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  • Writer's pictureSharon Uy

#42. A Memory

In the strip mall on the corner of Topanga and Ventura is The Container Store. Not to be confused, of course, with A Container Store. It used to be a Rite Aid for a long while, but in the late 1980s, I could have sworn it was a B. Dalton.


Whichever it was, we'd go often enough that my parents didn't feel the need to monitor my whereabouts every second. There was one particular day I remember skipping down the aisles, happy as any four- or five-year-old clam could be, to be spending a Saturday morning with her family at a (probably) B. Dalton.


Down one aisle and onto the next, I saw my dad standing towards the end of one. I could tell by the jeans, appropriately starched and pressed, maybe Lees or Wranglers. I ran towards him, hugged one of his legs, and squealed, "Daddy!" I skipped away, wondering for the tiniest moment why he didn't react, didn't pat me on the head or tell me hello. A few more skips and I can't remember whether I turned around. I must have, because at some point I realized that it wasn't my dad I'd clamped onto and squeezed. It was an employee of the (probably) B. Dalton, a man with long hair gathered in a low ponytail wearing the same-enough sneakers and jeans as my dad.

I remember feeling immediately self conscious and a little bit horrified, hoping my blunder would remain a secret between us, or better yet, that he'd forget it immediately. (I obviously haven't.) It's not something I think about often. I go years without remembering, but the memory popped up in my mind a few days ago, and it made me wonder how self consciousness and embarrassment are born, were born in me.

I feel I must have spent (er, wasted?) a good amount of time and energy in my life trying to avoid feeling embarrassed, and I'm glad the prophecy I heard growing up is turning out to be true, that the older you get, the less you truly give a shit about how you appear to others.


On an unrelated note, even though, let's get real, everything is interrelated, I'd like to leave you with this quote by Ram Dass that I was reminded of in a yoga class I took, then imparted in a yoga class I taught:

"In meditation we can watch the itch instead of scratching it."

May you find this week a moment or two of watching the itch instead of scratching it.


- As always, with love and thanks,


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