I Heart Indies

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shopping in WalMart with Nancy

     We were running errands, and Nancy wanted to stop by WalMart.
     "Why don't I just let you off at home?" Nancy asked.  "I can do WalMart on my own."
     "No, no," I said, giving the reply dutiful, "I can help out."
      So we got to WalMart and split up our list.  First things I got were a new bicycle lock and dog collar.   Nancy insisted I not get a collar in a "masculine color," because she was tired of Zoe being mistaken for a boy, to which I said it hardly mattered whether people thought she was a girl or not because she was neutered.  Besides I didn't want to go enforcing gender stereotypes on our dog by getting her a pink collar or something.  Nancy said she didn't want pink either, just something feminine, like "purple."  Since I was wearing a purple shirt at the time myself, I wasn't quite sure how to take this, but I said nothing and toddled off to get the collar and lock.  The WalMart collars on display seemed principally designed for the sort of canine you can carry in a pocketbook, and the ones that were Zoe's size came in only two colors: pink and red.  Pink was right out, so I reluctantly chose red, even though that's really a "winter" color - better suited to a Scottie - and Zoe, being a Golden Retriever, looks better in "fall" colors.
     I found the bike lock easily enough, although the brand name, "Kryptonite," left me mildly nonplussed.  I get the allusion, but it doesn't quite work, does it?  I mean, Kryptonite doesn't keep Superman out, it kills him, and besides, since Superman is good, Kryptonite is evil.  It's not once of those substances that can be used for either good or evil, having only one purpose, so far as I know.  But mine is not to quibble, and so I set out looking for Nancy.
     Then began, as Shakespeare puts it, the tempest to my soul.
     Imagine two lovers separated from each other and lost in the desert, but not just any desert, a desert filled with labyrinthine aisles with every sale-able good on display from steel-belted tires to beef jerky.
     Fortunately, I had my cell phone, and even more fortunately it was charged.  "Hello, sweetheart.  Where are you?"
     "I'm in the picture frames."
     After I found her in the picture frame aisle, she sent me for the next two items on our list: diet orange soda and Oxyclean.  Mission accomplished, I returned to the picture frame aisle to find her gone.  I had to wander the store a bit before I got any bars on my cell phone.
     "Hi, darlin'"
     "I'm in the bras."
     "What?"
     "I'm in the bras."
     "What?"
     "Bras.  Bras."
     "Blahs?  Boz?"
     "BRAS."
     "You're in the bras?"
     "Yes, yes!"
     I found the bra section easily enough.  There certainly seem to be a lot of bras in WalMart, I can tell you.  It gives a man a mild case of the cold-robbies wandering aisle after aisle of push-ups and strapless and wonder and whatever with two cases of diet orange soda and a bottle of Oxyclean.  You feel as though the other browsers regard you suspiciously wondering what you're doing there, and telling someone you're looking for your wife only increases the discomfort.  I've tried it.  But I found her soon enough.
     Few things make a man feel more useless than standing beside your wife as she picks out bras.  I browsed the nearby men's department to see if they had bow-ties.  They did not.  At one point I thought I'd spotted some bow-ties, but they turned out to be do-rags.  I felt almost as useless on the do-rag aisle as the bra aisle.
     Finally Nancy said she needed to try on her selections because once she left the store with them, she wouldn't be allowed to return them.  So I told her I'd be in sporting goods, and left her to her trying-on.  Unfortunately, I discovered my purchase of a Kryptonite Bike Lock had pretty much exhausted my interest in anything in the sporting goods line and while I did see a "strip-tease exercise video" (I am not making this up) I was unable to summon the gumption to actually pick it up and look at it.  So I returned to the bra section, but wasn't entirely sure where the changing room was.  So I went to the front of the store where my phone reception was best and called.  She did not pick up right away.
     "Are you still trying on bras?"
     "What?"
     "Are you still trying on bras?"
     "Where are you?"
     "I'm in the bra section.  Near you."
     "Are you in sporting goods?"
     "No, I'm in bras."
     "Are you in sporting goods?"
     "No... look, I'll just go back to sporting goods."
     "What?"
     "Sporting goods!"
     So I waited in sporting goods until my phone rang.
     "I'll meet you at the register," Nancy said.  She sounded strangely tense.  Evidently trying on bras had been an irritating experience.
     As we were checking out, I said, "We need to find a better system for shopping at WalMart."
     "I had a system," Nancy said coldly, "it was leaving you at home."
     Nancy makes odd remarks such as this from time to time, which you just can't figure out what she means.

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