Wednesday, April 03, 2002

I completely forgot to tell you about my escapades downtown last week! One of the things that I love about downtown Branson is that there is practically no parking, so you have to search for a spot and then walk wherever you want to go. Most people probably consider this to be a vice, but for some reason it makes me feel like I live in a big city where people actually walk places, very Sex and the City-esque. I found a parking spot and set off across the street and then up the hill to my first destination- a used clothing store. My goal for the day was to hopefully find some new customers, while basically just shopping in the meantime. I had hoped that I could ask this store if I could put in a box where people could sign up for makeovers, like I did at the dress shop, but I later found that on the front door was a sign warning against any kind of selling or distributing materials or any such things, which discouraged me a lot, and made me decide not to pursue it. I must add that on my walk up the hill, I passed through one of my favorite little parts of that section of town. The sidewalk splits in half, and you can either follow it ramp-style on up the hill, or continue flat past some shops, with an increasingly tall wall of concrete separating you from the street. Then you climb a short set of steps to reach the surface, and to me it feels like you’re emerging from deep underground. Its one of those silly little things that is fun if you pay attention to it. I didn’t find much in the clothing store- I hadn’t expected to really. They had great prices on things, but nothing I would really wear. My next stop was a little gift shop I had spotted across the street that I had never even known existed. Inside, I the lady behind the counter (the only other person in the approximately 12 x 12 foot shop) told me that they made all of their own soaps and such, and told me about all of the products while I looked around. They had homemade soaps in various shapes, sizes and fragrances, candles, bath stuff, and a solid hand lotion that you rolled around in your hands like a ball. I found some adorable little lip-shaped soaps for under a dollar, and I really want to get the oatmeal scented one. I know, oatmeal sounds like a weird scent, doesn’t it? But this one was really nice, a very comforting sort of scent. My absolute favorite item in the store was soap that looked like a goldfish in a bag. They had a rubber goldfish surrounded by soap that looked like water, in a plastic bag. It looked pretty real, and was very cute, but $6, which is more than I can afford to spend on cute soap right now. I think I’m going to have to return there soon for some of the handmade oatmeal soap, because something like that is so cheap and simple, but would make me very happy.

Next I went to another store, and I’m not really sure how to describe their line of products. The window displayed stained glass work, and colored glass spirals that spun in the wind, which I heard one of the customers say were wonderful for keeping birds away. They sold real butterflies displayed in a box, which made me very sad. They sold chocolate candy that looked exactly like rocks. They sold lamps made by a local artist, one of which I really liked, but I didn’t look at the price tag, and probably wouldn’t want to. When the shopkeeper asked me if I needed help, I gave her my usual explanation- that I was a Mary Kay consultant putting together some gift baskets and trying to get some ideas for what to put in. I like that because for one, its true, second, its better than saying “Oh, I’m just looking” because it tells them what I do, and you never know when yet another person will say “Oh! My consultant moved last March and I’ve been looking for a new one!”. Anyway, the lady, who was probably in her seventies, proceeded to take me around the store and show me pretty much every item they had in stock. At one point, I said something along the lines of “Well, thanks!” and headed towards the door, but she was already off in another direction to show me something else that was “really collectible”, so I couldn’t just walk out. Five minutes and a sample of the candy that looked like rocks (tasted like MnM’s) later, I was finally out the door.

My final stop was the chocolate shop where my truck was parked. I tried a sample of their milk chocolate, and really wished I had the money to afford that or the sinfully delicious and rather expensive chocolate dipped oreos they had. It’s a place I’ll have to keep in mind if I really want to reward myself for something, or I’m having such a bad day that regular oreos cant cut it.

Despite what I’ve said about wanting to live in a big city for a while, I really do love living in a small one. On my way back to my truck, I saw a flashy new red grand am and had to stare, and as it grew closer, I could see the MK logo on the side. I could see that whoever inside was waving to me, and with some squinting, I saw that it was one of the DIQ’s in my unit. The same one I’d run into in a clothing store about two weeks ago. Most of the time, I love being able to run into someone I know almost every day, but on days when I look horrible and really don’t want to change out of my sweatpants and fix my hair just to run to the store, I desire the anonymity of living in a city with hundreds of thousands of people where the chances of running into three people you know on that quick run to the grocery store are much slimmer. I don’t think I’d want to live in a big city for good, but I really want to for a while.

Moving more towards the present, today has been a really good day in a simple pleasures kind of way. I am sitting here watching Sugar Daddy build a bubble nest, and Audrey showing all the signs of being ready to mate, and so now its just a matter of time before I put them together. That and I have to get over this fear of raising a bunch of fishy babies, and figuring out what I’ll do with them all once they hatch.

Speaking of which, here are two pictures of my beloved Audrey. I can’t get over how tiny she is in comparison to my other fish, so I took a picture of her with a penny, as well as one of her next to Bogart. Bogey is my biggest betta, and the darkish blur you see in the picture on the right.

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