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Body Shopping

On Friday night, Esteban had his Dorkathalon, so I decided that I’d try to make headway on my non-gift card shopping. I made the drive to Appleton, feeling stress even on the drive down. The other drivers were insane, hogging both lanes of the highway going five miles under. I was starting to talk at them from my car. ‘If you’re not passing someone, you’re supposed to be in the right lane, ass cheese!’ because I absolutely hate those bastards in the SUVs who feel perfectly justified in driving in the fast lane because it’s open, not caring that there’s a line of cars stuck behind them, wishing desperately to go at least the speed limit.

However, once I got to the mall area, I got a little nervous. I really really hate crowded stores. Hate. And it took me ten minutes just to drive from the off ramp to the entrance of the mall a quarter of a mile away, because there were so many other people with the same idea. I decided to put off the madness and go to a fringe store in a strip mall nearby, which was great, because I got to cross five presents off my list. Then I was very hungry, as my lunch had been a sandwich from the vending machine at work, and I used this hunger as motivation. I got a disgustingly good parking spot within spitting distance of the main mall door, so decided that it was a good sign and I should relax. I ate dinner at the food court, all by myself, watching the rest of the harried shoppers. My favorites were the dads trying to entertain their small children, acting as unnatural as a first-time babysitter. And then the Dad of the Day was a guy whose son was whining repeatedly for something, saying ‘plleeeeeeeeeeease Dad pleeeeeeeeeeease?’ and then finally, in a very entrepreneurial voice, the child bargained, ‘I’ll give you some candy?’ And instead of getting angry at the incessant begging, the dad replied ‘You don’t HAVE any candy.’ As though he had given the deal some consideration and found the kid’s loophole.

I wandered around Lane Bryant (whoa, they have Seven jeans now?), half-heartedly looking for something for the holiday parties we have coming up, but didn’t find anything I liked. Actually, I did find one very pretty white jacket with a jeweled frog closure, but the damned thing didn’t fit right over my boobs. Ok, didn’t fit at all. That’s the bad thing about having the glorious cleavage: either it doesn’t fit over your boobs, or it’s so big everywhere else that you look like a hobo, with the shoulder seams down at your elbows.

I had a coupon for Bath and Body Works (which I dislike in general, but I sort of love their spearmint eucalyptus scent, even though Esteban has forbidden me to wear it because it makes him think that he’s sleeping next to Tom Selleck) but immediately was ‘CanIhelpyou’ed by three different apron drones, so decided that I didn’t have the patience for the store on that day. Plus, it seems like the most frightening lines exist in the Bath and Body Works store, or at least in this mall. I suspect some of the women in line at Bath and Body Works have been there since last Christmas, their husband still waiting in the food court, awkwardly attending to their children.

Then I stopped at The Body Shop, which was my whole reason for shopping in the first place. I have a ‘Love Your Body’ discount card and have been using it to purchase gifts, so I’ve racked up several stamps on the back. Because I’m a friendly kind of girl, the salesgirls told me that on December 10 and 11, instead of getting 10% off your purchase, you’d get 25%. Plus, I had only one stamp left before I earned at free $25 worth of stuff, so I picked up two more Body Butters (retail price $32) and got a microfiber super absorbent towel ($18), a facial chamois ($6?) and a little facial soft brush ($5.50). And then, because I had finished my card, they gave me a free renewal ($10) for next year. Total cost of Body Shop visit after all of the discounting and free stuff? $28. Rock!

While I was waiting at the register for the newbie cashier to figure out how to ring everything up, my cell phone went off. I have caller id and could see it was Ward or June.

‘Hi Mom.’
‘It’s Mom!’
‘Hi Mom.’

Other people must have these weird conversations with their parents like this, right? It’s not just me? Also, she was yelling into the phone. Retirement is doing strange things to her, I suspect, because I don’t think she ever yelled into the phone before.

Apparently, she was having trouble installing a font on her computer. I knew that I’d have a hard time explaining it over the phone, much less while standing in line at The Body Shop, so I told her that I’d stop by on my way home and do it for her. When I told her that I was in Appleton, she got all frightened and told me to be careful because it was supposed to get slippery overnight (which would have been important information had I been about to spent the night in the Mall (ooooh), but since I was going to leave in about an hour, it wouldn’t really matter, since it wasn’t snowing or anything yet) and I could tell that she still can’t get over the fact that I don’t consider it to be a big deal to drive to Appleton to do whatever it is that I need to do. I mean, hell, my commute to class is 140 miles one way, why would a (normally) twenty minute be anything to fret over?

After I left the store, however, I decided that it would be better to leave on a high note, rather than encounter the frustrating Christmas shopping moment that was undoubtedly waiting for me, so I left the mall, hopped into my car and drove to Ward and June’s suburb, which was halfway between Appleton and our house. When I got there, she had actually figured out how to install it, so she showed me what she did and verified that she had done everything right. I chatted with them for a bit, they showed me their tree and the new ornaments this year. I reiterated my dislike of her crazy cabbage ornament, and also my love of the white sparkly hedgehog ornament. We talked about the base trim that Ward is installing in our house (which looks really nice) and the new wooden floor vents which are replacing the gaping holes that had been there for the last two years, and then I scurried home to work on my freelance project. Because that’s me, burning the midnight oil and all.

Great, now I’ve got ‘Beds are Burning’ stuck in my head. Actually, it’s the only thing that has managed to oust the Willy Wonka trailer music, so that’s probably a good thing. Wait, no, they’ve blended. Kill me now.

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