Yesterday was my day for Driving Miss Kitty. I called her in the morning to see if we were going to the mall for Christmas Shopping--a task I dread as much as mopping the floors. (I hate dealing with floors.) Because if we were going to the mall it would require entirely different shoes and a warm coat because it's an outdoor mall. It would require steeling myself for a grueling day of carrying packages and running around like a madwoman to retrieve her abandoned credit card only to discover it was in her wallet all along.
And she has this thing where if she buys something for one of her kids she has to buy it for the rest of the family. Two children and Two Spousal Units equals 4 of everything: 4 containers of butter brickle. 4 containers of caramel corn. 4 oven mitts with brownie mix inside. 4 pairs of Santa Socks, even though they were in women's sizes. I feel bad for the dudes. What does a guy want with a snowman oven mitt containing a package of brownie mix and a pair of women's knee socks with a bright red reindeer pattern?
Anyway, instead of the mall we went to Target where we purchased yet another pair of nail and cuticle scissors and an emery board. Since this new obsession is much more fun than Bug Lights I haven't yet pointed out to her that we've bought at least 5 pairs of scissors and 6 or 7 emery boards in the last 2 weeks.
Then we had to go find a shredder. I haven't blogged about the shredder before because it has shredded my nerves too much. You see, her last live-in caregiver made the Colossal mistake of shredding an ENTIRE PIECE OF PAPER thus ruining the blades and destroying forever the sanctity of her shredder. Miss Kitty tears everything up into TINY PIECES before she puts it into the shredder. Because otherwise you might wear it out.
Indeed, the shredder had seen it's last days. It was probably the original model of shredders and it weighs a ton. I don't personally see why she needs a shredder with that much capacity and a motor that is the equivalent of a Hemy or a Mack Truck but hey! In a household where even the medicine bottle prescription labels must be carefully peeled off the empty bottles and shredded I guess its important.
However, I don't think Target is the best place to buy a shredder. Since she lives a mere 2 blocks from an Office Depot/Max, I tried to encourage a trip there to look at quality shredders at affordable prices but no. Her son had gotten his at Target and her sister had gotten one for 25 dollars so the case was closed.
I don't recommend a 25 dollar shredder, but her sister is the same person who decided that Miss Kitty really didn't need to fix the air conditioning in her house since she wasn't sleeping upstairs anymore and the only super-hot place in the house was upstairs. Cheap is the word I think I'm looking for. Frugal. Thrifty. Bonkers.
After at least 10 minutes of dithering over the Target Shredders, we picked one and I loaded it into the cart. Well, in case you haven't shopped for a shredder, I think I should tell you that it is as heavy as any other major appliance like a fridge or a washing machine.
We hauled it home and into the house. I had to pull the old useless shredder out of the cubby it was in and put the new one in there. On a whim, I decided to TEST the new shredder to see if it worked.
And the battle was engaged. I got one notebook piece of lined paper to feed into the shredder. Miss Kitty had a meltdown. She ran and tore her name and address off of an envelope and handed that to me for shredding. Anything larger was going to break the new shredder, she was sure of it! I tried to explain that such a small piece of paper was not going to trigger the auto-feed mechanism that turned on the blades.
Should I cut this story short? The new shredder didn't work. Not with big paper, not with small paper, not with any paper. I had to box it back up, heft it out to my car and return it. I also had to heave the old shredder back into it's cubby, even though it is broken, because otherwise there would be an empty space and that is not to be tolerated.
I put my back out. I don't know at what stage I did it, but I did it good. I felt that telltale ping as if I'd pulled a muscle entirely off of it's anchoring bone, and I still had to hoist that thing out of the trunk and into the store.
As we were parking Miss Kitty noticed we were right next to a very large SUV that had a nice big Boxer dog leaning out the window and slobbering happily at the passers by. And I was taken aback to hear, "Look at that tall dog! Have you ever seen a dog that tall? That is a TALL dog. I mean, really, really tall. I've never seen a dog that tall, have you? Really. It's a TALL dog."
And it was then that I realized, for all the inconvenience and hard work and struggling over unneccesary purchases and rigid methods of doing things, I loved my job. As I sit here with an ice pack on my lower back, thoroughly bombed on pain meds and shredding entire REAMS of full-size paper in my own shredder, I must admit that I love driving Miss Kitty.