Whilst indulging my magazine addiction at our nearby Barnes & Noble, my delicate ears were assaulted by the megaphone voice of a woman saying, "Hello? Does anyone work at the customer service desk at this store?" Nobody answered, of course. The woman sighed with practiced exaggeration. She tapped her foot. She waited two more minutes and then stomped around to the other side of the desk and was just about to avail herself of the computer, when a young man approached and apologized for being late in coming. "I was getting ready to jump up on this desk and start dancing! I want a copy of The Tortilla Curtain," she said. "Right now."
To which I say, "Easy there, Mama."
There is a line—sometimes it is fine, sometimes it is not—between asserting yourself and being obnoxious. This woman, in my Nesting Ground Mistress opinion, crossed that line. I had no problem at all imagining the path she had taken to this no man's land of impropriety. She had read, I'm afraid, far too many articles in far too many cheesy women's magazines. Articles with titles like, "Are You a Doormat? Take This Quiz!" or "Yes, You CAN." And I could tell from her chunky earrings and sassy/spiky haircut that she had taken to heart the directions in various "Frame Your Face" editorials. And her swagger, combined with the way she had threatened to "start dancing," was undoubtedly a direct result of an "If You've Got It, Flaunt It!" cover story.
Despite the fact that I had completely invented this history of her reading habits, it didn't make it any less of a sign from the Universe. I slowly backed away from the magazines and slithered into the cookbook section, where the potential for changes to one's person is entirely different.