You’d think springtime would burst on the scene with enthusiasm, activity, and all sorts of busy shenanigans, wouldn’t you? And normally it would: by now I’d have herbs and flowers planted (okay, a couple of those ARE in, but not a whole yardful) and I’d be full of schemes and projects. But so far, despite all the beautiful weather, I’ve done almost nothing and I feel no inclination to do much more than almost nothing. What the heck???
Yesterday as I was running around unproductively, I realized the allergies were so bad one of my eyes was swelling up, and both eyes were running.
You come to Arizona to find out what your allergies are — this is a very allergenic region because, in their effort to make the desert look like Ohio, immigrants have brought so many allergenic species into the state: they plant rye grass every winter and cultivate bermudagrass all summer, and there are so many damn mulberry trees their babes sprout as weeds. And pine forests, which still blanket northern Arizona even though they’re dying off as the climate warms, emit extremely allergenic pollen en gigantic masse, which floats down off the rim and plagues the Valley’s sensitive souls for weeks. Springtime, the only pretty ringtime, is not the only allergy season in Arizona, but it’s the most significant.
This is the worst allergy season I’ve ever seen in the 53 years I’ve lived here. And it’s not just me, for a change: everybody else is whining, too.
Respiratory allergies make you feel sleepy, without benefit of drugs. Add Benadryl or one of the other antihistamines, and you can breathe but you can’t stay awake. I’ve been taking a Benadryl knockoff at night and then a Sudafed knockoff in the morning. The stuff in Benadryl puts me into a stupor, and Sudafed wires me to the teeth. The hope is, then, that I’ll be able to breathe well enough to sleep at night but also walk around in a non-Zombified state during the daytime. Ugh.
Don’t know whether it was the allergies alone or the effect of the not-altogether-benign drugs that caused me to reach a deep nadir of non-enthusiasm yesterday. Except for one annoying task, the entire day came to exactly naught.
I needed to get my driver’s license renewed, a bureaucratic hoop-jump that is inflicted more often on older people because of the presumption that if you’re over 65, you must be incompetent (never mind that highest accident rates in this country occur among people aged 35 to 54). The state, in its Republicanized (hah!) cost-cutting campaign, has shut all the ADOT offices in the central city, except for one that’s in an area where I wouldn’t get out of my car on a bet. All the others are off in the far-flung suburbs.
One is in north central Scottsdale, not too very far from yesterday morning’s business networking meeting. So after breakfast, I made my way up to that site.
The license renewal process is a ludicrous joke, because they don’t give you any kind of test that proves your driving skills. They make you peer into a pair of binoculars, read a line of numbers, and ask you whether you can see lights flashing to the left and to the right. Then they make you stand around and twiddle your thumbs until they can photograph you and then they make you sit around and twiddle your thumbs until they can manufacture a license, which now they don’t even give you but mail to the address you provided (presumably to short-cut people giving fake addresses). This process can take upwards of two hours.
The lady in front of me, who looked to be about 28 or 30, could not read the numbers. Instead of telling her to go get her eyes examined, the test administrator had her guess again until she got enough figures right to pass.
You sense the pointlessness of this already, don’t you?
Well, to make it feel like less of a waste of time, I decided that afterward I’d visit the Nordstrom’s Rack, seeking more of the extremely cool tops they sell. The best-stocked of these stores is in a shopping center so close to that ADOT office you could walk across the street to it.
Ah, yes. Pointlessness.
The Rack had exactly Nothing. None of the spectacularly cute Bobeau tops were to be found. Neither was anything else anyone would want to wear. I tried on a pair of tights…ugh! The ones I bought from Amazon fit better and were better quality. Eventually I found one, count it, (1), top that looked like it would be cool with jeans but as I was walking to the dressing room thought do i really WANT to stand in line to get a stupid don’t-you-dare-steal-this number tag to try on a top that’s no better than something i could get at Costco, where i can return things hassle-free???????
Okay. There’s a Michael’s next door to that store. Looked for a knitting book with instructions on how to knit on several double-ended needles: $48. Uh huh. For $75 I can get real, live, knitting LADIES to teach me how to do that. For free, I can learn how to do it from YouTube.
But I did want some new silk flowers, since Luz was devastated that I moved the gigantic container of fake flowers out of the bathroom into the office, to hide an overloaded electrical outlet that became visible when I got rid of a stereo cabinet. Wanted some fake roses in the reddish-to-orange shades, which would look nice in the bathroom. Checked Michael’s extensive collection of phony foliage: just awful. The fake roses, in particular, were poorly made, their edges actually FRAYED(!) and the petals wrinkled and funny-looking.
Ohhh…kayyyyy…. Well, there’s a Pier One in that shopping center. Walked over there. Yeah, they had their usual expensive fake flowers, and yes, some of them were MUCH better in quality. But none were roseoids. The only ones they had in the desired color range were similar to the ones I already have. Annoying.
Long as I was at the Pier One, I looked at some small area rugs, since I’d like one with an overall deep red effect for the former TV room, which looks pretty devastated without a rug in there but, since the doggy door is in there, is not going to get one of the pricey area rugs presently stashed out of puppy’s reach. Find one; unroll it on the floor. In among the reddish yarns, it has strips of BRIGHT GAWDAWFUL CHARTREUSE. The damn thing about puts your eye out.
Over to the Cost Plus. Nope: Cost Plus/World Market has quit carrying that kind of thing altogether.
On the way back to the car, I revisit Michael’s, hoping that maybe, just maybe I overlooked something that would work.
Well, no. Rejecto.
Oh, god, how much of a waste of time was that morning?
As I was driving home, I remembered that as a young pup, I used to know how to make crêpe-paper flowers. It’s not very hard. The trick will be to find the crepe paper, which may not be so easy anymore, since most women go to paying work these days, rather than spending their days cleaning, cooking, repairing, gardening, babysitting, chauffeuring, representing hubby’s business interests at social events, entertaining clients and partners, and doing ladylike crafts. However, commenters at Martha Stewart’s how-to page provide leads to finding some of the stuff.
So that may be my next little project, if I ever get my act that much in gear.
However, a new paying editorial project just surfaced. So it’ll be awhile before we see any new paper flowers in the bathroom.
So, to work.