The Scene: Women sitting at vanity in her small Manhattan bedroom, blowdrying her hair.
Protagonist smells something noxious.
Protagonist immediately shuts off blow dryer, looks at it suspiciously, and unplugs it from extension cord. She immediately goes through her apartment, smelling things in an attempt to find source of smell.
Unable to trace the noxious smell to its source, she assumes its blow dryer related and pulls extension cord out of wall, and shuts the switch that electrifies this area of the apartment.
She begins to feel the wall to see if its hot, even though she rationally knows that the wires and such are coated because this is a high rise and has to meet certain safety standards.
Not satisfied with her detective work, protagonist calls up building handyman to make sure all is right with apartment.
He patiently tells her that yes, as the blow dryer uses a lot of power, it probably shorted out the very cheap extension cord that it was plugged into. He checks everything, and flips the switch to restore power in this area, and tells woman to get a better extension cord.
Which protagonist immediately does. She goes to the hell that is Home Depot and stands blindly in the aisle that contains extension cords, cursing the Gods that her one friend that actually speaks hardware is not available for a consultation. She ends up with the Mercedes of extension cords, because more expensive must be better, right?
Now meanwhile, as the protagonist was making the fifteen minute walk to Home Depot, she started to not feel well. But she needed to get a new cord.
After she utilized the self check out, she continued on her errands. Our protagonist had a list. The protagonist must follow the list at all costs. She was already off track due to extension cordgate.
As she continued to Sixth Avenue, she started to feel worse. But alas, she really needed to buy a beauty blender, black leggings and a canvas container from container store. Remember- this was her to do list for the day. These things could not possibly wait till next week. Blasphemy. She needed to have the beauty blender and she needed it now!
So she trudged on.
And promptly got sick at Bed Bath and Beyond.
After she left the bathroom, she briefly considered going to Old Navy…
But she relented and began the fifteen minute walk home.
And all she could think about on that walk home was how she accomplished nothing of what she set out to do that afternoon.
Our protagonist (I’m not going to call her a hero) was perfectly willing to make sure that the electric and her apartment building were safe, which she should. But she was unable to recognize that maybe she should listen to her body when it’s telling her to stop. She immediately went into action when it was about others, but pushed it aside when it was about her.
And our protagonist can’t help but wonder how many others are just like her- taking care of the needs of others but not listening to their own bodies and minds. And she hopes that maybe at least one of them will listen to this cautionary tale….