Sometimes individual things add up to form a light-shedding, bigger picture. Sometimes it is not a pretty one, and sometimes it is deceptively pretty, which is not to say that either may be accurate. No, wait, come back! I promise, I am going somewhere with this, Your Honor.
I have a Blackberry, which I regularly use as a mental scribbling pad or an electronic ribbon-around-the-finger to remind me to do stuff. It is better than a ribbon, because it vibrates and blinks and when I pull it out of its little leather case, it says things to me, like: (19:00) MILK, or (21:00) Client meeting tmmw – IRON/GO TO BED, or (10:30) SandPOW. These are all recent reminders that Past Tailfeather sent myself at various points. The first, clearly, was to remind myself to pick up some milk on the way home from work. The second was to remind myself not to stay up until midnight drinking wine and watching Community on the internet but to, instead, pluck the least crumpled blouse out of my wardrobe and pass out at 11:00 pm after forgetting to call my mother. The third, sadly, I have stared at for the last three weeks as a saved reminder in my Outlook calendar and still have no idea to what it pertains. I have a friend nicknamed Sandy, but what is POW? I refuse to delete it until I figure it out. It is like a riddle of my own creation.
This Blackberry is a company-owned one, which is another reason I tend to keep my non-work-related reminders cryptic. This is why one might enter “RX,” for example, instead of “pick up yeast infect meds.” Also, it is catchier. So with both work and personal reminders, I sometimes find myself making lists that grow throughout the day. A work example would be if I have several clients or contacts to call in Southeast Asia. As I sort through them the day before, my 9:00 am reminder grows from: (9:00) Call Client X, to (9:00) Call Client X, Provider Y, Client D, Contact A, Contact C. And then I know to start calling those people early in the day so I can spend my morning sweet-talking them. Likewise, a personal errand list might grow from: (18:30) Nails, to (18:30) Nails, shower gel, toothpicks, sea bass, SORT RECYCLING.
Those items on my last example list are not related. Like, that is at least two stops, if not three, plus home from there, as I do not professionally sort recycling or get my nails done at a place where I can also buy seafood. And yet if you were a television detective trying to solve my murder by reviewing my planner, you might be confuddled. “Let’s just go to Soho,” you would say wearily. “It must be some underground perv thing. Or drugs. Shower Gel is a big thing now, right? Oh, sorry, yeah. That’s Bath Salts.”
So a couple of weeks ago, I ordered two new humidifiers off of Amazon. One was compact for my office, and the other was to replace my bedroom humidifier, which had broke down like a Ford Pinto after three years of valiant service. It is dry here in the UK, and the cold weather and indoor heating leave me peeling and itchy. My office humidifier arrived, and it has been a bit of a disappointment. It was only 15 quid, but seems to be more of an aromatherapy machine than a proper humidifier. Nonetheless, it is teeny and cute, and so I added essential oil (I do not know where to get this) on to my evening “to-buy” list. Later that day, I realized that the chocolate bar I keep in my desk post-Christmas (it takes me months to get through my Xmas choc) was totaled, and added, “chocolate” so I would bring in a replacement. At some other random point in the day, I remembered that I needed some AA batteries for my camera, as well as to pick up my boots from the leather-restorer on my way home.
Which is how I ended up with a reminder that said: (18:00) essential oil (?), chocolate, AA batteries, leather boots.
“How humorous!” I thought, when this buzzed urgently into my BB. “These things are in no way connected, and yet it appears that I have a very exciting rendezvous planned! But I do not! Ha. Haha.”
Sadly, because I am still not sure where to purchase “essential oil” for my office-humidifier-cum-aromatherapy-cum-useless-appliance machine, I have left this reminder on my Outlook, where it taunts me daily. And lest I was not feeling suburban and sexless enough, Amazon sent through a helpful list of suggestions of what else I might enjoy, based on my recent purchases.
The top item is the SnuggleWrap, aka the Death of Sexuality. This is a blanket with sleeves and, apparently, a top purchase amongst the humidifying set. I have also been recommended a digital thermometer, a radiator humidifier (pretending to not be intrigued), and books on Astrology and violence. Okay, so I ordered one Astrology book and The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker (because everyone says it is amazing), and suddenly, I am a Snuggie-wrapped woman who live by her horoscope, breathes only humidified-and-essentialed-oiled air, and Fears (probably “colored” men). It doesn’t seem fair! I am 29, not 69.
So, as far as I can tell, my randomness leads to poor representation. Although that Snuggie looks pretty cuddly, I admit. All I need are some AAA batteries and a cat to secure my thirty-something normality (batteries and cat unrelated).