“Chocolate for cheaper” is what my husband sang when we drove away from just making a huge deal. We were both happy, giddy even, to have found exactly what we were looking for – for less. Don’t you just love a bargain and the way it makes you feel when you score one?
Let me put the reverse lights on – several weeks ago we went on a hunt to find furniture. We couldn’t remember exact colors so we played it safe and just searched for style. What we would like to sit on, lay on, jump on, make out on, even sulk behind if need be. Some style that would fit our lifestyle. After a full several days of sitting, laying, testing, and deciding we thought we knew what we liked. Finally we moved in and could decide on color as well: chocolate. Something rich, something dark. Everything was coming together until we visited Rayless and Flan-again. We liked the sales woman. I will say that. Donny and Marie couldn’t have been more helpful. She bent over backwards to help us…until the manager stepped in. “Can’t get that style in that color. Never mind what the tag says. It’s another $100 to get that color. It’s brown sugar or nothing. The brown sugar is the only thing on sale. Get it in another color and you pay full price in addition to changing the color and that’s another $100, remember? No ifs ands or buts. That is it.” With heads hanging low and exhaustion nipping at our heels, we took the defeated road home.
Three days later Kisa says to me, “I think I solved our problems. Get in the truck.” So, off to LazyGirl we went. As soon as we were in the door we asked, “Do you have this style? In this color? For this price?” Yes. Yes. Follow me. No. Cheaper. Weaving through the aisles of couches and recliners we stopped short. Made the sales woman turn around. “What? What do you mean cheaper?” When she was done explaining we exclaimed, “that’s $700 cheaper than Rayless!” We know, she said with a smile. Are you still interested?
Like children playing hooky from school we ordered the furniture. Feeling like we got away with something we signed on the dotted line before the numbers could change. We hurried through the paperwork thinking it was too good to be true. We waited for the admittance We Made a Mistake. None came.
“We got chocolate for cheaper. We got chocolate for cheaper!” my husband sang as we drove home. Yes, we did.
We don’t know when we will close. How silly is that? The biggest purchase of my entire life and I don’t know when it will happen. I knew there was trouble last Thursday when kisa said there was a “miscommunication” with the seller’s lawyer. Whatever that means. Unprofessional moment #1. It was hard to go to bed not knowing the plan for the next day. No idea of the walk-through; no idea of the closing. But, I had a good idea it wouldn’t happen at all. A feeling of helplessness was mounting and all I wanted to do was vent – to cry on someone’s shoulder. I’m at the point where I just want to be done with this whole thing. Anticipation is giving way to frustration.
Friday comes and goes. Kisa and I are at the mall. Anxiety is creeping in and people are starting to look stranger and stranger. I couldn’t admit to being okay. We try to stay busy to stay focused. I’m buying candles to light the gloom: gardenia, tea & honey, cedar & pine, and HomeSweetHome (as if!). When we get home every time the phone rings I retell the story and it gets funnier and funnier. It all comes down to a bad boob job. Suddenly, I’m making breast jokes like a guy.
Finally, it’s Sunday and we are back where we started. It’s Thursday night in reverse. We don’t know when we are closing. We don’t know anything. It’s as if we are on a plane, sitting on the tarmac. We are about to embark on a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime vacation. There’s nervous energy in the air. We are excited. We’ve planned for weeks. But, we’re not moving. Minutes turn into hours and there is no explanation for the delay. The idea of going anywhere seems slim, yet we do not understand why. The captain comes on and to say there has been a miscommunication with the tower. Whatever that means. All we know is that we aren’t embarking on that fabulous vacation. We’re stuck looking at the airport terminal. Our bags are packed – have been for days. Yet we cannot move.
Sometimes I think I appreciate my friends more than I tell them. I love them more I let on. That I know. Today I went shopping with such a friend. She’s the one who loads my arms up with the “try this on” stuff because, as she puts it, “it just might work.” She’s right about most everything. I never did tell her that the fur coat pinched my pits, but she’s right – it was funky. I could have spent all afternoon trying on the suggestions of a friend. I didn’t have one fat moment.
I tell you this because she convinced me I needed Kermit. Kermit, Aerosmith and a sexy dress with sunset colors. But, the bigger news is later that day I ran with Kermit. 5.34 miles in an hour. Yup. One freaking hour. I ran to random and found myself laughing at the more ridiculous moments of the week. One hour is a long time to think about sh!t on a treadmill, especially when you settle in and run at the same pace. With Kermit’s help I came to several conclusions. The best being this: My friend is right. No one, I repeat, no one tells me how to conduct my marriage. No one tells me what is or isn’t appropriate. I’ll let my husband be the judge of what he would or wouldn’t appreciate. I was stupid to be upset. I was stupid to care what someone else thought. Especially that kind of someone.
So, to my friend. Thank you for kicking my mental butt.
14 days until Darfur.
Hell does have a name. Hell, hell has several names. Shopping…malls…Macy’s. Take your evil. Pick your poison. Five hours of scouring racks, trudging into fitting rooms, undressing and cringing, fighting static electricity all the while, not wanting to scrutinize lines too closely, yet knowing if I didn’t someone else would, deciding “no, this doesn’t work” only to start the process all over again. Back to the racks. Pushing aside hangers of too flashy, too shiny, too young, too short, too I’mNotThatGirl, too Holy-Cow-They-Want-$250-For-That?! Finding one or two things to haul back to the all-telling mirrors. Glancing over the shoulder, deciding something’s just not quite right (oh wait. It’s me that’s not quite right). Back and forth. Forth and back.
Halfway through the process I noticed a stain right in the middle of my turtleneck and my sweater was beyond brimming with snapping static. My feet were hurting and by dress #8 I broke a nail trying to negotiate the too-tight zipper. That should have told me something right there. With each try-on I felt fatter and fatter. Uglier and uglier. I started to curse my cousin and question why big, fat me had to attend his wedding. The dressing room felt too tiny and someone had turned up the heat. Too make matters worse, some lady tried to steal my dressing room while I was in my mother’s dressing room deep in consultation. How this woman had missed my inside-out jeans on the floor, my cat hair covered coat on the seat, my purse hanging on the door…not to mention the stained turtleneck lying crumpled in the doorway, is beyond me.
Finally, frustration found me and I started trying on black anythings. Black, black, black. Not a shred of color. I settled on something with rhinestones, something fit for a funeral. Shopping had been the death of me. I was so relieved to be finished, done with the search that when I dressed back into my clothes for the final time I put my turtleneck on backwards and forgot to zip my jeans.
ps~ while this makes a great end to the story, just wait until you hear about what happened at the wedding…Hell gets worse.