Most of the people I spoke to today were nice. Good thing - I needed something to make up for Hester the Hostile.
After three hours, I was parched. I was thirsty and I had to pee, which makes me think that our bodies have not evolved that well. Shouldn't there be some sort of intake process when the mouth is dry and the body is thirsty yet there is fluid to be expelled? How can the body hold two such contradictory states: the lack of fluid and the excess of fluid?
But I had nowhere to go. We were deep in the western suburbs. In our neighborhood, the houses are close together and there are sidewalks and restaurants and gas stations and grocery stores. There are places to pee. I know, because I plan my "running" route with peeing and refilling in mind. There is the library, a Starbucks, a grocery store, the senior center, another grocery store, etc, etc, etc, all within three miles of my house and in some cases, within a few blocks, although I am usually not thinking about that when I am only blocks from home.
ANYHOW. In the sidewalk-less suburbs, there is no place to pee. I was miles and miles and miles from respite.
So I was just going to have to hold it. It's not like you can ask a voter to use the bathroom. What rational person is going to let a complete stranger into her house? I sure wouldn't.
I stopped at one house where they were having a garage sale. It was about 6 p.m. and the driveway was still full of stuff, including a small wood-burning stove with cast-iron burners that I coveted as soon as I laid eyes on it. It was only $75! It was beautiful enamel everwhere except the burners. I had cooked on a wood-burning stove when I was a Peace Corps volunteer. (Why hadn't I told Hester the Hostile that I had been in the Peace Corps? Maybe that would have satisfied her volunteer requirement.) It's not as good as a gas stove, but it's still better than the horrible smooth-top electric stove that we have now. I hate that stove so, so much. We were going to replace it as soon as Primo was done paying alimony to Imelda, but then he decided to run for office and take an unpaid leave of absence, so here we are: this is the last month of alimony but we have no money to pay for a replacement stove.
Note to self: related to the alimony, as of September 22, Primo is no longer required to designate Imelda as the beneficiary on his life insurance. During his LOA, he cannot keep his life insurance from work, but he has a separate policy for Imelda. On Sept 22, I become the beneficiary. I need him to stay alive until Friday at least just so I can get that money instead of Imelda. The dog bite the other day had me worried.
So they had a beautiful old-fashioned stove that I wanted but really, do we need more junk in our house? And there were shoes, but they were bridesmaid shoes. And some work clothes, but not my size. Still, I let myself get distracted. So when the homeowner started talking to me, I had to admit to her that I was not a shopper but a campaigner. She and her friends were drinking beer and having a good time, so I blurted out my piece, handed her Primo's door literature, and told her I would get out of their way.
"No, no, no!" she insisted. She had a few questions. She wanted to talk. She wanted to show me her suits and was sad that they wouldn't fit. I was glad to be in the shade and to take a break, so we talked about the stove and about garage-sale strategy. We chatted. We laughed. I liked her.
I finally told her that I had to go - I had to finish my doors so I could get home and pee.
She offered her bathroom.
I protested: "I'm a total stranger! Are you sure you want to let me in your house?"
She shrugged. "If you can find anything of value in there, you are welcome to it."
I wasn't going to argue. She showed me the bathroom right past the garage door. I heard her in the kitchen so couldn't pee because I was convinced she could hear me, which makes no sense because SHE KNEW WHY I NEEDED THE BATHROOM.
I finally did the job. When I emerged, she handed me an ice-cold bottle of water. Told me if I wanted to come back for the stove, I knew where she lived.
Nice, nice lady.