When I got up this morning I dressed for construction. Before the day was far spent I had been to the lumber yard, with the Pea and Irish1. Whatever possessed me to think that taking a five and a two year old boy to the lumber yard was a good idea I don’t know. Needless to say, it wasn’t. We left there with not enough joist hangers (to hang 5 joists you need ten hangers, not five) so we went back and got five more only to discover when we got home that they were the wrong ones (all of them) after all. I haven’t been back yet.
I got home and cleaned. And measured in preparation for cutting rim joists (not nearly as dirty as it sounds) and I nursed and yelled at the Pea and listened to Irish1 whine and ignored Irish2 crying (why won’t he just go to sleep?) and just did all my normal day stuff. But by about 5:00 (I say about because I had no way of knowing what time it actually was) I was done. D-O-N-E. Done.
So I handed the kids over to Sean and headed for the mall, a place which despite being located at the end of my street (just past the Costco) I hadn’t been to in at least three years, to replace the battery in my watch which had stopped working nearly two weeks ago (I hate not knowing what time it is) or possibly to just replace the watch itself, since I don’t really love it. I was still dressed for construction, orange “Spartans” softball t-shirt I stole from a girl-friend in high school, denim shorts, no makeup. Not the look I would have chosen but I wasn’t spending another minute at home even if it meant I went out looking like white trash.
The store closest to my home is a largish department store. I’ll call it Nacey’s. It was close, it was convenient and they sell watches, and presumably batteries, so I went in.
Ahhhh. It was quiet. It was clean. No one referred to me as Mom mom mom mom mom. It may have been heaven. I went in for the battery, possibly a watch. But since I was already there- I really did need another pair of shorts, this long length that’s currently in style is highly convenient to a card carrying Mo like myself, I really ought to take advantage while I can. And I realized as I got dressed this morning that I’ve lost a whole stack of shirts that I took out of my drawers last time I was pregnant. So I’m low on shirts. And did I mention that it was quiet and clean?
So I wandered around. I picked up a couple pairs of shorts. I made it to the watch counter.
Oooooh, look how pretty. Wow I really like this one. And it has a crystal face, a must, (I’m very hard on my watches) and it’s titanium, (I’m very very hard on my watches) and it has a cool metal mesh band that is infinitely adjustable, unlike the metal link ones, that always end up either too long or too short, or the leather ones that stretch and wear out. (Did I mention how hard I am on my watches?) And it’s so pretty. And it’s $130.00. Eeek.
I really do wear and love my watches (I say watches but I ought to make it clear that I only own one functioning watch at a time, I’m not the kind of girl that has a different watch to match her outfit.) I probably get $130.00 worth of use out of them but- I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to pay $130.00 for a watch. “I’ll think about it,” I told the woman at the counter. I continued wandering the store.
8 days ago we took Irish1 to the ER for stitches. He’s fine. It’s not an interesting story so I won’t bother telling it, except for the part where he refused to stand on the scale. So I held him and stood on the scale and then I handed him off to Sean and stood on the scale again. I honestly couldn’t even begin to guess what Irish1 weighed. But I know what I did. 117 lbs. 117.2 to be exact. 117 lbs!!!! I don’t think I’ve been this skinny EVER! (Go ahead and hate me, I’m too thin for it to bother me.) I weighed more that that by a minimum of five pounds when I was in high school.
So why is it that now that I’m at the smallest I’ve ever been, and let’s face it, the smallest I’m ever gonna be, maternity shirts are the height of fashion?!! The high waists, the flowing lengths, come on people! My stomach’s never gonna be this flat again, can’t I show that off? Just a little? I’m not looking for a bikini top here, I’m not even into showing my midriff, (aside from the undergarment issue there’s the fact that skinny does not equal anything in terms of muscle tone, or skin color) but I’d like something slightly form fitting. Is that too much to ask?
Apparently it is.
I grabbed a couple possibilities from the little boy’s department (my secret source of cute, cheap t-shirts) and with my shorts and a skirt (the only one for under $50 I had seen ) headed for the fitting room. One of the pairs of shorts was OK.
Alright, so I wasn’t doing fantastically but the shorts weren’t too expensive ($24) so having to look at myself, partially dressed, in the horribly unflattering light (fluorescent? Really? Don’t you want me to think I look good so I’ll buy something?) hadn’t been a complete waste of time.
I really did need to get a watch. I was trying to justify the $130.00. I headed back to the watch counter and looked around. There was a clearance rack on the counter, 40% off. And there it was. Angels sang, trumpets trumpeted and light shone from heaven right onto my watch, the same one I had loved before, in the clearance box.
“Um, can I see this one?” I asked. The same woman (who now that I think about it may not have been my biggest fan since I kinda got her hopes up before about making a big sale and then I walked away. But honestly, how could I have done any different? They tuck the price tags under so you can’t get even an inkling of the price until they unlock the display case. And how much could she have believed I was gonna buy it? She could see what I was wearing, I was the walking definition of low budget.) unlocked this display case and handed me the watch. Yes, it was the same one. Titianium, crystal, pretty.
“What’s the clearance price on this?” I asked, unable to do the math in my head what with all the excitement.
“Let’s see how it rings up,” she says.
“It’s $130.00,” she says.
“But it’s on clearance.”
“No, it’s not, I guess someone put it away in the wrong place.”
That’s it? Yup, that was it. I probably could have fought it, asked to see the manager. I know suburbancoorespondant would have but I was too deflated by this point. I had been considering paying the full price but after seeing it at 40% off (and having that little dream snatched away) I couldn’t even consider it. I took my shorts and wandered off to buy them.
I went to five different “service centers.” Apparently the woman at the watch counter is the only person who works at Nacey’s. I found a rack, hung up my shorts and left.
I glanced around a few other stores in the mall, $50 for that? It’s not even a whole shirt, really? Who buys this stuff?
There was a kiosk in the middle of the mall. It had a sign that said they replaced watch batteries on site. There were some watches for sale too. They weren’t cute. “I give a discount for Spartans,” the man working there said.
I walked away.
But let’s face it, this trip was not going to end well. I walked back. “How much for a new battery in my watch?”
“$8.00 but for you I’ll do it for 7.”
I’m sure I could have talked him down to 5. I paid 7 and walked straight through Nacey’s looking neither to the right nor to the left (5,000,000 because I can’t remember) on my way home.
I now remember why I haven’t been to the mall in three years. I think I’ll stick with Zarget.