Saturday, December 14, 2013

Try Saturday the 14th (Or, how I became Andy Rooney) ...

A woman going 30 miles per hour in an SUV in the snowy mall parking lot ruins my life by reminding me that human beings are horrible and that I must somehow protect a tiny innocent while co-existing in the very same lot. 

She blew through a cross walk. I was incredulous; she was talking on her cell phone. I gave her the finger. It was primed. I'd just given it to a teenaged boy who was driving the wrong direction. Neither saw it. Still. 

Fate threw me a bone by delivering a sweet parking spot so close to the doors that I had to check 4 times to make sure it wasn't disability parking. I almost asked a guy: "Is this a for-real spot or am I dreaming?"

***

"No one ever holds the door for strollers," I confessed to a woman who held the door for me and my stroller. She rubbed my back in little circles. I thought "Sometimes you just need someone to rub your back with little circles. Maybe even a stranger."

***

Two kids, rather employees, at Dick's called me ma'am. Haven't we outlawed ma'aming yet? Can't we say to the dictionary people "Plus 'twerk' minus 'ma'am'"?

***

I bought a baby snowmobile suit that was outgrown before it even snowed. Tags on, no receipt. The policy at The Children's Place: It can be exchanged for the exact same item. Exact same. No store credit. No exchange for item of equal value. 

The truth is, I don't even want this snowmobile suit. It looks marshmallow-y and uncomfortable. Her limbs won't be able to bend, it will ice over with mislaid drool, it will be awesome between the house and car, but she will roast as I wander through Target. I've been a kid. I know. 

"You're in luck," an employee tells me. "We have the bigger size. And it's the only one left."

That one is barely bigger. 

I'm sure there is a reason for The Children's Place's draconian return policy, but I can't go business major enough to figure it out. 

"Great," I say. "She can wear this one for the next three days."

But I'm smiling because it's not this woman's personal return policy. I do make a note to never shop in this place ever again which is fine because I have the internet and The Children's Place always feels chaotic, like shopping out of the trunk of a Pontiac. 

Baby clothes politics. 

***

The woman handing out chocolate samples at Yonkers completely ignored my I'll-Take-a-Chocolate face.

But I saved so much using coupons that I damn near got a free sweater. And I think she dropped her tray, anyway. 

***

This past summer when I was doing a lot of mall walking and stroller pushing I used to come home enraged and say things like: 

"IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO BUY SUNGLASSES AT YONKERS IF YOU WERE IN A WHEELCHAIR. I GUESS IF YOU'RE IN A WHEELCHAIR YOU JUST DON'T GET SUNGLASSES!"

The accessories are packed tightly together with very little aisle space. It's hard enough to navigate with a stroller, let alone a full-sized chair or Rascal. 

Which brings us to Hollister. 

This store has a tiny porch out front. You have to go up the porch steps, then down the porch steps to get into the store. I'm sure this aesthic is super "let's buy board shorts" or whatever. 

There isn't a ramp. There are main level doors, which are closed, and it's hard to tell if they're functional. If you want to use them, do you just holler inside: "Could someone get the doors, please?"

My niece has some Hollister items on her Christmas list and three times I've stood outside the store with a stroller and wondered how to get inside. And I've wondered, again, how I'd get inside if I was a 12 year old in a wheelchair. 

So I decided I wouldn't shop there. Clearly this is an asshole company that thought putting steps where none are needed was more important than accessibility. That's nice. 

But then I just wanted to get inside so badly that I couldn't help myself. I tilted the stroller to a severe degree to go up the two steps, then did it again to go down two steps. I was in. 

I felt liberated. And very smug. And I wheeled my stroller all around that tiny store and thought: NO WHEELS HAVE EVER BEEN HERE BEFORE. I'M NEIL ARMSTRONG!

***

I came home, fastened the baby into her monkey chair, and set out to make stew. I pulled out a pack of sausages, purchased two days ago, from the refrigerator. The expiration date caught my eye: Oct. 2013. 

I decided to go meatless with my stew and found that one of the main vegetables, also a recent purchase, had rotted. 

I found my receipt, so I can return the meat. But mostly I fantasized about asking to see the owner of the grocery store, then walking him through the place stopping along the way to examine the food. 

"Which one of these green peppers would you buy, Mister? This one, which looks pre-gnawed? Or this one with the elephant-like flesh?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Never buy meat at the 4th street market.