Friday, February 01, 2008

Bad Lighting and Quiet Houses

I was in a large department store not too long ago trying to pick up a couple of bits for my interviewing wardrobe. I'm occasionally optimistic about this job search in that way.

As I undressed, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Oh. My. God.

Listen, I'm no model with an eating disorder, nor am I overweight. But I looked like the before picture in a liposuction ad with the terrible lighting in there! It was totally discouraging. Every ripple of cellulite was enhanced , as were the stretch marks on my belly. My skin was pasty and there were hideous bags under my eyes. As for the general shape of my thighs…let's just not go there. And so on, and so on.

Of course, after this shocking image, I felt that nothing I tried on looked right on me. I did pick up one so-so pair of dress pants on sale and tried them on again at home. They looked much better.

Whomever designed the lighting in that dressing room must either 1) be a misogynist, or 2) have a vendetta against the store and want to reduce sales. Or both.

And no wonder I dislike shopping more and more as time goes on.


Here in the house, it's mostly quiet. Thursday would normally be a work day for me, so all the kids are covered until 5:30PM. I try to approach the job search like a job. I sit down at the computer in the morning, make a list of search-related activities for the day, and proceed. I break for lunch, like I would on a work day, and get back at it in the afternoon (though I often do take breaks in the afternoon for cleaning out and organizing).

Yesterday I took a break in the morning and cleaned up all the stuff from Seymour. All the towels and such from the last days, the bag of IV fluids. I put his carrier and the litter box in the basement and arranged to donate his leftover food to the local humane society.

When I sat back down at my desk, it felt strange, and I realized it was because Seymour would often visit me while I worked at home. He'd come in, meow, get a scratch, then hop up on the couch behind me and take a nap. He just wanted to be nearby. Now, there is no little creature doing that.

Last night as I was settling in bed, I instinctively moved my feet around carefully so as not to disturb the sleeping cat. But he wasn't there. I've been doing that for almost 18 years; it's going to be hard to break the habit.

After Zoe died, we still had Seymour to step in and demand the attention, meow, and so on. Now it's so quiet and still. Yes, we do still have the dog. It's just different, is all.

1 comment:

eba said...

yeah, the house does get empty without the pitter-patter of dawn coming in on little cat feet. I went through a similar clean-out after Juliet -- at least clearing out what one of my widowed friends called "the sickness". I saw little ghost kitties all over the house out of the corner of my eye. And to tell the truth, I didn't last very long, not long at all, before another kitty came to live with us.