Being more of a suburban type girl, I have found it an adjustment living in a small town. It's usually an eventful day if I have an excuse to go to Walmart or to the bank. Coupled with the lack of excitement is the fact that this place has the highest percentage of seniors of anywhere in Ontario. It's true. With each excursion, I've made it my mission to see if I can find someone who does not have the definitive female hair, gray and curly or male hair, gray and straight. Should I detect someone bald, of either gender, it's always a bonus.
Yesterday, I made my weekly trek downtown and I use the term "downtown" loosely. Bank day. The traffic was particularly heavy and it took me 4 minutes instead of the usual 3 to get there. I hate rush hour. I felt a sense of deja vu as it were, very "Groundhog Day". In this case, it was the repeat of any similar trip I've taken over the past 2 years. I sought parallel parking on King Street. Murphy's law was at work. There were parking spots on the opposite side of the road but not in the direction I was driving. I proceeded to the next intersection, turned around and by the time I got back 30 seconds later, the spots I had seen were not only gone, but there were now spaces on the original side. I gave up and abandoned the van in a makeshift bumpy gravel lot, aka potential condo site across from city hall.
After walking into my financial institution I took my place in line. Woohoo, third! I soon learned, third assured me of nothing. I stood. I waited. I shuffled from one leg to the other. I stretched. I looked around dreamily. I stared in the overhead "robber identification monitor"wondering where the camera was hidden. All the while I was turning, squatting, waving, stretching and making faces to entertain myself. Everyone was oblivious, which, now that I think of it was probably a good thing. I had an idea. I yawned loudly. This did nothing to rouse the employees or speed up the process. In true small town fashion, pardon the cliche, someone was sharing the latest gossip with teller Leanne. Another person showed 100 of the newest photos of her grandkids to teller Leona and a third customer was sharing accounts of his recent surgery with teller Lynne. Curious. Is an "L" name perhaps compulsory for a job at this bank?
Ten minutes later, there had been no movement. I studied the two people in front of me. For some reason they were unperturbed by the fact that they had made no forward progress. I noted that for the 5th time this month, I saw someone (a woman, lest there be any doubt) with the same style purse as mine. Was it actually possible that I crossed paths with the same woman five times? Or could it be that I saw five different women with the same purse? Could my thoughts get any more fascinating? As I yawned yet again, for real this time, no longer all that happy to be customer #3 in the line, I took a notebook out of aforementioned "Stepford" purse and wrote a message to myself. "Ditch the brocade bag."
Notebook still in hand, I took advantage of the time to jot down some potential story ideas. At the very least I thought I might develop characters by describing the appearance and characteristics of people I'd observed that day...hooded quilted winter jackets, black gloves, elasticized waist pants in a wash and wear fabric, loose fitting shirts, white socks, sensible shoes. Yikes!
It was at that moment that I realized it. My description sounded all too familiar. I was turning into one of THEM.