Filed under: Consumer / Retail, General Peevery, Parenting | Tags: annoying, children, department of torture, drive me up the wall, fitting room, george clooney, grating, hurricane, mother, nervous breakdown, parenthood, peeve, perfect storm, pet peeves, sarcastic, shopping, sister, tornado, tsunami, vent
Contrary to popular belief, I do not actually enjoy shopping. Every once in a while, I can appreciate some retail therapy, but there has to be a “perfect storm” of conditions in order for this to happen.
- I have to be alone. Absolutely alone. With nowhere to be at any specific time. And, very poor cell phone reception.
- I cannot be shopping for anything in particular. I am known for creating items that do not exist and then getting peeved when I can’t find them in the stores.
- I have to be shopping for myself.
- Budget? What budget?
- It has to be on a “skinny” day. You know, those magical days when the scale says you lost 2 pounds in your sleep.
- My hair has to look good.
- I have to get an amazing deal on at least one item.
- 7 out of 10 items I try on have to fit.
- I must have a frothy, chocolatey, caffeinated beverage. And, even some biscotti to dip in it.
- I have to purchase at least one pair of shoes.
Rarely, very rarely, does this “perfect storm” occur. The closest I get is DSW shoe warehouse on my lunch hour and that’s only because I’m a DSW rewards member (hello coupons!), my feet don’t Benedict Arnold me like my waistline does, and there’s a fudge shoppe right next door.
This weekend, I needed to get fall clothes for Smalls. Not that it is getting any cooler down here in the South (97 degrees last night at 6pm), but there were some good sales going on and I had some free time. My sister had a 30% off coupon at Kohl’s and convinced me to meet up with her to go shopping for the kids. Hmm… Me, my two kids, her, her daughter… maybe I should just skip it… but, it’s 30% off… and, I could always spend the money I saved on some shoes… okay, what the heck!
Now, up until this point, I have always refered to my sister as AJenda on this blog. However, for this post, I feel the need to reveal her true identity. The real nickname behind the nickname. In my family, I am referred to as “Emma Dilemma,” “Dilemma,” or “that bitch.” My sister has always been referred to as “Hurricane Jen.” She comes on strong, with little or no warning. When you think it’s over, she’s really only half-way done. When she actually is done, you’re standing around looking at the disaster area. She’s also a lot of fun when you’re drinking and the damage is happening to someone else. Stores do not stand a chance against the Hurricane. When she is shopping, she is trying on everything in the store. I have been in dressing rooms with her where they literally are shutting the lights off and locking us in and she’s breaking out the keychain flashlight and trying to see how the last two pairs of jeans look.
Me, I’m more of a tsunami shopper. I’m in and I’m out. Quick, like that. I take what I want and I drag it back out with me. No lolly-gagging, no agonizing over decisions. I want it, I buy it. I don’t want it, I don’t put it in the cart. You can see how it’s probably not a good idea for my sister and I to go shopping together. I’m usually hanging up the clothes after she has tried them on and whining, “can we go now?”
I figured this time though, we were shopping for the kids, it couldn’t be that bad. And, it wouldn’t have been.
Hurricane: [via text message to Peeved]: Headed to Kohl’s right now. Where are you? Brace yourself, hurricane Granny is hot on our trail.
Peeved: [blissfully unaware of text message] Smalls, do you like this shirt?
Smalls: No, too stripey.
Peeved: How about this shirt?
Smalls: No, too spotty.
Peeved: Well, you need to pick some shirts.
Smalls: Well, I don’t like any of these.
Peeved: How about this one?
Peeved: This one?
Smalls: Nope. Look, mommy! Hamster pajamas!
Peeved: You don’t need pajamas.
Smalls: Hamster pajamas!!
Peeved: I’ll only get you the hamster pajamas if you start picking some shirts you like.
Hurricane: [via text message to Peeved]: We’re here… can’t find you… did you seek shelter from the storm?
Peeved: [putting hamster pajamas in cart, still blissfully unaware of text messages] Okay, how about this shirt?
Smalls: Yep. [You guessed it, Smalls is a Lightening Storm shopper.]
Peeved: This one?
Smalls: Too flowery.
Peeved: Oh, how cute! Look at his one.
Peeved: Smalls, we made a deal. No hamster pajamas if you don’t pick some shirts.
Smalls: I did pick a shirt. That one.
Peeved: Well, you need more than one shirt.
Smalls: So, get the same shirt in different colors, then. Aunt Hurricane!!
Peeved: Oh, thank goodness. Can you please suggest shirts to her? I can’t get her to say yes to anything I pick.
Hurricane: Sure, hey – did you get my…
Hurricane: … texts? I tried to warn you.
What’s the mother of all storms, people? You guessed it. Tornado Granny. Tornado Granny is like a hurricane in that she comes on quick without any warning, except the destruction isn’t left spread all over the place, it’s been completely lifted away and relocated. Granny hits the clearance racks like tornados target trailer parks. Everything starts in the cart, but inevitably is put back before she gets to the checkout lane. It’s like a weird form of tactile window shopping. Also like a tornado, Granny disappears just as fast as she appears.
[literally 3 hours into the shopping trip]
Peeved: You got everything?
Hurricane: Yep, I’m good to go.
Peeved: Sweet, let’s get out of here.
Hurricane: Yeah, the game starts soon and I’m starving.
Peeved: I feel like I swallowed a ShamWow! and my feet are about to fall off.
Hurricane: I hear ya. Where’s mom?
Peeved: I don’t know. I thought you knew?
Hurricane: Oh shit, we lost her. Call her.
Biggie: She probably bailed again.
Mini-Hurricane: Yeah, she’s been known to do that!
Peeved: [calling Tornado on her cell phone] Ma, where are you?
Tornado: You know that completely hidden fitting room that you never would have looked for me in? I’m hiding out in there. Don’t tell your sister, she’ll make me put back all my clearance clothes.
Peeved: Found her. Come on, guys.
As predicted, Hurricane tried to talk Tornado out of her white-trash finery, carrying in clothes by the armful. Guess who was left putting them all back on the hangers and saying, “Can we go now?!” The children were taking turns pretending they were sad puppies up for adoption, hiding inside the rack of track pants, and having their mom paged over the PA system.
Two very long hours later, we did finally get out of there. Not before Biggie had an avalanche inspired melt-down because I wouldn’t by her 3-inch hot pink patent leather and zebra striped heels, though. Gosh, I’m the worst mom ever. Didn’t you know?
I finally crawled into the storm shelter of my couch, called the Red Cross for a beer IV and tried to avoid any further disasters. The only Perfect Storm I would be getting would be ordered through Netflix and starring George Clooney. Mmm…. George Clooney. That’d make everything better.
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