At the very least some sort of electronic monitoring device.
Or possibly a shock collar.
This past Wednesday I went to Pier One because I needed a new coffee mug. I came out with a complete set of China.
Before that I went into Target for… Honestly, I forget what I went in for, but I left with a couple of pint sized garden gnomes and a pair of sock monkey bedroom slippers. Are they not all kinds of awesome?
Be that as it may, they weren’t what I’d initially gone in for.
Then there was the rain boots I got while looking for new work pants.
Another trip to Target a week later landed me this adorable, but useful for nothing but ascetics, Eiffel Tower candle holder. We’d originally gone in to look at desks for me, but they didn’t have the one I wanted. (Had I actually paid attention to the web site, I’d have known that.) Instead I got something I thought would look cute on the desk that I don’t actually posses yet.
That brings us to this afternoon when I insisted Man take me to the mall so I could find something to wear to The Video Game Symphony. I found a Yoshi tee shirt at Hot Topic-- a store I only go into anymore when I want to torture myself with the reality of being at least 15 years removed from anything even remotely cool. (Do they even say “cool” anymore?) That reminds me, who the hell is this Justin Bieber? There was a wall of tee shirts dedicated to this kid’s face. Since when am I so out of touch that I have no idea about popular culture? This reminds me of Grandpa Simpson when he said “I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I'm with isn't it, and what's it seems weird and scary to me, and it'll happen to you, too!”
But I digress.
So I got my shirt and I should have known to leave the mall immediately.
However, there’s a problem.
Sitting square between myself and the exit closest to the car?
The Coach store.
And there’s a new pattern in the window.
Ladies and Gentlemen, an addict knows they’re going to use before anyone else does. Perhaps there’s something in the air surrounding them that buzzes with relapse-- or maybe it’s just a certain kind of craving that takes hold at the most base level of the soul-- but the addict knows even before he knows. I knew when I stepped through the door that it wasn’t going to be pretty.
The sales girls saw me coming a mile away (perhaps it was the large Coach purse already slung over my shoulder), and they descended on me like a pack of back-alley crack dealers that just saw someone twitch. The bag, the matching sneakers, the scarf, a wallet and something called a “wristlet” which is just a tiny purse big enough for a pack of cigarettes, a compact and possibly a house key, were all thrust into my hands. It was all “NEW NEW NEW! Just released Friday afternoon! MUST HAVE! MUST HAVE! Isn’t this adorable? And this…? And this would look so cute with this!”
Once in my hands, a fabulous, brand new, designer purse is harder for me to let go of than puppies.
It was dizzying. I mean literally, I became dizzy and disoriented. It was like one of those movies when all the characters’ heads grow to the size of HR Puff N Stuff creatures and words become unintelligible. They had just about talked me into dropping every cent in my wallet when I threw up my hands in the universal sign for “Back da F* up!” and stepped away from them backwards, the way one would an advancing pack of brain-hungry but incredibly snappily-dressed zombies.
“Just give me a minute here, ladies. I need to take a breath before I make any decisions.”
I grabbed Man’s hand and stepped outside for a breath of fresh air and a little perspective.
Five minutes later I marched in that store with every intention of explaining to them that—thank you very much, but I’d be back next week for the purse when I had a little more cash to move around. (Creative Economics I call it. I should teach a class.)
Which I guess wasn’t a lie…
Since I came out with the shoes.