Yesterday was a typical Day in the Life of Emily Wing Smith. Not necessarily because it is what I do on a typical day. Yesterday exemplifies the issues I face on a typical day. 9:00 am—woke up. Yep, I don’t wake up until 9. Or, actually, later, depending on the day. This is not because I am a lazy sack of trash. Okay, it is because I am a lazy sack of trash. But it is also because I’m a writer. I keep pretty strange hours. Luckily this is okay by my husband. He always wakes me up when he leaves in the morning, usually about 7:30, kisses me goodbye, and lets me go back to sleep. Which I do.
9:45 am—left to pick up Hannah. Hannah is my fourteen-year-old sister, and yesterday was one of those made-up school holidays so people get a four-day weekend. I thought, perfect opportunity for some quality sister-bonding. We decided to go shopping. Hannah needed new pants, as she is now 5’10 and all her pants are too short. I needed new pants as I am 5’4 and all my pants are nasty at the bottom because they drag on the ground so much. And it is winter in Utah and the ground isn’t pretty. Anyway, I drove off to Hannah’s house, knowing full-well its location, as it is the same stately manor in which I spent my teenage years, and even some of my young-adulthood. Thus, it baffles the mind why I turned onto the WRONG FREEWAY to get there.
Of course, while it may baffle the general mind, to my mind it made perfect sense. I am an extremely poor navigator and an even poorer driver. This is not the first time I have gotten lost going someplace I’ve been several times before. I am a pro at finding “alternative routes” to my most frequent destinations. Alas, this time luck was not on my side. Or the side of the car about two yards ahead of me on said WRONG FREEWAY. Although I didn’t know until 20 minutes later, when I finally crawled past it, this car had somehow gotten munched. No wonder traffic had been at a stand-still.
11:00 am—Hannah and I were finally in downtown Salt Lake City, livin’ it up sista -style. We talked about the general lameness of ninth-grade while walking from store to store in the freezing cold. We bought bath products that smelled like flowers and/or fruit. We tried on pants. We found pants. We purchased pants. My pants were part of a velour “loungewear” combo, which is perfect for me, as I spend a great deal of time at my computer, lounging away. As the clerk was ringing them up, she looked directly at me and said, “Do you guys wear these to school?”
Hannah and I exchanged the briefest of looks. Since this has happened before, we knew what to do. Which was lie. “Yep,” I said.
I do not go to school. I have graduated from school—high school, college, grad school. I’ve finished them all. I am almost positive this sales clerk was younger than me. Generally speaking, I am not a proponent of lying. But I never have the heart to tell people I’m twenty-seven.
1:30 pm—took Hannah home. Did some work on my newest novel while I waited for a very important computer package for my husband. This is the story of my life. Computer thing after computer thing arrives at our house, whether via post or my husband himself. I never have any idea what these things actually are, which makes it hard to have the right level of enthusiasm.
Got a call from my awesome mother-in-law. Yoriko is a headstrong, hilarious woman who, although she lived in Japan for the first twentysomething years of her life, is somehow more technologically-challenged than I am. Every time she leaves a message on our answering machine, it’s like she’s never used one before. “Hello….?...Uh, hello, Emily?...Yes, well, I was wondering something so if you could call me back…well, talk to you later, thanksbye.” Another thing I love about Yoriko is that she’s even tighter with a buck than I am. So she’s been figuring out how to take a family vacation to Hawaii using only timeshare-exchanges and frequent-flier miles. Now she’s made the reservation for all eight of us at a resort on the Big Island, which should make for a very interesting trip. She gave me a link to a website that, it turns out, doesn’t exist, and said goodbye. Gotta love that woman.
5:00 pm—husband returned from work. I realized I had once again forgotten to make/plan for dinner. Likewise, I had forgotten to go to the store, and the contents of our refrigerator were limited to half-a-hunk of cheddar cheese, some pickle relish, and a bag of mini carrots. We made spaghetti from the year’s supply of non-perishable food we keep in our basement (in case of natural disaster, or, you know, the End of the World). We shredded the cheddar cheese and put that on top.
After dinner a friend from my church came over to discuss Girls Camp. This is a camp for all the teenage girls in our congregation. I’m in charge of teaching the girls at church on Sunday and doing activities with them during the week. She is in charge of planning their camp. This is a Good Thing, as I am many things, but a camper I am not.
Let me just say this: I am worried I will have to go to camp.