I’ve always thought, in fact I am sure of it, that the internet was created for me so I would not have to endure shopping, I don’t often have to enter a physical store, look around, make my purchases and then just leave. But then I think I would not get significant people-watching time if I did not venture out into the retail world. The only downside to online shopping is book buying. I mean, it gives me A LOT of gratification to just point and shoot and then in a day or so BOOKS magically appear in my mailbox. But then, because I have been waiting in painful anticipation, I tear open the packages and ruffle through the pages and smell the good ink in a literary orgy of smug, intelligent delight. It’s not pretty. I am better behaved in an actual bookstore.
Yesterday I had to shop in a store.
In several stores.
First I desperately needed shoes for work that covered my entire foot because Tennessee has gotten a little chilly in the last few days. My sandals have gone bye-bye for the season and my clunky collection of Doc Martens is lined up on the floor of my closet like the good little, utilitarian soldiers they are. But I still needed a couple pairs of black and brown shoes to wear to work and let Holly know that I care about my work appearance beyond just bathing and showing up.
I can hear her…
“But Geeg, you always look fine…”
And I would say…
“But I want to look MAHVALOUS so let me buy the shoes and I’ll stop wearing that one black skirt everyday that covers my old crappy sandals.”
So I went to one of those big shoe warehouses that put all the four inch heels in the front rows I assume for the tarts and hookers who need such bunion-producing items in their lives. I headed over to the sensible black flats. Within minutes I found not only a black pair in my size, but a brown pair as well.
I was emboldened.
I walked over to the boots section.
Now I may have mentioned once or twice that I have giant Ukrainian calves. Folks, I have giant Ukrainian calves. Have you seen all those sweet little ballet flats that pretty little girls pirouette around in and they look so innocent and demure? Well, I can’t wear shoes of such delicacy because my giant Ukrainian calves make my feet look like I am bringing footbinding back into vogue.
But remember shoe success had given me resurrected hope that I might possibly find a tall boot and look like all the other cool girls. I say other cool girls because I am not totally lacking in cool. But I make up for it in calf girth.
I saw a pair of boots on the sale rack no less and in my size. I couldn’t even get my foot into the entire boot because no part of the top part of the boot (I am sure there is some kind of boot anatomy nomenclature, but I wouldn’t know because I don’t have any tall boots) could fit over my calf. Several boots later and I was starting to sweat and wanted to cry because I had more shopping to do and my adventursome spirit was waning as a graveyard of boot corpses littered the floor.
“Ma’am do you need help with anything?”
Yes, if you have a box cutter could you please lop off about four inches off of each calf? I won’t worry about scarring because I will have tall boots that cover them.
“No, thank you. I am mortified just fine on my own.”
So on to my next shopping quest.
A coat for the Kid.
Actually I bought him a coat and my eagle eye mom vision for sizing him apparently now has some flaws because he has graduated from the boys’ section to the men’s section and I was in denial, but I can no longer ignore my fate that clothes are about to cost more.
I had to return a coat I already purchased for him. The Kid informed me that a winter coat would be a lot more effective if the sleeves extended below his forearms. I agreed with this observation and bopped over to Old Navy to return the teeny tiny coat I bought and continued the quest.
An ADORABLE guy took my return. He was tall and had wonderful dreadlocks and a multitude of woven bracelets and Halloween garland around his neck. His voice sounded like he was sucking helium all morning. But a sweeter, more pleasant sales clerk I will never find.
I managed to find a few more items for the Kid and stood in the same line again because I loved my adorable sales sweetie.
But someone was ahead of me.
A very talkative someone. Someone who looked like a cross between Mr. Clean and some dude from the The Sons of Anarchy. He was large and pierced and tattooed and verbose. And loud.
He was someone I wanted to stab if he didn’t shut the hell up because while his voice may have been soothing to him, it’s volume and duration was entended to the really long line of people behind me who just wanted to purchase a hoodie and get on with their lives.
“Here let me show you all the pictures on my phone…he designed this whole film…it’s about Albrecht Durer…are you familiar with him…he was one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance…I mean one of the greatest…seriously look him up…you will be amazed with him…a true visionary.”
The above was an excerpt because my brain was starting to wish I had a flask of alcohol either to drink or to spill on the Durer lover and set him ablaze in order to get him to shut his giant pie hole up because I just wanted to buy a couple tee shirts.
So adorable garland-adorned sales clerk was looking faint with mock politeness, but was brought back to life when he announced the total of Durer Dude’s purchase.
“Oh let me get my checkbook out and I’ll write a check for it.”
Ok there’s got to be a weapon around here I can use. I have a pen. Don’t prisoners kill each other with pens? I mean hell, I think Hannibal Lechter was able to eviserate two armed police officers with a pen.
First of all who writes checks? I write maybe one or two checks a month and they are not for a shitpile of crap at Old Navy. And second, who doesn’t get their checkbook out and fill in the check when adorable sales clerk is ringing up $400 worth of children’s clothes? The line of women behind me looked murderous like a band of torch-wielding villagers ready to plunge stakes into some evil heart.
“You deserve a raise my friend.”
“Don’t I know it. I just kept nodding smiling and I didn’t know what the heck he was talking about.”
“You were extremely patient.” See- I really was smitten with adorable sales clerk.
“Oh honey, my mama said I was always a good actor. I am a good actor.”
I continued with errand running but my highlight was adorable sales clerk with the ring of orange and black tinsel festooned around his neck whose eyes lit up when he told me he was a good actor.
Adorable sales clerk deserved an Oscar for his performance with the Sons of Anarchy Durer groupie. But I wasn’t acting. I wanted to stab him.