Checking Off Boxes

  • Put Vespa in storage [check]
  • Buy crutches, cold therapy device [check]
  • Move [check]

This past month as been full of stragegery at work, and I think that the endless drafts of management tasks and to-do lists have seeped into my personal life. Preparing for surgery is quite a lot of work, and I’ve needed a plan to keep it all managed (more or less).

For some time now I’ve had a rough checklist going with colossal looming words next to boxes like “MOVE” “HIRE INTERNS” and “GO CAMPING.” While concise and descriptive, lists like these gloss over the sub-categories such as

  • Pack
  • Buy boxes to pack
  • Cancel utilities
  • Fix nail holes in wall
  • And the dozen or so other necessary tasks within the MOVE box.

Finally I can check with authoritative vigor that heavy box and scratch it off the list. Done. Well, I also have to remember to send in that change of address form…maybe that checking off wasn’t as assertive as I’d hoped.

In any case, there was at least one triumphant box-checking moment last week, which of course happened with zero advance planning, stratagems or preparation.

Cranky at work on an ordinary Wednesday, R. called me up looking for something to do. “Plans? You expect me to have a plan? What kind of crazy-nut are you?” I spat into gChat. Reprimanded for my hostility, I was persuaded to leave my Excel task lists alone for the evening in favor of better company. We detailed the rendezvous and I headed for the West Village’s infamous seafood restaurant [SCARY B-movie voice—no, the really scary one—that’s it]
Pearl Oyster Bar.
Infamous? Yes. Notorious.

I have attempted to patronize said establishment no less than six times over the past two years, with four different people. At first plans would change, or I’d get stood up the day of. Then, a couple of redirections to different restaurants. Or—my personal favorite: show up to find darkened rooms and upturned bar stools behind locked doors signaling an impromptu and un-advertised summer vacation.

So this past Wednesday when I pulled my little Aurora up to Cornelia Street, I feared the worst—freak DoH shut down; R eaten by mutant crustaceans on her way downtown, volcanoes, earthquakes and many other catastrophes that would keep me from my lobster!

What I found instead were two empty barstools and a smiling friend. What more could a girl ask for on a warm summer’s eve?

The lobster roll, as promised, was perfect. Perfectly perfect with a sprinkle of chives, huge meaty chunks of meat and a toasty potato roll. It came to us in about 5.3 minutes, to our great delight, along with a pint of tasty San Fran ale whose name escapes me. It completed me.

No, okay, not really. But it was sufficiently delicious to keep me talking about it the whole next day at work. Lobster roll at Pearl [CHECK]. Done. The best part: I can’t wait to do it again!

So life rolls on (pun intended) and there are boxes and boxes to check before I sleep (read the pre-op procedures, review your post-op exercises and therapy). I am counting down to the big day somewhat nervously. My only hope is that I am mentally ready and am trying to be as positive as possible. I can tell you I’ll be more than happy to check “KNEE SURGERY” off the list tomorrow.


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