Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What We Notice

In this shop window reflection I think I'm perfectly recognizable. Just the shape of the head, the glimpse of glasses, the unruly hair. I was exploring a little strip of North Loop yesterday where there are some weird shops. I can always find something to post here but I quickly run out of current material for Austin Daily Photo.

It's amazing what people notice. For example: I almost always wear black shoes. They tend to go with black and gray, after all, and those are my favorite colors. I always felt I should own brown shoes, however. So I've ended up with several pairs, not often worn. A couple of times in the last few weeks, I've worn brown shoes. Yesterday, I put on a sort of brownish shirt and greenish khakis and it seemed that the brown loafers would look good. I've been trying to wear stuff in my closet to see if I really, really should be keeping each article of clothing and pair of shoes for the new, simpler life. As it happens, I saw my dad both times that I was wearing these loafers.

Dad remarked on the brown shoes the first time I wore them. Yesterday he said as soon as I saw him, "She's wearing the brown shoes again."

You wouldn't think he would notice.

It's funny what I notice, too, among all the things I'm 'processing' in this downsizing. Yesterday I realized as I sorted books that the early nineties was an era when we bought books with abandon. I was trying to get rid of some books, but found myself having trouble putting down a story collection copyrighted 1993. Later I found myself walking around with a receipt from 1993 destined for the shredder (even though the credit card number was not even valid any longer). I had some current receipts for logging into the budget in my hand, too. What are the odds?

A couple of days ago I was cleaning out some storage containers I'd been through a couple of times. I found some posters I'd kept over the years but never framed. There were a couple I remembered having, but would probably not have remembered where I put them: a poster from the 1972 Oktoberfest and one of the Berlin Wall commemorating its fall in 1989. But there was another tube mailed to me from a friend who lived in California in 1988. And inside was a poster from a winery her relatives had at the time in Sonoma Valley. As it happens I was having lunch with her yesterday. I took her the poster and in the twenty years since she'd sent it both of us had completely forgotten it. She seemed happy to have it, though, and said she didn't have one like it.

It's funny what we notice. And what we overlook in every minute of our existence. Never mind what we forget after we take notice.

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