Since I haven’t learned how to pull into a parking spot properly yet, I allowed a curb to take a bite out of my tire and therefore found myself waiting in the automobile doctor’s office the next day debating whether or not to partake in the free doughnuts to alleviate my anxiety about replacing hundreds of dollars worth of tires, because replacing tires are like Lay’s potato chips. You can’t have just one.
That’s when I spied the large December edition stack of free monthly neighborhood newspapers called Inside Arden.
Stupid cell phone. Here’s what the cover is supposed to look like:
The last few days, I couldn’t find one to save my life, and all residents are supposed to get a copy in the mail but for whatever reason lately they’ve been sending us their “Inside East Sacramento” version. I think it’s because we live in a sort of No Man’s Land neighborhood that nobody claims and everyone forgets about. We get passed back and forth like a box of Life cereal:
Kid #1: You try it.
Kid #2: I’m not gonna try it, YOU try it.
Kid #1: Let’s get Mikey!
Kid #2: He won’t like it. He hates everything.
Normally, I don’t have a cow about this particular periodical’s publication schedule, only this time, I was in it.
That’s right. An article about me, me, me. And I couldn’t get my hands on a copy. But now, here it was. Two tall stacks of them on the coffee tables in front of me.
And, nobody in that waiting room was reading it!
Somebody should have been thumbing through, stumbling onto page 43, then looking up at me as I humbly busied myself with my laptop, presumably being my awesome blogging self. Yeah, some dude should have been double-taking between the picture in the paper and me, wide-eyed, like I was Dorothy Parker, humor legend, sitting right there, just across from him, being all humble and nonchalant, you know like when you spot a celebrity in public and they don’t make eye contact with anyone. I would just be sitting there in the Lexus dealership waiting area, trying to blend in with the little people, while everyone around me sat with Inside Arden in their hands, open to the article about me, me, me, and wondering, “Is it? Is that–? Is she–?”, squirming, wondering if they should say something.
And instead, I’m the one sitting there squirming, wondering if I should say something. I fought the urge to proclaim, “Hey guess what! I’m in this paper! Here! Everyone take a copy and turn to page 43! That’s me!”
But that would be shameless and stupid and a lot of other non-humble adjectives. So I sat and stewed instead.
But then I thought: what if I just told one person? One nice person here. Would that be so bad?
I scanned the area and contemplated potential nice people. Earlier, one girl asked me if I was using WiFi. I sat there all humble-like and simply said “yes”.
I could have been all: “Why yes, as a matter of fact, I AM using WiFi. I’m using it because I’m a BLOGGER. As another matter of fact, there’s an article about ME being a BLOGGER right here in this paper. It also mentions my 2012 Goat Calendar which is only $12.99!”
I could have said that because on the inside, I am nine years old and I have the ego of a self-centered nine-year-old attention-starved brat.
Anyway, next to this girl was a woman who seemed very friendly because while she didn’t really say much, she sort of murmured or smiled or something that made her seem very agreeable. Like she’d totally buy your stupid marching band fund-raising useless crap because she’s your neighbor and she likes to support the local kids.
She was sitting by herself now, the other girl had gone, so I looked up at her and may have said something and may have not said something, I don’t really remember, but she smiled or laughed or something and before I could stop myself, I jumped up, grabbed a paper off the coffee table, plopped down next to her, began thumbing through the paper and on a Modesty Scale reading of about 1.2, I said, “I have to tell SOMEBODY…I’m on page 43”, like she was my mom and I was looking for validation and you know what?
She totally got on that bus and oohed and ahhed and said, “Wow, I’m sitting next to a celebrity”, just loud enough for others to hear, so I could act all embarrassed. Even though I was the idiot who brought it up. I fell immediately in love with her. Whoever she was.
Well, we got to talking and it turns out, she was the art teacher at my junior high school on the other side of town! And while I personally did not take her art class (I was in band, remember?) I did remember her and I’ll bet some of you lot who went to James Rutter Junior High (holla!) remember Sharon Gergen. Actually, she was Gergen back when I went there last century. Some of you other former Roadrunners may have known her as Sharon Whitton.
So we talked about what people always talk about thirty some-odd years later: who’s still alive and who’s dead and who lives right down the street from me now, even though I don’t live in the old ‘hood anymore.
I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my husband because he also attended “Gutter” Junior High. Not only did he remember her, he took her art classes and she was the first teacher to encourage him with his talent. She insisted he enter some city art contest and he won.
But enough about those two, we were talking about me, me, me. You’re probably feeling completely alienated and forlorn because you don’t live in Sacramento and can’t pick up your copy of Inside Arden at the local whatever, but fret not my little nanny goats. You too, can pick up your free copy right on their website.
Did I mention I’m on page 43?
Those of you on tenterhooks about my tire… it was fine. No new tires required. Also? I walked out of there with a complimentary car wash. So, not only did that day come from behind, it lapped everybody and won.