This is why I’m not aloud to pick

When I die, at the top of the list of the stupidest ideas I ever had will be Going to the Flea Market in Florida in July. It really did seem like a good idea at the time-a couple of hours out fiddling, pet some puppies, look at some cheap rugs, eat some funnel cake….
I forgot about the 150 degrees part, and the sweaty, stinky crowd of people who also had the same brilliant idea today.

In my memory, the flea market is where you go to get Really Great Deals on stuff you really do need. I’d feel so smart walking out of there with my new 1.50 spatula or my 1/2 price razorblades, and the furniture! How awesome is the furniture?!

Walking through the aisles today all I could think of was landfills. This place, it’s the pre-landfill. Everything in it is so cheap that people can sell it at stalls in a pasture in 120 degree heat. This is free enterprize at it’s best, I suppose. Anyone can be in business for themselves! Anyone can have the American Dream! Just become and importer/exporter and open up a stall at your local flea market selling plastic, useless crap to people who can’t afford a movie ticket.

The other part of the FM that I really used to enjoy but am now totally grossed out about is the animal stalls. I mean, should a 400 dollar bird be panting on their perch? I suppose these are tropical birds though, and so that would mean the climate in the stall is about right…? But OK, so the birds might be OK in the heat, but the puppies and kittens? I tried to imagine myself walking through that place with a fur coat on. Gross.

We were very excited though, to find one table full of kids clothes handmade by the woman sitting with her husband behind a A's New Dressbattery operated fan. We had a hard time choosing, but finally settled on a little orange and white beauty of a dress, and as we were leaving, and I was apologizing to my family for bringing them to the sauna, M said, “that’s OK, it was worth it. we got the dress, and now we know where to go when we need a rug!”

In other news, I turn 33 next week. All my life, 33 has been the perfect age in my mind. Old enough to be done with game playing and low self esteem, but young enough to look hot in a bikini, and not look like an idiot in combat boots and a short skirt. I’m enjoying my 30’s a whole lot more than the other decades, some of which we don’t speak about ever. I anticipate 33 to be a banner year in the P/L family. Hell, any year that I get a HOUSE for my birhday- well, that’s a good goddamn year.

TeenHer will be at Hell Camp for my birthday, which really isn’t much different than most years because usually I’ve shipped her to her grandparents way before this point oin the summer. I really wish we would have considered that our 3 week-a-year vacation from Teen H would be long gone as a consequence of moving 400 feet away from my parents. Truly, that may have swayed our decision.

Just kidding, H.

One year ago we were turning circles in this very living room, trying to choose what to clean first. I was probably crying. Just when I was ready to go apartment hunting in St. Mary’s, a stranger carrying a basket knocked on the sliding glass door, and that’s when I met Melanie, and Seventh Generation cleaning products. I think I talked about how incredibly generous and sweet that basket full of toilet cleaner and trash bags and healthy snack foods was for about 6 months. When referencing Melanie, I would say “You know, Mel- she lives down the road from me, she saved my life and Avery’s life, and when we got to Florida she showed up with this HUGE basket of stuff we really really needed, including paper towels and washcloths and even an air freshener that uses essential oil! Isn’t that awesome?” not really getting that people stopped listening after the life saving bit.

This year I’ve re-learned what it means to be from a small town in the south-well, an adult in a small town in the south. As a teenager and even i my 20’s, being here was stifling, boring, and unenlightened. As a married person here-I am grateful to have my friends so close, and my husband’s commute is 5 minutes long. We travel no large freeways as a rule, and can get into a movie for 6 dollars.

We might not be able to throw a rock at a Starbucks or see an Art film every weekend, but the boiled peanuts sure are good!


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