The other day we went to Lowes. This is one of my husband’s favorite stores so this meant he was in a fantastic mood on the drive down. He was humming and drumming his fingers lightly on the wheel.
“Can we stop by Target after?” I asked. Target is across the street and I have a compulsion to go into the store whenever I see it. Mainly because rumor has it that Target is going to be marking toys 75% off anytime now. What if the toys get marked on a day when I don’t stop by? The thought makes me feel like I’ve been kicked in the stomach. I have to get there on the day that the toys are marked 75% off or else my nemesis Old Lady Hog will take everything.
Old Lady Hog, for those who don’t know, always seems to sense when toys go 75% off because she’s always there with two carts filled by the time I arrive. We sort of nod coolly at each other when we lock eyes. She’s still a little bitter that I found the last Dancing Brobee the last time there was a gigantic clearance.
“I guess,” Tom agreed. He can tolerate Target for ten minutes. He usually browses the video game section and then asks if I’m ready to go. This is why I rarely go to Target with Tom.
Tom had to get a new blade for the lawn mower at Lowes. I didn’t even realize you had to replace those things. We wandered into the lawn mower section and Tom drooled over one of those self propelled mowers for a few seconds before rummaging through the blades. There were tons of blades, by the way. Tom kept pulling out the different blades and clucking his tongue and I wanted to shout, “Could you PICK a blade already?” I mean, if you’ve seen one blade, you’ve seen them all.
“Tom,” I said when I felt like I was about to kick his shin for staring intently at another blade. “I’m going to look at the washer and dryers.” I had to get out of there. I was surrounded by blades and mowers and I felt like they were about to cave in on me. I bet if I were in a horror movie that they would have.
“Mmmm,” Tom mumbled. I’m not sure if he heard me but I took off with the kids anyway.
I always coo over the washer and dryers when I go to Lowes. I run my hands over the tops and fiddle with the buttons. I pretend that I’m doing an imaginary load and I’ll open up the washer and toss it in.
“Oh, I’m just doing the laundry in my beautiful red washer,” I’ll whisper.
I’m in love with the Whirlpool Duets. I don’t even know what half the buttons mean. For instance, when would I use a sanitary cycle? Who knows? Who cares? The washer is beautiful. Now I know how men feel when they admire cars.
Tom found me practically making out with the dryer. This one was a gorgeous shade of blue.
“Should I leave you two alone?” Tom joked as he approached with his blade.
“Do you need help?” a Lowes worker finally asked as he walked over. He had been watching me from across the room for a few minutes with a look of confusion on his face. He probably doesn’t get a lot of customers pretending to do a load of laundry.
“I’m okay. Just looking,” I told him. I pointed to the various buttons on the machine. “Look Tom! It steams! That way I wouldn’t have to ever learn how to iron.”
He rolled his eyes. “Come on,” he said.
“Are we going to Target now?” I wondered hopefully.
“No. I’m going to look around,” Tom said.
“AHA!” I said and Tom gave me a bewildered look. “Now you know how I feel when I have to look around the entire store even though I came in for one thing!”
“This is different,” Tom insisted.
“It just is.”
Um. Okay. It’s really not.
We wandered down aisles and I’m not going to lie, I was bored. Thankfully a good song came from the overhead speakers. It was What About Love? by Heart. I pulled a small pipe that was labeled PVC or something—who knows—and pretended it was my microphone.
I’ve been lonely/I’ve been waiting for you/…. I started to lip synch to Tom, who looked horrified.
“Put that down,” he hissed, his cheeks growing red.
I’m pretending and that’s all I can do/The love I’m sending/ain’t making it through to your heart… I started to get into it, thumping my other hand over my heart for emphasis.
“I’m telling you to put down that pipe,” Tom broke in. “How would you like if I broke out into song when we were in Gymboree?”
Actually, I would prefer that to his outbursts of, “Holy crap! They want nearly forty dollars for ONE shirt! My shirt doesn’t cost this much!” For the record, I never pay that much for one shirt. I only shop during sales and I always am armed with a coupon but Tom doesn’t seem to comprehend this.
What about love/don’t you want someone to care about you? When I sang those lines I gripped Tom’s shoulders and looked him straight in the eye.
“Taking you out in public was a mistake,” Tom muttered.
“Sing it, Tom!” I chanted, pushing the PVC pipe under his mouth.
“No. Besides, this kind of music sucks,” he said, pushing the pipe away.
Tom prefers to listen to music where the artist screams at you or calls you a ho.
We left soon after that because Tom was tired of me serenading him.
Then we got to Target and my heart started thumping with anticipation. Would I find some toys for 75% off? Would I beat Old Lady Hog? I rushed back to the toy section and...
The toys were still holding at 30% off. Not good enough. I sighed and headed over to Natalie’s clothes section. I was flipping through a rack of dresses when Natalie practically jumped out of the cart.
“NI-HAO!” she shrieked, standing up in her seat. “NI-HAO KAI-LAN!” She was naming a show that she’s seen on Noggin about a Chinese girl who has a friend named Ho-Ho. This makes me giggle. Natalie was pointing wildly at a shirt with Kai-Lan and Ho Ho (snickers) on it.
“Mines?” Natalie screeched. “MINES?”
“I guess so. It’s on sale,” I said.
Natalie hugged the shirt to her chest. “KAI-LAN AND HO HO!” (Chuckles)
“That’s right, Natalie. But how about we lower our voice?” I suggested.
Tom found us a few seconds later.
“I just followed our daughter’s voice.” He informed me. “Are you ready to go?”
Ready to go? I just got started. When you go to Target you HAVE to look everywhere because you never know when you’ll stumble upon the 75% off items. One time I found a variety of frames marked 75% off that I would have never come across had I not gone down that aisle.
“I just need to check out the shoe section,” I said and walked over. There was a pair of sparkly pink shoes in Natalie’s size for 75% off. Score!
“Does she really need another pair of shoes?” came Tom’s irritating voice.
“Yes. She goes through shoes quickly,” I explained.
“Mommy! Look what Daddy got me!” Tommy spoke up, showing me a Transformer he was holding. Sometimes Tom pretends that Tommy wants a toy when it’s him that really wants it.
“Does he really need another Transformer?” I shot back at Tom.
“Yes! This is Smokescreen,” Tom said as though that made all the difference. (Huh? What’s a Smokescreen?)
I checked Tommy’s section and then went down the frame section.
“I don’t understand why we’re down here,” Tom said even though I had just explained the 75% off thing to him minutes before.
I ended up finding a book for our beach trip next week. Yes, I’m going BACK to Texas for a mini family reunion. We go to the beach in August. I should probably start watching what I eat so I can still squeeze into my swimsuit but can I help it if ice cream tastes extra good in the summer?
Anyhow, the book I picked out was Sophie Kinsella’s new novel called Twenties Girl. I told Tom to hide it from me. Otherwise I’d finish it before we even left.
“Shopping with you is exhausting,” Tom said as we walked to the truck.
Hey. At least I get some form of exercise in.