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Slices of Life: Squirrel: It's a term of endearment
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My husband says I am a squirrel. Don't take it the wrong way. It's a term of endearment as well as a fairly accurate descriptor (if I am being honest). It's become a nickname of sorts. It all started at the superstore.

About a month ago, we stopped to shop for a few things. We entered through the automatic doors and headed toward the first item on our list. But en route, up ahead, on the right, was a display of gloves - on clearance. I instinctively veered right to check them out because my husband could use a pair.

Before I got to the gloves, however, I was confronted with a roadblock. Two long lost friends (but strangers to me) had apparently rediscovered each other in front of the magazine rack and were in the middle of a long and drawn-out conversation in the middle of the aisle. They were oblivious that their bodies and carts were obstructing any forward progress of other impatient patrons who wished to actually shop during their shopping time. I took a quick left turn to avoid the reunion crew and upon doing so noted a sign advertising 30 percent off a fancy name brand of socks. I darted left to access the socks and realized my husband was no longer behind me.

(He always walks behind me in the store. He says it is because I am a squirrel.)

I abandoned the socks and gloves and retraced my steps - dodging the long-lost friends a second time. I found my husband right where I'd left him: At the entrance to the store.

This was an easy find. Sometimes I get so far ahead that I lose him completely. (Or better put, he loses me.) When that happens, I call him on his cell. Aisle two calling aisle four. I've had to do this more than once (or twice). He has a hard time keeping up with my lefts, rights, darts and dashes up one aisle and down the other - in the haphazard, unpredictable fashion akin to a squirrel.

Hence the nickname.

Sometimes I hear him comment when I suddenly veer left or shift right. From a step or two behind me he'll respond with a single word, "Squirrel!"

We've gotten a few good chuckles out of that one.

I don't mind being compared to a squirrel. I've always liked the little fuzzy rodents. They're cute. And I fully realize shopping with me is like tracking a squirrel that is flitting from tree to grass to porch, digging and burying nuts.

I've always associated my squirrel behavior with the grocery, department and superstore. This weekend, I realized I'm much more squirrelly than I thought.

On Saturday morning, I decided to light a candle to enhance the kitchen ambiance. As I looked for the matches, I noticed a lone sock on the floor. It needed to go to the laundry pile. On my way to the laundry, I found two cans of soda - both half empty. They needed to go to the recycling bin. On the way there, I found a couple of tennis balls. As I flitted from one room to the next de-cluttering various untidy items, I noticed the window over the sink was splotched and in need of a cleaning. We were out of paper towels (to clean the window) so I went to put that on the ever-growing grocery list. I couldn't find the list, but did come upon a couple of bills that needed paying. I went online to make the payments, but got caught up with email

instead ...

It's then I realized why my husband calls me a squirrel. He's got good reason.

I never did get around to lighting the candle.

- Jill Pertler's column appears Thursdays in the Times. She can be reached at