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Off the record: Spring planning

It’s that time again. Time to get to know your neighbor — if you are like us and do not have a basement.

Running around the neighborhood Sunday evening, looking for someone at home with a basement, was not a good thing. So, plan ahead a little bit and make sure you know where to go when the weather gets scary.

Let someone know your plans — family or a friend. That way if something should happen, your family can locate you.

*****

It just does not pay to be in a big hurry. I should know that by now, being on this earth for a half a century.

Take Friday, for instance. I was late leaving town for an appointment Friday afternoon in Wichita. I made it to the appointment and all went well but before heading to the Kansas Press Association convention and dinner, I decided I wanted to look for a new blouse and jacket.

“I have plenty of time,” I said to myself as I headed to the west side of town. After all, the mall was on the way to the meeting and should not take that long.

Wrong.

As my luck would be, I got to the mall, of which I am not familiar, and it seemed I walked and walked and walked. When I found something to try on, the dressing rooms were full.

“Go to the other side of the store,” said a clerk.

More walking. I don’t mind the exercise. Lord knows I could use it but not today, when I’m in a hurry.

Store by store I stopped in, looked, tried on, left. Nope. Not my style. Definitely not my color. And “wow.” The price was too much.

Finally, I left the mall to head to the meeting.

Gee, I can sure work up a sweat when I shop and try on 50 outfits.

When I got to the hotel where the convention was located, I carried my bag with my change of clothes and items to sproof up a bit.

The bathroom in the convention center was small — and hot. They must have had the heat on or something.

So, here I am. In a stall designed for very petite women, trying to change my clothes. I kept my shoes on as long as I could. I really didn’t want to stand on the bare floor in my bare feet. Yuck.

Anyway, I finally got my shirt and pants changed, sweating all the way.

Now it was time to comb my hair and apply a little bit of makeup — but I can’t. I’m sweating too much. A cool, wet paper towel on the forehead and around my hairline helped.

Whew. Think cool thoughts. Penguins. North Pole. Winter weather.

OK.

Now it’s time for hair and makeup. A couple of quick picks with the comb and a couple of dabs of makeup and it will have to do. What happened to my makeup bag? I set it on the counter with my other bag. Where did it go? Well, there’s a trash can located under a hole in the counter. I’m sure it was there for the convenience of nearly everybody else who uses that bathroom but for me at that moment, it was anything but convenient. Here I was — digging through the trash can, looking for my cosmetic bag that held all of the essentials of my world — comb, makeup, perfume, deodorant. Finally, I find it amid wet paper towels.

Pulling it out, I wiped it off. Luckily the cosmetic bag wasn’t open at the time it fell in the trash. That would have been a mess.

I know makeup doesn’t miraculously change a woman from ugly to beautiful but it sure helps the self-confidence. We always feel better when our hair is done, makeup is on, and we’re dressed in an outfit that is fun or comfortable.

The evening went much better than the afternoon and pre-evening escapades. When we returned to the convention on Saturday, I put myself together at home.

No more motel bathrooms with tiny stalls and camouflaged trash cans.

— susan berg

Last modified April 29, 2009

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