Fall is out there. I saw it, albeit briefly. My “window tree” treats me to brilliant red foliage on the outermost branches. The air is cooler and much crisper. Dead leaves frolic along the ground, whispering, “ware, pay heed, winter approaches.”
I have a large autumn “MUST DO” list. I must get the downstairs cleaned for the holidays. I must get the upstairs cleaned for my own sanity. I must get the new plastic shower curtain put up. I must have Better Half drag my box of fall décor up from the basement. I certainly must take fall photographs, strip my garden of summer plants, take in the outside fountain near Toad Hall, sweep the porch, brush and wash the dogs, organize my cupboards and get a haircut.
I got a haircut. That is an accomplishment. Insanity is staved off for the moment.
Autrice made the mistake of wanting long, pretty hair that framed her face and hid the excess water retention. Autrice is Not Patient, however. Better Half and I were in Robinson Township last night and I raced to the nearest salon. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate our local cosmetology talent. I do. I simply do not enjoy looking frumpy. The long hair was frumpy. My local talent enjoys the bouffant style, whereupon one sprays and teases hair into place. The Robinson talent, close enough to Pittsburgh to be metro without the metro price tag, does a splendid job. I am now the proud owner of a kicky razor cut. It’s boyish yet playful. I adore it.
We like to play in Robinson (Town Centre.) There are plenty of popular restaurant chains nestled next to metropolitan places such as (scream of joy) Ikea, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Eddie Bauer, Macy’s, Marshalls, and JC Penney and did I mention (scream of joy) Ikea?
There is (o glory of glories) a Saks Fifth Avenue in Pittsburgh proper. It happens to be downtown in my favorite district - the Too Expensive For Most People District, which is nestled in the Fine Arts You Can’t Afford To See District and rather close to The Penn Avenue Market District With Foods That Wal-Mart Shoppers Will Not Be Able To Identify.
Back East living is very different from West Coast living. There is a refinement to it. Hollywood is plastic, be it clothing or breasts or faces. Back East is polished. You can drive down Penn Avenue in the fall and winter and see a tide of black flowing along the sidewalks and licking at the building facades. Dark trench coats shield business professionals and their expensive suits from the elements. Now and then a bright pop of red springs forth from the black sea, the blazingly outspoken emblem of an elderly socialite on her way to purchase tickets for the ballet or pick up her dry cleaning. People have manicures and those manicures are not there in order to impress others. Rather they are there because keeping one’s fingernails looking trim is expected.
Life is very different in Steubenville. It is very laid back. Women scrapbook. Men slap on ball caps and go out the door. Vehicles have Steelers emblems on them. You might see license plates from West Virginia (Weirton is just across the Ohio River.) People are kinder here.
Better Half has accidentally left his wallet in a shopping cart twice. He raced back to the market both times to discover that some good citizen has not only turned his wallet in but also left the cash tucked inside. People open doors for you and will hold that door open no matter how long it takes you to amble through. People say, “thank you” and are met with, “you are welcome.”
There are some unsavory elements that have slithered in. Most of downtown is a dead zone riddled by crime and populated by human beings who really don’t give a flaming fuck about maintaining their property, their lives or their environment.
I have just realized that my office calendar is still showing August. We can’t have that. Didn’t I mention something about a “MUST DO” list? Surely, I shall not accomplish anything on that list if I am sitting here being amused by the sounds the keys make as I type.