Thursday, October 30, 2008

OMG, Get Me to a Natural Setting ASAP

Earlier this week, I clicked on a New York Times link titled "Natural Settings Help Brain Fatigue," and this picture popped up with the story:

All I could think was: OMG, get me to a natural setting ASAP. I looked out my office window at my River North view of concrete, glass, mechanical boxes and streetlights. The only trees I could see were the potted ones on top of the condo building next door, where this one blonde lady walks a yappy little white dog every afternoon.

I mean, I grew up in a place my high school friends liked to refer to as “BFE,” so far removed was it from the glorious used car dealerships and strip malls of Middletown, our Lousiville suburb. As a child, one of my favorite activities was forcing my younger siblings to meticulously maintain dirt trails we cleared in the woods, marking them every few feet with tobacco stakes. These days, I can walk along Chicago’s lakefront path and look out at the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan, but does it count as spending time in Nature if I can swivel my head and view six lanes of traffic whizzing by on Lake Shore Drive?

A lack of true Fall Activities coupled with my intense anxiety over the election might be the reason why I’m losing so much hair. Or possibly, my persistent use of Pantene Pro-V is finally catching up with me.

Either way, I’m antsy, and so is everyone I know. As a group we’re totally defining the “diss” in dysfunction.

Two recent conversations that really put me in my place:

(While riding in Black Beauty on a Sunday afternoon)
Me: (silently to myself in my head) Man, I sure would like to carve a pumpkin tonight. It sure would be fun if someone wanted to carve a pumpkin with me.
Best Friend Jeff: (abruptly and with malice, after viewing several pumpkins on stoops): I don’t give a shit about carving a pumpkin!

(While grocery shopping at Fox & Obel that same afternoon)
Me: I’m really on a French onion soup kick. I can’t get enough of that melted cheese. Yum.
Claire (my sister): Yeah, look, there’s some French onion soup right there. It looks like worms swimming in dirt.

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