Some of us have interesting, fun and stimulating jobs. Some of us don't. After a recent conversation with my friend Tina, I'm not sure into which category her job falls.
Tina is a teacher. Specifically a Montessori teacher. Teachers work hard. Especially Tina.
Her class is comprised of little ones, the Diaper Crowd. I could call them the Potty Training Crowd. I could call them many things. She was telling me about a continuing ed thingamajig she attended last week. For some reason, and I really don't want to know more than I already know, part of the conference included a lesson on potty training. This potty training lesson utilized props: a plastic milk jug, peanut butter, and toilet paper! Yes, yes, yes! The instructor gave a lesson on how to teach a toddler to wipe their ass effectively. Mmmm. PBJ anyone?
I'm pretty sure after raising four children of her own that Tina already figured out how to teach a kid to wipe their ass. At least I hope she did. Perhaps I will initiate a survey of her own children to see if she used proper Montessori technique to train them. A question like that could ignite a evening filled with enlightening conversation. Indeed.
But I digress. Tina is not only a teacher, she is also a shopper extraordinaire. When I say extraordinare, I mean supercalifragalisticexpialidociously extraordinare. If there was an Olympic event in shopping, Tina would take the gold medal. If the Mall of America had royalty, Tina would be the Queen. I swear I think she shops in her sleep.
I've talked about rehabilitating our porch. I've talked about vacationing on our porch. Some would think I have a porch obsession, to which I would reply, "And? Is there anything wrong with that?" Truly. Anyone who has hung out on a screened-in porch on a lazy summer morning, afternoon, or evening can attest to the joy, the bliss, the absolute ecstacy to be attained by merely occupying such a wondiferous space.
So. We had worked on it. We needed to furnish and decorate it.
Enter our Personal Shopper. She showed up Saturday morning, notepad in hand. On the front sheet was a list, numbered one to ten. This list represented not only stores, but also the route we would be taking to visit them all. Wendy and I snuck a look at each other, our eyes wide. We hoped we'd be able to keep her pace.
Tina shops with great organization and purpose. She knows where to find things I never knew I needed in stores I never knew existed. "No buying anything until we've seen everything," she patiently instructed. "If you see something you like, I'll write down what, where and how much. We can go back later after we've seen the options." Wendy and I made eye contact again, this time grinning.
Shopping with Tina meant turning over the reins. We were down with that. Down deep. She whisked us from store to store, herding us from department to department, making suggestions and asking questions. Masterfully she narrowed things down and helped us eliminate options until we had selected a few items.
Wendy and I were tired long before she showed any signs of slowing down. She chauffeured us home, we unloaded our purchases and waved farewell. Wendy and I slept like logs after putting together furniture and then sitting for hours on the porch, sipping cheap beer and talking. Talking is another something for which porches are well suited.
The next day, Tina had already been shopping before she picked us up at noon. She had a list of stores, this time with items of interest under each store name. A stack of catalogs, I kid you not, like 30 of them, had pages marked showing things Wendy and I had shown interest in or determined were needs the day before.
Magical. It was like having a Fairy Shopping Godmother. I could get very used to such luxury. Thanks to Tina's energy and, yes, I'm going to say it, it's really no exaggeration, her expertise in how and where to shop, our porch is shaping up quite nicely indeed.
If I could bottle her, I'd share.
But since I can't, you're on your own.