Monday, December 23, 2013

Why I love SmartPak: the store's siren song

I'm always happy when I can get to SmartPak.
It's not Greek to me. I know exactly why I love the SmartPak store on Rte. 9 in Natick. Truly, I could be trapped there forever, and not mind one bit.

Are you not getting my metaphor? Did you not read The Odyssey? The Sirens of Greek mythology lured sailors to their deaths with their irresistible song.

The only danger here, an ocean away from the rocky Sicilian islands said to be the Sirens' home, is the highway, not the sirens themselves.

Let me set the scene: Saturday afternoon, nothing to do. I'm bored with the usual routine, so I head down Grove Road. Mom notices, too late, and is powerless to stop me. As usual.

Did anyone notice that "usual routine" seems more than a bit redundant? The dictionary definitions don't really help here. Usual: habitually occurring or done; that which is customary. Routine: a sequence of actions regularly followed.

I feel the pull of the store. It's not the free treats on the counter. It's not the smell of the saddles, or the dog bones snug in a basket, just at nose-level.

Instead, it's this. The moment I walk in, I'm surrounded by young women. Giving me hugs, kisses, cooing in my ear,  praising my good looks, charm and gentleness. It was almost too much. Almost.

Mom always says that I am the pony she never got to have. I guess that's part of my charm. Apparently, the SmartPak women think so, too.