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The creature comforts in being a creature of habit

Submitted by on Wednesday, 30 December 2009 2 Comments

It had the potential to get testy this morning at Starbuck’s, when Reading Man came in with his four books and commandeered the corner table.

Avon Lady, who usually holds court from that corner, did a double take after ordering her iced chai. She deposited her laptop and bags of samples and catalogs on a nearby table, but not before sniffing at Reading Man.

And how do I know? Because I watched it all from the circular table beside both a window and an outlet. It’s the same office away from home office I occupy every time I go to this particular Starbucks.

Yes, we are creatures of habit.

Some of it comes in handy – put your keys and your shoes in the same place every time you come home and you’ll always be able to find them when you’re ready to leave again. It works for me, though I still haven’t been able to convince anyone else in our house to give it a try.

Some of it is silly, though just as deeply ingrained. Every morning when I drop Boots off at preschool, I park in the same spot. It’s next to another mom who always parks her car in the same spot, which we could find even in a blizzard because there’s always a school-bus yellow Ford pickup with a lift kit in the very next spot.

“Why do you always park in the same place?” Boots asks every morning.

“I don’t know, babes. I just do,” I always say.

Maybe he’s reached the point where he finds the same strange, small comfort in asking the question as I do in parking in the same spot. Once we’re inside, though, the kid who wonders why I do the same thing every morning proceeds to launch into a routine both of us could do from memory.

“Mommy, what are we going to learn today?” I check the chart posted next to his classroom and tell him.

“Mommy, what are we going to have for snack today?” I read from the posted menu, and then he surveys the hall.

“Mommy, B isn’t here yet. Why is he late?”

Ah, B, the wildcard in our morning. His parents never have to park in the same spot, and they’re not shackled to a clock that screams “YOU’RE LATE” if you walk out the door one minute past the usual time.

One of these days, I’m going to try living the life of B. I will walk out the door at 7:47 instead of 7:45, and I won’t sniff if another car is parked in “my space” when I get to school.

Who knows where it will lead? Perhaps to a square table all the way across the room from Avon Lady the next time I visit this Starbucks.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • MtnMom said:

    Reminds me of chair wars at church and table wars at the potlucks. These are silent wars cuz we are decent Christians and don’t wanna make a public scene. But the sniffing is unmistakable! And the way we grab up our belongings when someone ignores our purse in the chair or on the table, a God established method of indicating when a decent Christian lady has saved her spot! =D

  • Debra said:

    I’m filing the purse thing away for future reference, as well as switching away from the purslet to a bigger, chair-hogging model as soon as I get home.