Monday, June 7, 2010

The impulse to fix myself is everywhere

Thursday I was at Fred Meyer, a local, huge one-stop shopping center. I'd gone to make a bank deposit and pick up prescriptions. Even though the robot at the drugstore had called and barked out the information that my prescriptions were ready, they weren't. The chagrined clerk said to come back in 20 minutes. So I took my irritation, got a shopping cart, and started perusing the aisles.

This was a bad idea. While I avoided all the candy aisles and the granola bar aisles and the pastries and the cheeses, there was still a store's worth of distracting stuff. Not distracting to look at , but distracting to buy. And I was irritable and wanted to feel better.

There was one thing on my list that I could get: some large plastic containers for my years and years' worth of journals, which I had decided to move to our dry, warm basement storage area and give myself some more book shelf room. They were on sale and I found just what I needed. But then I went by the luggage display.

I don't know what it is about bags and containers but I love them. I'm not into shoes and I'm not even into purses. I can carry the same handbag for years and years and not give a whit about style or fashion. But I love things to put things in. My current suitcases are two duffel bags, one small one without wheels and one large one with wheels, both in excellent shape. But as I had borrowed my friend Melanie's small suitcase (with wheels) for my trips to Minneapolis and Tampa, I thought I'd just get my own. And they were 50% off. Sucha deal! I found a red one I really liked.

And then I came to my senses. Neither Melanie nor I travel by plane much, and for car travel the two duffels work well. What's more, Melanie has no problem with lending me her little suitcase, none at all. I was just in the grip of fixing myself through retail therapy. I wanted to buy something new and shiny and red in hopes of feeling less irritated about the prescriptions, and less deprived without sugar. I didn't need the suitcase. I didn't need it at all.

It was a great reminder that I'm still looking for fixes from the outside when I just need to be with what's going on inside.

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