Oh, you dummy…

So I came home from a night spent staying awake at an emergency women’s shelter, flying high on the blessing of time well-spent with incredible women, but absolutely and completely exhausted. I went to sleep, knowing that at any moment, the doorbell would ring, the dog would slam herself, snarling, against the front door, and the UPS man would deliver my Christmas present from Alex.

I dozed off. The doorbell rang. It was USPS with the rest of mom’s Christmas present. It was a bit anti-climactic.

I kept myself awake, thinking at any moment the UPS man would be there. Alex was tracking the package from Italy and was so excited that I would receive and install the thoughtful gift he bought me. I knew it was on the truck. But other things came up, Alex’s assistant, Chris, came by to ask me some questions, and I was distracted from my waiting and dozing. And then it was upon me. The dog slammed against the door before the doorbell could even ring, and there at my door were two nondescript boxes that clearly did not hold the new flatscreen television for my bedroom that Alex bought to replace the 19″ 45lb television that I currently turn off with a knitting needle (because it always seems wise at the time it needs to be turned off).

I stood there at the door, mildly disappointed at these two nondescript, non-tv-holding boxes until I saw the return address label. I squealed in delight and ran for a box cutter. I had forgotten these were coming. I was so busy tearing into the boxes that when the UPS man returned with the tv, I hollered, “just leave it by the door!” I ripped and tore, pulled out an odd shaped piece of PVC and began inflating it as quickly as my lungs would allow as Chris stared at me, perplexed. In a few moments, she saw why I was so excited. It was an inflatable dummy head. Like… a mannequin head. Inflatable. And then we tore into the rest of the box and the next, identifying the various dummies. All silver and shiny, there’s a man’s torso, several women’s torsos (one with a few inches of leg), lots of heads, a toddler, and a baby.

I know. It sounds weird. These are not blow-up dolls. These are gen-u-ine inflatable mannequins for Alex’s trade shows. He will use them to display sweaters and hats and the like. They will pack light and travel well. But, seriously… who gets to open a box of $200 of inflatable mannequin body parts?!?!? It was like a sea of silver inflatable fun and way better than any bounce house. I was completely and utterly amused for ten minutes. Meanwhile, the oh-so-anticipated 32″ LCD tv sat on the front porch. This thoughtful Christmas present will bring me hours of sleepy entertainment as I fall to sleep watching yet another old episode of Law & Order, but the joy of calling Alex on Skype and talking to him through an inflated head wearing my recent hat design was unavoidably, ridiculously, childishly, sublimely fun and trumped all other considerations.

I blame it on the night I spent at the women’s shelter. I spent hours listening to a woman who has a unique grasp on reality that made me wonder why I don’t see more beauty in the everyday. I hope the effects of my time with her will be more lasting, but I do know that it was under the influence of her cosmic wisdom in that moment in which I almost lost bladder control over a box of inflatable dummies.