Okay, so I have this thing where if I have even twenty minutes to spare before I’m expected at work I head to the supermarket. But not just any average supermarket—I’m talking the deluxe version with sushi near one side of the building and a jewelry store near the other. Apparently there is something in my DNA that requires that I find something completely useless to buy every day to give my life validity. I’ve walked out with nothing (not that I didn’t try) and I’ve walked out with two bags filled of 80% off holiday items that I will immediately forget about until they are pulled out the next year. It’s heady enough when I’m using my own money I find contentment in a purchase, but when I can manage to find something I imagine will be useful in the library and can use company money?! Well, let’s just say that my head comes pretty damned close to exploding from the euphoria.
Not too long ago I was in a familiar situation—I walked into the supermarket and straight into the clothing section. Yes, my supermarket has a clothing section. And it wasn’t just a normal day either because everything was 60% off. I am not ashamed to say that I almost peed my pants a little from the excitement. It’s not that I needed anything in particular to add to my closet, I just like the few seconds before the hunt (when anything is possible). Earlier, (when I was driving around and cursing other store customers as they took their sweet ass time crossing in the parking lot) life was just sort of, I don’t know, there, and not ten seconds through the doors the possibilities before me were amazing.
Now, I have to take a minute here to acknowledge that I own many clothes that have come from the supermarket. And they’re cute and awesome. I’ve been to bigger, trendier stores that are specific to bigger (trying to be trendier) girls like me and have been terribly disappointed, but that hasn’t happened at my super store yet. Workout clothes, boots, socks, tights, cute pullovers…I’ve purchased them all from there. But I always seem to need more.
I picked my way through the long sleeved shirts that I remember from last year’s end of holiday sale and quickly passed them by. I scoffed at the inevitable floral and nautical prints that always seem to be in the plus size section of every store on the planet. I grabbed one gorgeous turquoise top that made my heart skip a beat and immediately put it back in disgust when I realized someone had put a size medium on the XL rack. Asshole. But now that I say that I’m realizing that I didn’t put it back to its rightful place either. I’m an asshole. But, I guess I’ve always known that—just for a different reason(s).
It hurt my heart to know that I wasn’t finding anything on that rack and moved over to the XXL rack. Not gonna lie, it made me feel good to know that I was probably going to have no luck finding anything that wouldn’t be entirely too big for me. I knew that I was fat but not that fat (anymore) and just kind of looked because I couldn’t not look. Low and behold there was another of the gorgeous turquoise tops that I loved. I hesitated. What if it was another medium? I didn’t think I could take that kind of rejection.
I pulled it slowly off the rack and immediately got it tied up and tangled with the shirt next to it. Was this my life or what? After ripping them apart (and trying to repair a little damage by tucking the torn tag from the unwanted shirt as best I could somewhere near the collar area) I had my prize. And it was a size large. Still too small for me, but enough of a prize to hold on to. Things were looking pretty good.
I continued on my quest and gave a cursory glance to the rack of kid’s clothes over in the corner. I always look and I’m always disappointed. As the mother of a boy it’s mandatory to look in sales racks for decent pants or jeans that don’t cost an arm and a leg—even though I know there aren’t going to be any there. After ten years I’ve come to realize that if I ever do find those elusive “good but cheap” pants it will be the equivalent of finding the Holy Grail. I didn’t peruse too long.
Inevitably, I soon found myself in predicament that I partake in far too often. Did I need a cart or not? I only had one shirt but I was heading further into the bowels of the building and there were still two lanes of sales clothes to go through. Did I assume that I wasn’t going to find anything else, or was I going to luck out and hit the mother lode? Would I need the strength of two arms to push my way through the clothing that had been crammed onto a small rack? Would I need to have a cart to hide the turquoise shirt I so desperately (might) want to buy? Well yeah, if I needed to hide it from the suspicious looking grandma that seemed to be hovering too close to me…Okay, I needed a cart.
I drifted toward the door and quickly calculated where to stash the shirt so I could go outside and someone wouldn’t find it (and I wouldn’t get in trouble for shoplifting). One quick fold and one quick tuck and one package of thank you cards later I ran out to get the cart…
(to be continued)