Have you ever noticed this time of year, whether you are a parent or not, that you cannot go into a department store without hundreds of children with germs buying back to school clothes?
This year was one of those adventures in Back to School shopping. In reflecting back on my day, I think the department store felt sorry for me in the end.
I just wanted to get in and out without spending a fortune. When your son has the feet and body of Sasquatch you wait for that 50% off sale, which just happened to be today. It would have been a quick and pleasant trip if my elderly mother hadn’t called complaining she was bored and wanting me to do something with her. Department store shopping wasn’t in my first fifty choices of things to do with my mother, who is blind in one eye, has no sense of balance in large spaces, is always hitting me in the shins with her cane and constantly complaining and repeating herself, but she insisted and bribed me with Starbucks.
Later she tells me that she didn’t want my brother to take her to buy underwear. So, I was easily bribed and put my Zoldorian daughter in charge of her, while I stayed in the men’s department with my son to make sure he stayed in the sales clothes. It wasn’t long before I was pulled away by my daughter and my mother who were looking for me for advice on women’s underwear. I suggested to both of them to ask a clerk. I found out that Zoldorians and their elderly grandmother’s don’t ask clerks for advice on underwear. Again, I was bribed by my mother, who insisted on paying for my kids school clothes if I helped her with her underwear issues.
In my absence from the men’s department, I eventually found my son standing around the check out waiting for a credit card to appear for his school clothes purchases and new backpack he was holding. Well, of course, one child gets a new backpack, both children have to have a new backpack. My bossy mother pushes her way to the checkout line and slings her under clothes all over the counter, demands they are put in a separate bag and directs her grandchildren to set everything up on the counter, so this man can check it out. There was a mountain of clothes that I couldn’t tell what belonged to whom.
Suddenly, I was confused. My mother couldn’t ask a female clerk about underwear, but she could forcefully tell a man to put her underwear in a separate bag. There was so much stuff on the counter the checkout clerk was sweating and not understanding whose underwear belonged to whom. The clerk looked at me for some type of re-assurance he was doing it right, but am sure all he saw on my face was a dazed look. I didn’t even have anything on the counter. My mother started repeating we were going to have to make several trips to the car, over and over. I finally told her to shut-up, as I handed bags and more bags to my children to carry out. When the check-out clerk told her it was $500.00 she said nothing, but I gave my son “The Look” and he knew he was going to get it when we got home. The checkout clerk gave my mother $90.00 in gift cards and she was so excited she told me I needed to bring her back to the store tomorrow so she could buy more things. I pretended I didn’t hear her say anything.
My mother clutched her bag of underwear as if that was all she had left in life and grabbed my arm to hold onto as we ventured to the door, with her cane hitting my shin bone all the way down the aisle. She just had to make the remark that I was much more stable to hold onto than my daughter, but I told her if she was going to fall I would land on top of her because she was clutching the arm I had dislocated and had no strength in, which she didn’t seem to care that she was hurting me as long as she felt stable. When we got to the door to leave the beeping sound of theft rang out through the whole store. My mother wanted me to stop because she thought she might get arrested and I just kept pulling her along to the car, listening to her complain all the way. Nobody from the store cared to even venture in my direction. I was done taking my mother shopping. I hope she never needs underwear again in her lifetime.