Friday, September 17, 2010

Strange September

One of the oddest incidents in my life occurred late one afternoon several years ago.  Alone in the house, I heard a continuous "thunk-thunk-thunk."  It sounded like a basketball hitting the pavement and it sounded very close - like right outside on the driveway where we have a basketball hoop.  The reason this was so strange is that both Things were at school, DH was at work and there was no reason - and no precedent - for anyone to be playing basketball in my driveway.

But there was.  I looked out the window to see an elderly Chinese woman taking jump shots.  She wasn't familiar to me (as in neighbor down the street) and she wasn't particularly good at basketball (I don't hold that against her, by the way, as neither am I).  And she wasn't leaving.  So I gingerly approached her to ask "if I could help her."  Apparently I couldn't, because she backed away, waved to me and disappeared down the street.

Lately, I've sensed a quickening of the strangeness meter in my life (keep in mind that in my case "strange" is a relative term…but I digress).  I attribute this to being alone in the house -- and with my thoughts -- most of each day. And not only am I becoming stranger, but I am also becoming more aware of the odd stuff that goes on at home when most people are at work or at school.

Here are some examples of the curious happenings chez moi:

• I take digital photos of my supermarket register receipts (who DOES this???).  This is presumably to document how much money I save with my club card and by timing the use of double coupons to store sales.  But I suspect that I'm also collecting evidence to show my doctor that I do eat Boca Burgers in case he ever corners me about my cholesterol.

• I’ve become obsessed with my vacuum cleaner and its attachments, contraptions which, until now, saw the light of day only in the early years of my marriage when company was coming. I get great pleasure from sucking up the cat hair on the stair risers (and the cats get great pleasure from redepositing it the very next day).

• Among the stranger happenings - in a Twilight Zone kind of way - is that at least twice a day, when reading a book or magazine, I'll notice that a word I'm reading is being echoed on the radio or tv playing in the background just as I'm reading it!  For example, typing this sentence, it wouldn't be unusual for the NPR announcer to say the word "sentence" just as I'm writing the word.  (I don't know what this means, but it probably has to do with the End of Days).

Even the cats are acting strange. Vesper has taken to grabbing a mouthful of plastic bags from the stash between the washer and the wall and depositing them at our feet (this is strange because she used to go for shiny digital photos).  I go downstairs in the middle of night to find Macbeth stretched out in front of the sink, intently watching the cabinet housing the garbage, as though there were an interesting movie playing. (I think at one time the movie involved mice behind the sink, but I can't be sure and I don't want to know).

My sleep patterns have changed since I lost my job, propelling me into a perpetual state of jet lag, and I suspect this is contributing to the strangeness. As an adult, I've been a consistent early bird, waking up at 5:30 or 6 -- even on weekends -- and falling into a state of unconsciousness in front of the tv before 10. Since May, my patterns have gradually shifted, to the point where I sleep late enough to be able to catch the 11 p.m. news.

Last night, I couldn't sleep at all, so I slipped downstairs just before midnight and turned on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting - the reality show starring the conservative Christian, homeschooling, debt-free Duggars of Arkansas.

I like the Duggars -- they are kind and fun-loving, the kids are always dressed nicely and they each play a musical instrument. And despite the fact that a house with 19 kids can get claustrophobic, they all get along famously and choose to spend their free time together.

Now THAT'S strange.


  1. I really like the Duggars also. I think they're a really nice family.

    And BTW, I LOVE the names of your cats.

  2. Being an at-homer myself . . . nuff said.

  3. I had a "Media Mirror" effect as well -- thinking to myself how we have entered into the fall of western civilization, end of days, etc...the radio or maybe it was th tv, announced that the highest grossing films for the weekend were; "The Devil" and "Resident Evil". Creepy-freaky! As for a change in sleep patterns, blame it on Menopause, and take an OTC antihistamine (benadryle) before you go to sleep. The best part besides a good nights sleep -- no morning nose when you wake up!

  4. Sherry: Is that a real term -- Media Mirror? As I mentioned, it happens to me at least twice a day. I attribute it to the fact that I am home a lot more than in the past -- with something always playing in the background.

  5. No I made the term up. It happens to me all the time as well...the worst was a few weeks ago when I woke up in the middle of the night, and flipped the tv on to find something mundane to lull me back to I was channel surfing with my eyes closed, the Preacher channel (the old man who is always reading and preaching), a loud voice said "YOU ARE EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO BE" and variation of that thought reference inserting god where ever possible....IT FREAKED ME OUT. I flipped to HSN, and watched Joy Mangano talk about hangers and organizers.