I really want Mary to take off as my nickname. I’ve started using it at Starbucks and other situations where people don’t know my real name. I picture her – my new alter ego – as someone that does not have difficulty making the transition from vegetarian to vegan (but the CHEESE you guys?! That wine-soaked cheese from Trader Joe’s. All day long.) and also as someone that can completely restrain herself from eating an entire bag of granola. She is just generally good with boundaries and self-restraint, in a way that Erin is not.
Other things Mary would not do:
Wear her shirt inside out to church: The other church-folk didn’t notice, or maybe they were too church-y to tell me? And I was too under-slept to notice when I put it on. And maybe not church-y enough myself? Regardless, it was a church in Freedom, which if you haven’t been to, is the sweetest little Northern New Hampshire town to ever exist, which will be proven to you when someone hands you a homemade loaf of bread out of a cloth lined basket she had just in case a new person (c’est moi) arrived that morning. (Right? Sweetest ever?)
Side note: It takes a lot more than an inside-out shirt to embarrass me these days, but for some reason since it was in church it felt slightly scandalous, like I may as well have had smeared lipstick and mascara under my eyes.
Introduce her new next door neighbor to her other next door neighbor as Mary: I totally just did that. I was sitting outside writing the above to you guys, and a neighbor came over to talk to me, and in my HEAD, she said her name was Mary. And she talked for a long time, and while she was talking, I was thinking how funny it was that her name was Mary. And I couldn’t wait to tell you guys about it. And then another neighbor came over, and I immediately said, “Oh, do you know Mary?” and my new friend Mary said:
Actually, my name is Vickie.
Continue to talk to you guys about Rite Aid even though you’re totally sick of hearing it: I have had some solo time over the past few weeks, and decided to use some of it to explore the trails around here – lofty ambitions considering I’ve been lost twice already doing this very thing. But there was this one that I’d been dying to run on forever – because it looked so magical. See here:
Doesn’t it look magical? And endless? So, endlessly magical?
Surely, it would lead to miles of magical trails along the ocean. Perhaps Narnia, or at the very least, Diagon Alley. Surely, there would be bunnies and deer and other magical animals along the way. Turns out, though, it’s less than a quarter of a mile long. And had I taken a second to think through the direction (something I’m not regularly thinking through) – I would have realized where it was going to end up, which was Rite Aid.
Avoid writing the story she’s supposed to read a week from today in Portsmouth: I’m story-stuck, you guys, and therefore, a little nervous. Like – not in everyday life (I think neighbor-Vickie already broke up with me because I forced her to listen to two stories, and we just met? And then called her Mary?) I think it’s just because it’s about quitting, and every time I start writing the quitting-stories feel especially tough, because they were quitting? And then I picture myself talking through them in front of an audience and the recurring dream I used to have about being naked in the junior high cafeteria pops in my head. But Mary, you guys – she would totally have no problem with that. Both writing the quitting story, and being naked in the junior high cafeteria.
Maybe Mary should be my stage name?
Anyway – come next week, if you’re close to the Portsmouth area. I promise I will wear my clothes, and they will all be on the right way. I will not force you to stop at the Rite Aid on the way to 3S because they have wine coolers at the check out and Barefoot Spritzers and an American flag poncho that just looks like good times, I will simply buy you a cocktail in Portsmouth.
And – I won’t call you Mary.