M is away this week. And when he’s away I try to keep things simple, which for me, means getting as much work done as I can and running a minimal number of errands. I have run a marathon. I have given birth five times. I have hiked Machu Picchu and NOTHING is exhausting as climbing in and out of that bloody minivan all afternoon, carting bags, children, and an overflowing purse with me. (Note: My purse has become such a problem that there are entire pockets I no longer go into. I have, in fact, sealed them off. I may never know what’s in them and that’s quite alright with me.)
So, after a good run and several hours of work I decided to reward myself before picking Fi up from school. I decided I was going to return a very pricey pair of running pants to the Lululemon store.** (Please don’t think I’m a swanky runner. I’m still running in the tights I bought in college, and they sport a delightful hole in my upper thigh.) First, popping in and out of fun shops isn’t something I do often. The kind of errands I run involve dropping entire boxes of tomatoes in the Costco parking lot (done that so many times I wonder if someone is punishing me for buying produce from Costco), going to Target and getting so overwhelmed that I leave a bag or two behind at the checkout (ask my kids. I do this every time), carrying everyone’s books out of the library in an oversized canvas bag (this has sent me back and forth to the chiropractor, which only reaffirms the Nerd Queen status I gained when I threw my back out typing up college applications), and making many many visits to the ER/doctor. No, Lululemon on a Monday afternoon was supposed to be a treat. And for the price I paid for these pricey pants, they should not only fit right, but they should shave off a few pounds and give me the backside of, well… someone else. These pants did none of this.
I am greeted by the girl who cheated off me in the ninth grade and then was mean to me when I wouldn’t do her homework. Or at least it looked like her. She directed me to the checkout where the girl who tripped me in PE every day in tenth grade was waiting to “help” me. And by “help” I mean look really annoyed. She wasn’t happy that there were no tags on the pants and she made me repeat three or four times why I didn’t like the pants. “They are too long in the leg, and the whole fit is wrong.” She looked at the girl next to her, who I swear was wearing a cheerleading uniform, giggled, looked back at me and says,
“Maybe you just have really short legs.”
And maybe I should set my maniacal nine year old on you, you stupid cow. I bet Bennett and his criminal gang (read: my other kids) could do a real number on this store. How do you like them apples? (I have always, always wanted to say that apple bit.)
But instead I want to disappear – glasses, braces, bad perm and all. I don’t know why but I try on another pair of pants and the woman in the dressing room (the high school prom queen queen who I swear, to this day, tried to run me over in the parking lot in her red convertible during my junior year) tells me, in her cutest voice, that:
“Oh! That looked so much cuter on the hanger.”
Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you for the brief trip back in time. I will now collect my things and leave as quickly as possible. Now I know why I shop online. Not because it’s easier. Not because I have no time. Because all the nasty twits from high school are staffing these swanky stores and I’d rather pay shipping fees than see them all again.
Take that Lululemon.
** I obviously hadn’t heard about this Lululemon murder yet. Knowing what I do now about the Mean Girls who work there, none of this is shocking.