Thursday, December 21, 2006

Writing Lessons From Gymboree

Today I made the mistake of going the the local mall and trying to return stuff that my wife had mail ordered from Gymboree. I was in good spirits, I had a box of neatly arranged stuff with all the receipts, and it wasn't too busy yet. This is like the times when you have a good amount of time ahead of you, your outline is pretty solid, and you can't wait to get down to writing. You feel in control and you know that good things are about to happen. So I wait a bit and set my box down, the very nice lady starts matching up items to lines on the receipts, and everything's going great. This is like the illusion that you're actually going to have a good time writing and everything is going to flow naturally from your fingertips. Next thing that happened was she asked for the credit card that the stuff had been purchased on. I reached for my wallet. She said it was an American Express. Odd, I thought, we seldom use our American Express. This is like the time when you sense that the paragraph you just wrote didn't quite say what you thought it should but you plunge ahead anyway. Then I hand her my American Express. She looks at it and says that it's not the same card and company policy states she can't return anything without it. The immediate flaming rage I feel is a lot like that helpless feeling that washes over you when you realize that you haven't got any chance of writing anything worthwhile at all and you might as well type 'all work and no play make Jack a dull boy' over and over and over again.

Moral of the story: Don't go to Gymboree under any circumstances.

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