I despise self-pity. I was raised that way. "Being in a bad mood is a choice," my mother would always say. But last night, I indulged in an attitude I abhor, and it was wonderful. It was one of those nights when you want nothing better than to curl up in a cozy ball and talk to no one. After talking things over with my editor I concluded that my stories for the next day were settled enough that I could pay attention to the need to rest my cringing body. Simply slipping some tennis shoes on, I grabbed my keys and headed out the door in my North Star sweats. I don't go out in sweats. It makes me feel like everyone is looking at me thinking that I'm a lazy person who has no self respect. Last night I had a little too much self-respect. I didn't care what another soul in the world thought.
When I got to Albertson's I stood at the end of the isle gazing at the pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. After a few minutes I juggled the things in my arms in order to open the ice freezer door. ( I have a theory of starting out without a basket to help keep spending under control and use the arms I was given). The glass fogged up as a slowly reached for the Chunky Monkey and let the door slam shut. hmm, I thought. I know I used to liked this once, but I have never liked nuts in my ice cream. I rested towards one foot, and then the other. A couple scooted past me, making sure they had gathered every kind of snack they could possibly need for the many movies they rented. I tried holding just the cardboard on the lid and bottom of the pint so that it wouldn't freeze my hands. No, this isn't safe enough. I KNOW I like heath. But there were too many options. Vanilla? Coffee? Everything but the....
I finally chose the heath vanilla pint and headed towards the self check out so that no checker would see my obvious selection of pitiful items. At home I shut my door, snuggled into bed with my laptop Gala, picking out another safe selection --Little Women. Thank you, Luisa May Alcott.
I shmirked with deleight when Jo put on her writing cap, a tradition I have picked up myself. I scoffed at Amy's prudishness, and once again wished Beth would wake up to reality. When Jo rushed into the kitchen and yelled at Meg for falling for Brooks, I was right there with her exclaiming "Why does anyone have to get married!? Why can't we all just stay as we are!" I pushed the wet streaks up across my cheek bones and cherished every moment of it.
I am Jo. More than any fictional character that I've ever read. I don't know if I became her, or if she fits me, but either way, she never gets old. And neither does an occasional indulgence of B & J's, pillows and sweat pants.