Catch the first part of the story here: Supermarket Diaries Part One: Just Killing Time
Grocery cart firmly in tow, I was ready to plunder the rest of the sale racks in the store. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I was convinced that if I left without spending some money I was probably going to die. I worked my way to the fat (but not that fat) section and found what I had apparently been waiting for—racks and racks of pants. Dozens—nay, hundreds—of pairs of pants (my personal shopping nemesis) in every conceivable color (okay, maybe only five different colors, but my brain was on overload) hanging there and waiting for me to attack.
Suffice it to say, I rarely have good luck with finding decent pants fit for a relatively modest extra-large woman. For every rack of pants I’ve come upon in a store, at least four pairs are too petite; one is about three sizes too small (either because someone was too lazy to put it back in the right place or just wanted to make me feel bad about myself); three “low-rise” (“make you look eight months pregnant”); and two actual possibilities that are either in puke brown or poopy green.
Which is what made my discovery, in the middle of my local supermarket, the best thing that had happened to me in a long time. There were plenty of pants to choose from. They were made from what looked like very durable material (an important factor when crawling around with kids at the library). They were in colors that were pretty. They weren’t going to put me in the poor house. But even as I reveled in the possibilities before me, there a voice in the back of my head preparing me for the inevitable disappointment that was to come…
In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I have a truly inconvenient body type that doesn’t lend itself well to beautiful clothes. Or any clothes for that matter. I don’t have an apple or a pear shaped body. I’m the proud owner of a Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum body. A Danny Devito as Penguin body. A Mike Wazowski body. Think of a coconut balancing on two uncooked spaghetti noodles…that’s my body. And pants that usually fit around my waist leave me with two yards of fabric hanging off my ass, practically dragging on the floor. Pants that fit snuggly to my legs usually don’t zip up all the way and with my hands struggling to pull the panels of fabric across my (less than hard rock) stomach, my belly button ends up looking like the gaping mouth from Munch’s “The Scream”– #truestory.
But I was feeling plucky that day, and decided to give a few pairs of a shot. I still had ten minutes before I had to really worry about getting in to work, which was plenty of time to build myself up and then knock myself down. I grabbed a few pairs that were just my size and then decided to press my luck with a pair one size down. Did I mention that I was feeling plucky?
I found a quiet aisle filled with panties and socks and tried to make my cart as inconspicuous as possible. Not that I was super paranoid about someone thumbing through my treasures as I worked my way through my own personal demons, but, hey, why take chances? I grabbed my pants and worked my way to the dressing rooms. Yes. Dressing rooms. In the store. Costco can’t even pull that shit off! Unfortunately, all of the rooms were locked and there wasn’t a soul in sight that could help me get in.
Frustrated isn’t the word I would use to explain how I felt at that moment. It was more like abandoned. Lonely. I knew for a fact that the soup aisle, at that very moment, had at least six people working and bullshitting with each other that would stop at nothing to get me the right brand of chicken noodles, but I couldn’t find a single person with a key ring that could lead me to my promised land. It sucked. But plucky is as plucky does, and I stalked my way past six (six!) aisles of clothes until I found a woman attempting to change the signs on baby bibs. Get me to a dressing room!
I can’t tell you how absolutely fantastical my time in that over-bright, slightly shabby, unforgiving mirrored room was! Or maybe I can. IT. WAS. A. MIRACLE. The pants that I had tried on in my actual size, were feeling kind of loose. KIND. OF. LOOSE. The lone pair of pants that was one size too small fit me perfectly! FIT. ME. PERFECTLY. And they were purple. PURPLE! Not puke brown or poopy green. Not striped or frilly or polka dotted or stretchy or scratchy or striped or shiny. They were just nice, sturdy, attractive purple pants. Needless to say, I was in supermarket heaven!
I quickly decided that I would buy as many pairs of pants of the smaller size that I could possibly find in various colors. But instead of being a normal trusting person and just going out and throwing them in my cart, I convinced myself that I had enough time to try all of the pants I was going to buy on—just to make sure they all really fit. Just because one pair seemed to be great, didn’t mean that they all were…So, I shuffled out of the room with no shoes on (and the perfect purple pants still clinging to my body) and set off of grab more pants.
Hurrying back to the room it never once occurred to me that the door would lock behind me. I mean, not even once. I was so lost in a fog of heady wonderment that a marching band could have crossed my path and I wouldn’t have noticed. My determination to walk out of the store with several pairs of pants blinded me to the predicament I had found myself in. But this time, instead of merely feeling abandoned, I felt a flash of panic as well. My purse was in there. My phone was in there. My actual pants were in there. I shuffled up and down the entire clothing section and couldn’t even find the damned baby bib lady. I was truly alone. And getting more pissed off by the minute.
I found a phone nearby with a sticker inviting me to call a certain number if I needed assistance. Did I need assistance? Uh, yeah. I calmly (yay, me!) asked for someone come and let me into my room and waited for the Calvary to arrive. The store intercom crackled to life and the voice of a disembodied eight year old girl asked for someone to get off their ass and help the abandoned clothes shopper freaking out by the dressing rooms. Voices wafted past me as I waited, and waited, and waited. For like a year, I swear (okay, about three minutes) until my head was ready to explode.
Time was passing by and I was getting to the point where I was really going to have to hurry to make it to work on time. I still had actual grocery shopping to do. I finally realized that no one was going to help me and that if I tried calling again, it was just going to waste more of my time. I stalked back to the dressing room and began to study the door. Luckily it wasn’t a door that touched all the way to the floor, but it also wasn’t off the floor high enough for me to feel comfortable crawling under it. But what other choice did I have? I wasn’t going to break it down (yet). I hiked the purple pants up and shimmied my way under and through. I didn’t think about messing up the pants or how my ass looked trying to squeeze under the door and I fixed the problem. I am so badass when I have to be.
After getting dressed and grabbing all of my things, I found my (untouched) grocery cart and filled it with my new best friends. Except for the purple pants. I went and replaced them with a new, unused, not crawled on the floor with them pair of purple pants. I mean, come on…
(to be continued)