale mall.
“Oh, look, Denise. This place was named after us!” It was a chocolate fountain restaurant called Dip N Dip. We had to stop for a selfie:
At this point, I remembered my little notebook, which I had brought along and intended to use while out on this walk. I said, “Hey, I need to write down some of those things you’ve been saying that made me laugh today, but I’ve already forgotten on the way here. Maybe I’ll write about you today, funny guy. Can you remind me what made me laugh today?”
“Just write everything I say. You can actually record it. Keep the audio going. That way when I die you can listen and laugh anytime, or cry maybe.”
“Oh, never mind!”
We took a lovely walk around this high-end mall. High-end, yes: For instance, I walked into one small shop with an “up-to-90%-off” sign in the window. I was curious. The first thing I saw on the rack was a long, single-knit teal dress with some embroidery through the middle. It looked like a prom dress. BD1780 was the original price, and the marked down price was BD178 (What? Almost $500!)
“Thank you,” I said, as someone came up to see if they could help me. “I just wanted to take a quick look.” I slipped out after looking at only one price tag. This place was out of my price range, even with 90% off.
When I told Keith about it, he said, “Maybe we can come back when it’s 99% off.”
It’s a good thing I don’t need a prom dress.
* * * * *
On the way home, we enjoyed listening to music on a playlist that Keith created.
It has Beatles, Kansas, and lots of his other favorites–pop, rock and roll, and gospel. I’m not really big on music, but one day, I did say, “How about Gordon Lightfoot and Simon and Garfunkel?” My old time favorites. The next time we went in the car, he had a new playlist including some of my favorites.
Today, when “Rainy Day Lovers” came on, I asked him if he even likes Gordon Lightfoot.
“He’s OK,” he said. We talked about rainy days and loving.
* * * * *
When we came back, I baked chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookies to bring to a dinner tonight.
Keith exercised and then came into the kitchen to drink water. Afterwards, he dug into the dish drainer looking for his coffee pots for tomorrow morning. “I’ve never seen anyone who can stack dishes like you. You are super talented in that area! No one else can stack like you, Denise!” He began putting some dishes away. He finally made it down to one of his coffee pots. (I think he has a half dozen). He shook the water out of the pot and gave me some advice, “You know, for dishes to dry, it’s best not to use the super burial method of stacking.”
* * * * *
It’s a work day for him tomorrow, so he was ready for bed before me. “Good night,” I said. I wanted to stay up and finish this blog post before I went to bed. “I love you.”
“Yeah, that’s what she says now.”
“Thanks for making me laugh.”
“Yes, I am a Dad joke.”
That you are, but I wouldn’t want you any other way.
“Rainy day lovers don’t hide love inside, they just pass it on.”