Monday, January 22, 2007




"I'm Only a Paper Loon"

Most days, I don't think enough. I just kind of put the car in drive and let it take me places. Or if I'm in the kitchen, and I see a Cheerio on the floor, I instinctively bend to pick it up. Sometimes I eat it. Sometimes I put it in the freezer, without knowing why I have opened the freezer. Three days later, I will open the freezer and wonder who put a Cheerio in there. Further, if I am attempting to dress myself, I don't reference a Garanimals-like chart or follow some sort of law of coordination. Generally, I open the closet door and spy something. Apelike, I mutter "Blue." After laboriously searching for the armholes, I put it on. If it turns out to be wool sweater, and it's 80 degrees outside, I then wonder throughout the day why I'm hot. Finally, I think we all know that if I have a sense that a three-headed parasite may have taken up shop in my innards, my response is to wonder why Chuck Wolery's gameshow hosting career took such a dive after Love Connection left the air.
Indeed, there's an elfin autopilot in my yawning blue sky of a brain who does a fair amount of random navigation for me.

Yet other times, I clearly think too much. I can spend long minutes trying to ferret out where my six-year-old learned to read the word "prehensile," when she has just learned to decipher the word "Wendy's" on a billboard. Hours have been devoted to trying to figure out both where Waldo is and where in the world that phantom Carmen Santiago has gone to now. I have been known to take two hours of my time to berate authoress Jody Picoult in my head for being such a terrible writer yet having convinced a large reading public that she's profound. And I have been known to agonize for thousands of seconds over just the correct, um, how you say it?--oh, yes, "word" in a blog post.

But today I experienced a moment where my tendency to unthink and to overthink came together in a harmonic convergence. The little autopilot in my head strapped himself in and forced the plane down one of my brain's intellectual runways, and before I knew it, I had spewed out some kneejerk verbiage that was unadulteratedly dumb. Like, DUM.

So I was at work, standing in line, waiting for my turn at the Xerox machine. As I loitered, I made painful smalltalk with the person who was using the machine. I began to ask him, "Is there any colored paper in here?" when my tongue stopped, frozen by the possibility that my word choice could be construed as racist, at which point my lips veered another direction and queried, "Is there any paper of color in here?"


Sure, this moment is no big deal, either way. But I found myself backing away, suddenly free of the need to make 50 copies of "How to Use Evidence When Creating An Argument," worried more that I'd find myself asking Groom for "that afghan of color" before the week is out.

I mean, Sweet Lindsay Lohan in a Vodka Bottle, why did I feel the need to be PC about *paper*? Even when the Origami Laws of the 1930's were in effect, the fuschia sheets were still allowed to ride in the front of the bus.

Sigh.

You may be stacked in separate reams, Goldenrod and Peach, but you've always been equal in my paper-loving heart.

23 comments:

Hammer said...

LMAO. At least you didn't use the "N" word.

I find myself in these brain funks from time to time. don't knowwhat causes them.

oreneta said...

So glad to have found this blog... you write so well. Travels with kids are always amazing....I would get those bumps looked at though, you know at those tropical disease types...sounds gruesome, and alive.

Rocco said...

I actually take offense at the word "ream" in your closing.

Paging Pat Robertson to this blog...

CSL said...

Paper of color. That's exquisite.

Oh, and things like sticking the cheerio in the freezer and then wondering who did that? They're called CRAFT moments: Can't Rememeber A Fucking Thing.

urban-urchin said...

I love you more every day. I have done the damn Cheerio thing more often than not. Once I hit myself in the face with the car door, the insurance company called to find out if this was a 'work related accident." When I said no and I'm not sure how it happened she paused for a moment and then asked "Um, do you have kids?"

Dave said...

We once lost our TV remote control... Spent $20 for a new one after spending 2 weeks looking for the old one. Found the old one one week after we bought the new one ... in the freezer! Don't ask! :-)

furiousBall said...

I'm telling you mountain gorillas have the ultimate get our of work excuse ever. Like whenever it rains, and you're a mountain gorilla, you can totally call you boss and just say you're not coming in because you're scared of the big boom boom noise in the sky.

Glamourpuss said...

It's working in Education that does it, trust me.

I love paper - I returned from Japan with a suitcase full of the pretty, pretty stuff - all colours, my taste is multi-cultural.

Puss

Jazz said...

Just so long as you're not picking up Cheerios while driving your car you should make it through...

emily said...

holy shit. last night i dreamt about colored paper, er paper of color. i'm shitting you negative. in my dream, i decided to take on a secret second job, selling phone contracts. the contracts were very thick and i needed to make a lot of copies. i wanted to make the copies in different colors to make my clients feel special. while i was looking for the paper of color in the copy room where i work when i'm awake, i found the secret stash of candy for faculty only. i have weird dreams. actually, i have thought about having a blog just about my freaky dreams.

choochoo said...

I used to eat paper when I was a kid, all shapes and colours. Tolerant, I was.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

As long as man still discriminates and fight wars because of the color of their skin, then they are doomed and squirrels will take over the world. Grey squirrels, that is, not those whiney red ones.

mist1 said...

I love all office supplies. I am thinking about getting a job, just so I can justify my purchases from Office Depot.

Lee said...

If I can't find my keys, I've learned to check the fridge. I have no idea how they get there.

In my sock drawer, I let the socks of color mix with the black and white ones. They are very non-racist. ;)

Great post.

Em said...

OMG, you had me laughing so hard at this one! And no doubt, before the week is out, I'll be asking for some multi-hued paper and find myself struggling over just how to say it!

That Chick Over There said...

I think I love you.

Dorky Dad said...

PC about CP. That's fantastic.

And I, too, wonder what happened to Chuck Woolery after Love Connection. Why did his career tank after that?

Diana said...

Don't they want to be known as Goldenrod-American and Peach-American?

Stepping Over the Junk said...

I end up putting the icecream back in the fridge instead of the freezer. Never a cheerio though.

As for Jodi Picoult, I have anxiety attacks when I read her books, so I stopped.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Glad you enjoyed what you read so far!

Open Grove Claudia said...

Ah the guilt.... I can totally relate to not wanting to offend that I convolute myself in order to do it. Paper...

velvet girl said...

LOL Great post, as always!

Boy, those Cheerio moments are a pisser, aren't they? I would come out of a mommy haze to find myself walking around the house with a handful of toys and not knowing why. Turns out, the kids had just wandered up and handed me toys and I never realized that they were doing it. That's when I realized that my brain had abandoned me for good.

-velvet

Let's Pretend said...

Okay as a woman of color (I'm actually burnt orange) I am LMAO at this post. PAPER OF COLOR??!?!?!?

There is no way in hell anyone with any intelligence could be offended by that--they may still be laughing at you, but not offended!

The only thing funnier was "Sweet Lindsay Lohan in a Vodka Bottle" as a vodka drinker, I am offended that you associate my drink with her! :-)

As for the cheerios in the freezer--blame the kids! I was at dunkin donuts this moring trying to get my early morning caffeine fix...so I am looking for exact change in the bottom of my purse, but all I can find is Bratz feet. WHY THE HELL DO THEIR FEET COME OFF???

Dan said...

Sometimes I eat it. Sometimes I put it in the freezer

You have a freezer in your car?? :)

I'm about to do my clothes now. I'll be doing the clothes of color separate from the whites. Ouch! That doesn't sound good. Separating them out like that.

Hell, I guess I should do the right thing and throw them all in together.