Friday, February 01, 2008

Running Down the Halls at 10pm on a Friday Night

This is the picture I will paint for you after a long day of stressing over shoe boxes...
Yes, ordinary, common place, forgotten shoe boxes.

Simple items, that at the time, seem like unimportant packaging whose only function is to separate you from the thing you want.

In this scenario it symbolizes an entire world to a child. A world that begins with fingers, nimbly tearing bits of paper and gluing them perfectly into place to crystalize concepts and ideas that are all their own. And in that small box is a place that is entirely their own. They become understandably upset if any harm comes to it while in someone else's care. So upon me is the heavy burden of protecting entire galaxies of dreams and creations, brought to fruition in the form of paper and clay. Strewn with care about the back seat of my car till I can no longer see out the windows, but never daring to remove them for fear of the scorn of a disappointed child and the crushing looks that accompany the loss of a treasured object.

So on with my day, that led me to running at full speed down the hallways of my school at 10 pm, rushing to the alarm system, fumbling for keys, and praying the code I quickly scribbled into a damp piece of paper in the rain would save me from the ear-splitting sound that I have heard only once before and would do anything to avoid. It was already a long night, the news crew would have made it unbearable.

So on with the story... How shoe boxes have plagued my day... and so much more...
After school I know I have a project for my weekend class where they will be making books with clay and shoe boxes, as usual. So I call Payless, no dice, and then lean on my close second of Macy's. They are always very nice and help me out. So I call them up and am greeted by a man named Todd. I tell Todd the situation and he says to come on down and they will have the 30-some odd boxes waiting for me. I am overcome with joy and fly off in my car, only to arrive moments later...

I meet Todd at the counter, remind him of our conversation moments earlier and wait patiently. He steps away for a moment, reassuringly smiles and says that Pam will take care of me. I stand there motionless for a moment, and Pam's radar goes off. She asks if there is anything I need help with and I explain that Todd had told me that Pam could help me find some shoe boxes...
Blank stare (part one of what I can now only assume was part of a much larger conspiracy)
"Boxes? We don't have any boxes...."
(very sad now, after calling two places, being assured all was well, getting in my car in the rain and driving clear across town)
In a rude tone she makes it quite clear she will not be helping me....
So I sulkingly scurry through the mall on what has now become the amazing race against time in a soon closing mall.

Gotchaks: 4 boxes (after calling 2 managers, and clearly marking NON-Returnable in sharpie over my pretty boxes, like there is some hidden scam I am not aware of where I can fill the boxes with bricks and sell them in the streets! Not likely...)

Foot Locker: No Boxes, except gift ones that fold up and collapse if looked at

Lady Foot locker: No Boxes

Charlette Rose: No Boxes

Champion: 1 Box

Copelands: No Boxes, and a man (who I assume was the manager) decided to give me the most interesting response of the evening. After I asked if he had any shoe boxes, he looked at me like I was some kind of criminal, (it must be my shirt) and felt it necessary to tell me the in depth policy of the company on the issue, when a simple no would have sufficed.
He explained that all boxes were to be crushed on sight, and that anyone leaving with said shoe boxes was assumed to be stealing merchandise and dealt with accordingly. I appreciate the insight, but didn't really care to know. So on I went.

JC Penny: 2 Boxes

Clear across town...

Payless Shoes: 4 boxes

Fred Myers: 3 boxes

Which brings us up to speed, where I arrive home, thinking of the crushed faces that I will see upon arriving at school without a home for the many people who are going to come into existence in the morning.

So of course, I have a back up plan, though not much of one... I have been doing projects at my school with boxes as well... And had a few extra, just enough to help me out now... Not the 27 I need by far, but every little bit helps...

So I call up one of my colleagues, and she says, "You need the code, don't you" I didn't event ask, she knew that if I was calling at 10 pm on Friday night, I obviously was planning on breaking into the building for shoe-boxes...

So Autumn and I jump in the car, pull up on the side, take a few deep breaths, and prepare to run.

I am no good with alarm systems and know I have only a few minutes to get it to turn off... and no guarantee I will get the code right.

So I am trying to get in and out as quick as possible...

It would have been a good day for cameras...

As soon as the door was open, we were running down the halls at full speed... Screeching around the corner before slamming into the library door.

Everything is more fun if you are running as fast as you can. It must have been an entertaining sight from outside.

Good, times, scored about 10 more boxes and am closer to what I need...

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