Absentee

On today’s episode of M’s Beautiful Life, M skips school because, well, she can.

The first snow has fallen in Utah today. I had to wake at the crack of dawn in order to take care of some personal affairs before class, and aforementioned personal affairs caused me to be late for my 9 AM lecture. For today, I’ve adopted a “screw it” attitude, and have decided to completely bypass my university lectures.

I’ve never felt so alive.

The first item on my spontaneous agenda of Hooky Day was to take an impetuous drive up the canyon. As I mentioned earlier, it is snowing, rather intensely, I might add, so this drive up the canyon ended up being a drive up a fourth of the canyon due to personal fears of swerving off the road because my Camry is good in the snow, but not completely trustworthy. Neither am I, as a motorist.

Then, I returned home from this adventure to document my activities for you fine folks. I’m on my third cup of coffee and am sipping from a chevron-patterned mug, and am sporting my very favorite sweater. I will be carrying on in this manner for the next hour or so.

Next on my unbidden schedule is Target. I am going to go roam Target and “pop some tags,” in the words of the legendary Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Once my funding runs dry, but not before the guilt of spending my entire paycheck sets in, I will go to my favorite cafe (which I luckily have a gift card for) and enjoy a cozy, culinary experience.

After my tummy has been sufficiently filled, I will attend my therapy session, because I couldn’t possibly sluff off all of my appointments for the day, and also these sessions are rather expensive. Then, I will go to work like the diligent, dependent worker my resume says I am.

I’m the kind of badass that skips school to blog and go to Target. YOLO.

M.

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The Eloquent Salesman

Hate is a strong word, but I really really really don’t like the kiosk guys at the mall. 

As if the infinite, bombarding advertisements in the store windows weren’t enough, we now need walking, talking, breathing advertisements to shove more products down our throats and suck the dough right out of our wallets. 

Kiosk guys are the most incessant, vexatious breed of salespeople. And just as the best of arguers, I am prepared to abet my argument with viable evidence. 

Kiosk guys choose their targets in a very scrupulous manner. Even when you think you’ve escaped their gaze, they’re watching. Waiting. Constantly pursuing their next dupe. 

But, ladies and gentlemen, I am no dupe. 

Exhibit A: 

There I was, artlessly roaming the mall. Consciously desisting eye contact with the enemy. Gazing longingly through store windows at items that I could only afford in my dreams, subconsciously anticipating the possibility of a sales-pitch confrontation. 

And boy, did I get a sales-pitch confrontation. 

A man leaning against a kiosk, selling some kind of fancy hand cream had spotted me. He watched me from behind his spectacles  as I wandered nearer and nearer to his booth. As soon as the opportunity arose, the hawker snatched my dainty wrist and pumped a coin-sized dot of lotion onto my hand and began massaging it into my skin. 

I gave him a befuddled look and attempted to pull my hand back to my side but he resisted. The man didn’t speak English well, but his sales pitch went something along the lines of how his product would enhance and rejuvenate my fair, dry, and cracking skin. I decided i’d humor him, and inquired the price of his miracle cream. The man wanted 29.99 for a 3-month supply of his lotion. Outrageous. 

Do people actually pay that much for lotion? I buy the Equate brand from Walmart that costs me about six bucks and it gets the job done just fine. Plus I only run out of it biannually. 

Continuing with my anecdote, I allowed the kiosk guy to finish verbalizing his rehearsed spiel of reasons why I needed his product. (Mostly because he was rubbing my hands the entire time. Which beyond creepy and made me a captive audience.) I nodded and thanked him for the free handful of lotion, and continued, rather irritatedly, on my way. 

This whole encounter took up roughly five minutes of my valuable time. (Kidding, it’s not really that valuable, and I had nothing better to do.) And the kiosk guy clearly overstepped his boundaries by physically forcing me to listen to his live infomercial. If I remember correctly, I hadn’t shown an ounce of interest in purchasing hand cream that day. 

This aggressive method of selling not only makes me want to visit malls less, it makes me totally resistant to purchasing anything from a kiosk ever in my entire life. 

My words of retail shopping wisdom: Keep your limbs in tight and your eyes on the floor. 

Wander

One of my biggest dreams is to go somewhere, totally unheard of, totally spontaneous, and without a plan. I want to literally lose track of time. Lose the phone. Lose everything but the shoes on my feet, the clothes on my back, and a couple bucks to get by.

This year, I refuse to endure yet another one of Utah’s merciless, endless summers with nothing to do and nowhere to go. I’ve been begging my parents to let me fly across the world to embark on an adventure in a new country somewhere, by myself. I’ve got the funding and even found a program especially for wanderers like me.

How fantastic would that be? To jump on a plane to a foreign destination all alone to spend 20 days exploring, seeing, and experiencing a whole new culture?

Here’s my parents’ argument as to why it wouldn’t be the best idea:

1. I’m a 5’2 blonde girl.

2. There is no number two. That’s it.

Now, my naive, teenagery mind says “so what? What’s the worst that could possibly happen?” To which my parents respond “neither of us are Liam Neeson. We lack the resources and smarts to come rescue you if you get taken.”

Anyway, the whole summer travel thing is a work-in-progress. Wish me luck with that.

Today, I was feeling particularly adventurous, so I drove my little self to the city to do some aimless roaming.(I am a self-admitted loner. I love doing things by myself. I’ve become an expert at keeping myself company.) I started at the mall, thinking I’d just mindlessly browse the clothing shops and try on articles way out of my price range as I usually would on a day when I have a few hours to kill. But then, I started browsing through Barnes and Noble. Let me tell you, I could spend an entire day in a book store, just reading the backs of novels.

Also located on the back of the book is Barnes and Nobles’ price sticker. Those suckers are the most discouraging, heart-breaking numbers to a girl after she’s immersed herself in the excerpt from a book. And I’m sorry, but $17.99 for a paperback novel is just plain ridiculous.

Stay with me, this story relates to the topic of this post. I’m getting there, I swear.

After getting my heart broken by too many overpriced books at Barnes and Noble, I decided to go searching for a used book store. So I set out on the streets of Salt Lake City in pursuit of a reasonably priced read.

I walked maybe two miles before finding one. And I crossed some very interesting, somewhat frightening people on my way. But it was well worth it once I found that bookstore. It was a labyrinth of shelves and shelves of used books. The selection was slightly overwhelming. I spent a solid two and a half hours raiding those shelves.

The Best Book Ever Written

The Best Book Ever Written

There were two young sports browsing the shelves of the store rather close to me. After a few minutes of awkwardly browsing the same shelves simultaneously, one of them finally broke the ice and introduced himself. We shook hands and immediately after telling him my name, he asked me if i’d ever seen the basement. I hadn’t.

He explained to me that the bookstore used to be a dance club, and that the basement still had contents from the building’s night club days. I asked him to show me, so the three of us-me, him, and his friend- went down into the basement and he gave me a tour of the entire bottom floor.We talked for a while before I decided it was time to wander myself back to my car.

In summary, today was a blissful, unscheduled, and spontaneous day. I made two friends of whom I may never see again, discovered a location at which I can purchase discounted novels, and lost myself in time and place.

That’s the kind of “vacation” I want. I want to go somewhere previously unknown to me and just wander. Go where the wind blows me. And one of these days, I’m going to do just that.