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  • Ignorance Is Bliss. And A Lot Less Work.

    May 17, 2006

    I’ve always prided myself on my thirst for knowledge, my quest for information. Information IS power. Ha. I used to really believe that. Sometimes information is a big pain in the buhtootie. Case in point: As I was putting away some things in Sean’s room the other day, I was wondering “What is that smell?” Then I realized that I didn’t really want to know. I could go on living quite well without that piece of information. Ignorance CAN be bliss. Or if not bliss, then at least a whole lot less trouble than tracking down a smell and cleaning something up.

    One holiday season, when I was in my 20s, I was shopping on my lunch hour in the cosmetics and perfume department in what was Sanger Harris at the time, in downtown Dallas. The store was beautiful — packed with glitzy, sparkly, fabulous eye-catching displays of merchandise. Shoppers were bustling around like, well, Christmas shoppers on their lunch hour. Anyway, I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but somehow I manage to knock over a table that previously had been stacked to the ceiling with gift boxes of perfume. Not only did all the boxes tumble down and scatter to all corners of the store, but some of the bottles broke open. Not a lovely sight and ironically, not a lovely smell.

    You might think that someone would run over and shout, “The hell?!” or “Ma’am you’re going to have to pay for this.” Or what I was hoping to hear: “Congratulations! You’re on Candid Camera!” But no one even seemed to notice me standing there with boxes of perfume around my ankles. Except for probably some guy in the security office who was laughing his head off and saying something like, “Ernie, wake up! You gotta see this!” It was surreal. It was like I was invisible. Not one clerk made eye contact with me. Not even a sideways glance of distain or pity. A woman standing knee deep in a display of perfume was not information in the “power” category. It was in the “I don’t want to know because then I will have to stop what I’m doing and clean this mess up” category. Everyone just continued to breeze past me, stepping over the busted bottles, pretending not to notice the sickening sweet stench of Eau Du Klutz.

    In another similar incident, several years later at the grocery store, I bumped my shopping cart into a cardboard display of fingernail polish that was artfully displayed in the Hamburger Helper aisle. In my defense, I think retailers stack stuff in such a way to increase the potential for amusing security video footage, which they later show at the store Christmas party. Anyway, the display gave way, and you guessed it – nail polish everywhere. Tropical Pink, Lady in Red and Flamingo Frost oozing malodorously down aisle three. I stood there waiting for the “Klutz Clean up on aisle three” announcement. But again, no one seemed to notice, even though shoppers were holding hankies over their mouths and gasping for air.

    And so the other day, as I was sitting at my desk, I heard Antique Daddy and Sean rustling around in the kitchen. Then I heard a CRASH! followed by SPLAT! And that’s when I went into store clerk mode certain only of the fact that, unless the fire department showed up, there was information in the kitchen that I didn’t really need to know.

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