Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Where the Wild Things Are

Strange things are afoot in Santa Barbara. I went with Christie, Bella and her little charge, Rya to Oak Park this morning. The girls were adorable, but antagonizing each other the way only kids who are together every single day can - every five minutes or so Rya* would break out in enormous, heaving, opera-worthy sobs because Bella was either a) touching/not touching her b) not sharing c) dumping sand on her d) breathing to hard on her e) requesting our attention.
*Rya is unfairly equipped, at not-quite-two, with eyelashes as long as a camel, huge dark brown eyes and wisps of brown hair that curl cutely over her head. I've noticed that people ("people" = me) tend to scoop her up and kiss her instead of telling her, "Aaaaah, shut yer gob, ya little Drama Queen!" as much as would be good for her when she brings out the tears.

The charm of sitting at the park sewing my new napkins (yes, by hand...apparently I turned eighty last week and the year is 1900, no?) wore off when the temperature dropped, so we opted for food to try and soothe the savages. Pierre Lafond has this great, pigeon-infested patio for kids to run around on, plus: multiple varieties of quiche! Farm Cakes! Teeny-tiny chicken salad sandwiches! Salads loaded with things like wontons and sesame seeds! There is also the option of endless people and dog-watching. One could be forgiven for rhapsodizing and possibly allowing the kids to chase the pigeons, right?

We tooled down State Street (I'm on a mission to try and find tomato-red thread. Despite the fact that we've got a Starbucks every three blocks, I cannot find a blessed store at which to buy thread.) and through the "Dollar" Store, aka the scene of the crime. I was under the mistaken impression that things at the "dollar" store are supposed to cost a dollar. About the crime bit: Rya accidentally shoplifted a teddy bear that cost $4.99. Four dollars and ninety-nine cents, meaning five dollars and thirty-seven cents, at the DOLLAR STORE.

We celebrated our sucessful navigation of Urban Outfitters (Definition of a "Sucessful" shopping trip with two children under five: If you make it through the store and the children have not broken, smeared with one or more bodily fluids, or shoplifted anything, you get a calorie-free latte!) by returning the bear to his home at the "Dollar" store. There was an improvised Britney Spears (barefoot, not half-naked) dance number backed by a sitar-like instrument and a tambourine. Yeah! Dancing barefoot on the street! You cannot get much more joyful and spontaneous than that, really.

Today I had a startling ephiphany: Three year old people should really be attired in head-to-toe football kit (drop seats for emergencies) and protective headgear for their own safety. To my knowledge, no one has yet figured out how to make this suit comfortable, attractive and affordable for all. When Bella refused to put her sandals and subsequently split her toe wide open with very much blood, drama and anguish, I immediately saw my future in marketing the kiddy protective suit. No, I'm kidding... I whipped out a Band-Aid, cut it half with my embroidery scissors, bandaged the toe, and we retreated to Starbucks. The advantage of having a Starbucks every three blocks: Available bathrooms, large cushy chairs and hot chocolate with cups of extra whipped cream. Entire cups filled with sweet, thick, cool whipped cream that bring smiles to the faces of children everywhere - even when said children are covered in a greenish residual glaze of bran/carrot muffin, lollipop, snot and dirt.

Now about the Wild Thing portion of this episode: You've got to picture the scene first, though. Outside the Starbucks (State and Cota) we took refuge in, there is a 12-sided (dodecahedral, if you'd like the three dollar word version) fountain that I've always loved. Maybe eighteen inches tall with a soft dome-shaped top, the water just burbles up and falls softly down the arcing shape of the dome and into the star-shaped pool. Most people walk right by it and never give it a second thought. Christy, Bella, Rya and I were sipping our drinks when we saw a man walk up to the fountain carrying a newspaper. He started to gently unfurl the sheets of newspaper, like one pulls tissue from a box, and laid it all over the fountain. It looked like he was attempting to hide the fountain under a pile of news. Not one person attempted to stop him, said anything, or even stared hard at him for all of his craziness. Santa Barbara....Where the Crazy People Don't Take Their Medicine, and Everyone Else Pretends They Don't Notice.


bee said...

this was a great post. you write so well, meepers. i almost could SEE rya and bella.

and i think embroidering napkins by hand is the only way of doing things, 2006, 1900, or any old time. the creative touch, no?

Meepers said...

Ahh bee, thank you - if only I was EMBROIDERING the napkins (as opposed to just sewing the raw edges of them over so they don't fray and fall apart!) I'm doing the tablecloth now and plan to try and post/pictures about it all when I'm done.

You can actually see Bella (and Christie, for that matter) in my March 19th post called "Inside Voices" and a few others, I think.


Mansoor Qaisar said...

nice blog... looking interested.... keep it up !!!!!!!!

chiefbiscuit said...

I liked reading about your day. It made me smile!

Pony said...

I am still scared of the "bums" that reside on State Street. At least I don't still feel the strong desire to run across the street to avoid them, thank goodness :) I just pinch my nostrils shut and run... LOL