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blind ambition

Geez where does the time go? Almost a week since I checked in with you guys, and it's not like I have solved global warming or anything. Life takes time, even if all you are doing is trying to make it from lunch until dinner. When you are trying to write a book and edit another one and run a writing program and talk to gymfuls of kids and read a dozen manuscripts there's no time for blogging. There's barely time for the bathroom. I took an afternoon to help Thea find blinds, because a girl needs a window covering in her bedroom. And I even managed an extra hour to enjoy my kids catching up to the rest of the world, entertainment-wise. Back to that in a sec.

First I'll finish the blinds saga. You may recall that my daughter Thea and I went to Wal-Mart a bunch of times picking out blinds that were okay-looking and cheap, but did not work. (Sometimes two out of three equals zero. If it doesn't work, no matter what else it has going for it it's no good. I might revisit that thought too, but probably not today.) So we gave up on Wal-Mart and went to the window treatment store downtown ....and what a difference. To begin with, the greeter wore pearls. (Good play title, eh? The Greeter Wore Pearls.) And asked us (actually, to put it in her accent, she awsked us) if she could help us in our search for the perfect window treatment.

What? I said. I was still getting used to the place. It smelled of pot pourri. The lighting was soft and pleasing. The background music was semi-classical. The rest of the staff went about on lissom clerical printless toes. There were displays of complex drapery and ingenious shuttery and bewildering blindery.

The greeter -- I never found out her name, but she looked like a Gwendolyn -- repeated her request.

Thea was too overwhelmed to answer so I said, Sure. And I held my hands apart. We're looking for a cloth blind about this wide.

Gwendolyn didn't blanch because she was already the colour of freshly fallen snow, but she blinked a couple of times. What are the precise measurements of the window you wish to enhance? she asked. (again, her accent would make the word mayzhuamnts. I nodded approvingly. I liked hearing her talk.)

I don't know, I said. But it's about this big. I held my hands up again. Right Thea? This about the size?

She thought a bit and held up her hands. Yeah, about that. We faced each other in the middle of the store with our hands out, comparing sizes. A couple of people stared at us.

You know, I said to Gwendolyn. A regular window. So, what do you got?

She smiled faintly and shook her head. I'm afraid I cawn't help you until I know the exact mayzhuamnts, she said.

Oh, I said, looking around. Well, is there someone here who cawn -- I mean who can help us without that knowledge? See, Thea and I aren't locked into a world where a centimetre makes all the difference. We don't really care if the blind doesn't fit perfectly. Say, let me help you!

I'd shocked poor Gwendolyn. She staggered, and I caught her arm to steady her. The scene stretched out a bit, but there's no time to go into it. What happened is that I caught sight of the price of a display draperies (something like the one pictured here), and the idea of paying more than my car is worth to cover my daughter's bare window just didn't make any sense at all. I grabbed Thea and pulled her --not unwillingly -- out of the window treatment store. We said good-bye to Gwendolyn, who looked puzzled (maybe it wasn't her name after all) and went back to Wal-Mart. We bought a different kind of blind, and Guitar Hero III, and came home. Fifteen minutes later the blinds were up and the rest of the kids came over, and I got to spend time listening to old rock and roll and the laughter of my children. Not bad for a too-busy guy.


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