A week into NaNoWriMo and I’m exhausted. HOW DOES ANYONE FINISH THIS CHALLENGE?
Yesterday was just one of those days. Work was long, I started early, and being Tuesday of course the weather was shitty. I remembered four hours into my workday that I need to replace my windshield wipers and that I need more wiper fluid, too. It’s hard not to notice these things when you’re squinting through glass so smeared it’s like a cataract. But knowing me I will inevitably forget this until next Tuesday, when it’s raining again.
I’m just so tired. This past week has been busier than even the past year and that already felt like a hamster ball; more fun from the outside. For days I’ve been jotting notes on the backs of envelopes at stoplights. Because of the new hands-free statute here in Maine, I toss my phone aside whenever I’m driving, or I put it in my pocket so I won’t be tempted. I STILL SEE PEOPLE TEXTING WHILE BEHIND THE WHEEL. But it won’t be me. Nevertheless I long for the days when I could dictate audio notes into my iPhone, which even if they end up more garbled than even I can decipher, are something.
Last night I slept poorly. My mattress, although comfortable, can’t seem to retain a fitted sheet, at least on my side, so I keep waking on top of an elastic band or the quilted pillow-top. Being a lady of a certain age, I also routinely have night sweats, so I cycle through my husband spooning me eagerly, or shoving me away complaining I’m lighting him on fire. You’d think after yesterday’s workday, eight dogs in six hours, making dinner before I’d even eaten breakfast, writing all evening and then going to vote, I would have slept well, but no. This morning my mind felt like a packet of stomped-on ramen noodles, an EXPLOSIVE MESS.
Speaking of ramen, that reminds me! My pen, the one I’ve been using to jot down notes in the car, it’s amazing! And I never would have known about it if I wasn’t a dog walker. REALLY! Each time I walk a client’s dog, I have to leave a note about what we did. Where we went, if Rosco did #1 or #2, whether I provided a treat, refilled the water dish, and anything else noteworthy that happened. I record the time I arrive and depart (so clients know they’re getting their money’s worth) and I always end with *heart* Christy. Some clients even write me notes back! WHICH OF COURSE I LOVE. Each of my clients has their very own notebook. Many clients relish these notes, and some have really nice hardback journals they’ve purchased for us to write in. One particular client has these special fine-tipped pens. I noticed them as soon as I started. It’s like the pen equivalent of a skinny mirror, they make everybody’s writing look AMAZING. Like a supermodel! After months of using these awesome pens I thought to take a photo of one. And I discovered they’re made by a Japanese housewares company called Muji. Which has a store in Boston! And is only 2 hours away! That’s not too far for a pen.
Dog walking checks all the boxes for me. I get to play with dogs, be outside in nature, get paid to exercise, plus I get to see how other people live. As much as I love dogs, it’s other people I find truly fascinating. So getting to go inside their houses is an added perk of the job. And color me observant, but judging from the number of home shows on TV, I’m not the only one who finds this enjoyable. My client base skews wealthy. So you can imagine this is EVEN BETTER THAN YOU COULD IMAGINE. While my clients don’t live in castles, five-story mansions, or have golden toilets (that I know of), they do indeed have lovely homes.
Going into all these homes is always interesting. I am sort of (subtly) nosy, I enjoy people and getting to know what they like and also, are like. I’m super respectful, of course, I would never riffle through their stuff or touch anything private, but seeing even a room or two is so much fun! I’ve also discovered interesting things, like the aforementioned pens and EVEN BETTER. Rich People Hand Soap.
I have one client not often home during the day. This allows me a rare opportunity to use the bathroom (ALWAYS NUMBER ONE ONLY) and afterwards, of course, wash my hands. At their sink they had a new kind of liquid soap I’d never before seen. Called Le Labo. Even the name sounds fancy, right? YEAH IT DOES. The first time I used this soap I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I swear to God the smell is exactly like the scent of a newborn baby. Not baby powder. NO. The smell of a freshly-minted, right out of the factory, baby. I call it womb magic. I used to sit sniffing my daughters’ heads right after they were born, like a weird dog. I simply couldn’t get enough. It’s the most addictive, earthy scent, like blood, musk, and creation.
Somehow Le Labo has recreated this. The first time I used this soap I sat sniffing my hands for two hours straight. Sure, I dropped off dogs and took others on walks, but all the time I was entranced by the smell lingering on my fingertips. The next time I was at my client’s house, I took a picture of the bottle, just so I could look it up. And when I did I discovered that it costs not $3.99 like the Mrs. Myers products all the rest of my clients use but a whopping $38 a bottle, PLUS TAX. HOLY SHIT. PS: It’s worth every penny.
I needed to buy some for myself. But there isn’t a Le Labo store in Portland. Lobstermen don’t use $40 a bottle hand soap and neither do most Mainers. But they do in BOSTON. Where they have a store right on Newbury Street! Right near Muji! So when I went south to buy pens I only had to walk a few blocks to get some of this special soap. The shopkeeper was polite and quiet when I entered (it is a store for the rich). But she perked right up as I gushed about my discovery of her magical product and my pilgrimage to procure some. I told her about my dog walking and how I’d never have otherwise discovered it. She was so won over by my honesty she even gave me a spiffy little envelope filled with a few free samples. I’m not embarrassed to say I’ve since been back to buy a second jumbo bottle. Washing my hands makes me SO HAPPY! And others appreciate it. Like one of my older daughter’s friends, a young guy, who was so intrigued by the scent he actually asked about it. I told him it costs $40 a bottle but I had a sample he could have. He went home happy too. 😀