Until this past weekend, I never understood people who did puzzles – especially those who glue them together when they’re done. Why not just get a poster? But about a week ago, my mom sent me out at 1am for some things from the grocery store. Well the only grocery store to go to that late is Walmart so off to Walmart I went. And lord knows that even in the middle of the night, you’re going to have to wait in line behind idiots – even if it IS the express lane. Well the lady in front of me was buying puzzles – lots of them. She had about 7 different boxes which each contained 10 or 11 puzzles 500-800 piece puzzles. She was getting them for her father for fathers day (see, I talk to people). I asked her how much they were out of curiosity and they were only 5 bucks each (clearance)! Well, I’d have bought some if I hadn’t already walked all over the store and if they weren’t, at that moment, 3 foot-ball fields away. So I forgot about it.

Then Thursday, while were celebrating my sister’s birthday, I mentioned the puzzles that were sp cheap. Well, my other sister jumped on it – apparently she’s into doing puzzles now (living in a halfway house out of rehab where you have regular check in times and no cable or internet apparently affords you a lot of free time. Plus she just got off lockdown-probation on Thursday for missing some of her check-ins). I wish I had known that because HER birthday is next week. I told her this and we decided to go by Walmart after dinner to buy some puzzles. I bought her two 11-puzzle boxes for her birthday (which I then took home and wrapped so I could act like she didn’t already know what they were) and she bought herself another. And since they were so cheap – and I myself, don’t have a life, cable, or internet access – I bought a box of puzzles for myself. (As a side note – they had the special-edition 90’s edition Trivial Persuit for 20 dollars. I wanted that SO bad. Of course I didn’t have a spare 20 dollars, but I’d have like to have gotten it so I could keep it at my place and pretend like not only and I smart enough to play such a game, but I also have friends that come over and play with me).

So Friday when I came home to no friends to hang out with, no cable to zone out on, and no internet to surf – I pulled out one of the puzzles. My god – puzzles are fucking hard. I must have never done an “adult” puzzle before because I found myself seriously questioning if this was actually possible. All these tiny little pieces that are all the same shape and most of them have no identifying characteristic what-so-ever. But I set out to do it. It was a picture of 3 penguins. 3 black-and-white penguins standing in white snow. There were a lot of white pieces. A lot of almost identical white pieces. Lots of them. I worked on that puzzle for 3 days and finally, last night, I beat it. Yes, I finished it – every single white piece in it’s place (some with chew marks from Jack who only destroyed my efforts twice the whole weekend).

It was very satisfying. Almost like creating something – and we all know I like to make things. But usually when I make things – no matter how hard and tedious they are, I know that in the end, I may go through hell and back – but it’s gonna get done, dammit. But in this puzzle – I seriously questioned my ability and will to finish. I mean I had to take pieces and just randomly see if they fit – then turn them and see if they fit that way – and then move to the next little bump and see if it fit there – and I did this FOR DAYS.

And now its sitting there in the floor. Now what?

Do I just take it apart and put it in a ziplock bag? I mean what are you supposed to do with it – that was hard work! So now I understand why people glue them together. They get kinda attached and don’t want to destroy it. But what the hell do I do with it if I glue it together? Shove it in the closet? And as to the never understanding why they didn’t just get a poster – I get that now too. A puzzle has a certain look to it – the pattern of the pieces and the way they are never all flat gives it a nice weird overlaid patter to it. The light bounces off each piece in a different way – it’s very interesting. Though I still have no desire to keep it. I guess I’ll put it in a baggy and move on to one of the other 11 puzzles in the box. Anyone want a slightly chewed penguin puzzle?

As a tangent note – I distinctly remember the last puzzle I put together. It was a rainforest puzzle that I did at least 8 years ago. Me and Kevin Freeze put it together in after-school-care. And no, we weren’t IN after-school-care -- we were the workers. We worked hard for that money. And me and Kevin were crushing on each other so the puzzle gave us the great opportunity to hover next to each other and occasionally “accidentally” touch each other as we reached for pieces. Ahhh, Kevin. I crushed on him so bad. And he really liked me too – only I was too crazy and messed up to ever realize it. Apparently he thought I rejected him – how fucking messed up is that? I HAD A CHANCE WITH SOMEONE AND I MISSED IT – and not just someone but a total sweet heart who was funny and the most popular guy in our school (smart too). Kevin, if you ever google your name and find this blog – hi, it’s Karen – remember me? Well dammit, give me a call – I live in Huntsville now. Dude, I didn’t know you liked me too – why didn’t you just come out and say it? I looked forward to work everyday just so we could hang out. All the seniors teased me because we were friends and I was already so self conscious… And then you quit day care and went out with Lauren. LAUREN? My lord – you’re a total sweet heart and she was a total bitch – what’s up with that? She was so mean to you – I wanted to kill her. Anyway, that’s a tad of a regret there. Sorry.


Anonymous Leah said...

I heart puzzles. If you get done and want to get rid of them, I'd totally pay to ship them my way. I think they're great fun. I don't even mind a few little chew marks (I have a cat too).

12:24 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Awesome, I'll send them your way then. I'll wait until I have more than just one to send though -- I've got twelve so maybe after 6 I'll send them your way. I'll try to make sure Jack doesn't chew up the others ;) He didn't chew them much -- he was just mad that the puzzle was getting more attention than him. And hes got this weird chewing thing that no one can help me understand. He has to bite everything. Today in the kitchen, I was making eggs for breakfast and he waltzed in and opened one of the bottom cabinets (I swear hes a genius), climed inside and bit the cabinet hardware (ok, maybe not genius). If hes near something -- he feels the need to bite it be it metal, glass, wood, anything. In the case of the puzzle, he was sitting next to me and I had gathered up all the pieces that had any blue and he decided to gnaw on the pile for a second. It's weird.

I'd offer to buy the sets that were on clerance for ya but they were in Bham and I've already returned to Huntsville.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Karen said...


^ Thats what it's like -- but that's not the set I got. I think my sister got that one. There were like 5 different sets.

2:06 PM  

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