People, They Are The Reason I Stay Home
May 3, 2006
Just when I think I have run out of things to blog about, I leave my house and come into contact with the world.
Yesterday we went to Old Navy. Like most of the rest of you I’m sure, I got the promotional coupon in the mail this week with the plastic bag. Everything you can stuff in the plastic bag for 20% off. I have used this coupon deal, well every single time it comes.
Never have I actually had to stuff the things into the bag. As a matter of fact, I have had them give the bag back to me in case I wanted to shop more before the promotion was over. And if you shop online there obviously is no physical bag to stuff.
So keeping that in mind, we wandered through the store gathering up the poorly made clothing and feeling good about our part in supporting overseas child labor. When my little children complained and their knees began to buckle I said, “You think you are tired of walking around this store… just think about poor little Manish in India shackled to the bench sewing his fingertips to the bone so that you can have a t-shirt with a smartass quip on the front. Yeah, think about that and we’ll see who is tired.”
Once we felt that we had sufficiently perused every aisle of the store and had left no shirt pile unturned, we went up to the cash register.
I piled all my mounds of clothing onto the counter and she began ringing them up. After the first few items she asked if I had an Old Navy charge. I told her that not only did I have an Old Navy charge, I had my promotional bag.
She looked at my pile of stuff and said, “You can only have the 20% off of the items you can fit into the bag. And there is no way you can fit all of this into the bag.”
She informed me of the new stricter promotional rules, though I am unable to tell if they are in fact real rules or she is just on a power trip. I suspect the latter.
“I could fit all of this into the bag. It just seems sort of stupid.” I said.
“There is no way you can fit all of this clothing into this small bag.” she said, arms crossed.
“Yes, I could.”
“I seriously doubt it.” Her smugness is killing me.
“Is that a challenge?”
“I’m just saying. You will only get the 20% off of the items that are in the bag.” At this point there was a line forming behind me. And I felt my blood pressure rising and my face turning red. I wanted to grab the bag and tie it over her head for a few minutes. And then smack her head against the counter a few times for good measure.
“Well, I am not buying anything that I can’t fit into this bag. So if you want to stand there while I take each and every item and make it fit in here, we can do that. But I hope you realize I have seven children here who would like nothing better than to sample every lip gloss and hand lotion, bounce every ball, and play fetch with the dog toys. It’s not going to be pretty.”
“Those are the rules.”
“Well, alrighty then.” I reply.
And so I began. First I asked my eldest son to remove the hangers from his six pair of huge man sized shorts. Which he did with much embarrassed sighing. Oh the mortification of having your mother even speak in public. I begin the folding and rolling of clothing. And the stuffing into the flimsy plastic bag.
At one point my oldest son told me that I shouldn’t be doing it that I am breaking the spirit of the rules. They have rules for a reason, Muh-om. I told him to remember those words next time he is fighting with me over some rule he has broken and thinks is stupid. After a few more minutes of him pleading the case of Old Navy, I informed him that his clothing will be going into the bag last and I hoped there would still be room. Because God knows I wouldn’t want to break those rules and stretch the plastic bag at all.
As I neared the end of the bag stuffing extravaganza, the kids, minus one, were cheering. “Go Mom! Go Mom!” And once I stuffed the final pair of flip flops into the bag I high fived all my kids, minus one, and we all cheered, well except for the one standing near the exit door pretending he was there shopping all alone.
The woman at the cash register was suitably impressed. And she tried to explain about the rules to me again and how she was just following them. But my lack of eye contact and non committal “whatever” brought that conversation to a speedy close.
And just what did I stuff into that little bag:
3 size 2T tshirts
2 size 5T tshirts
10 size boys XL tshirts
7 pair of boys size 14 shorts (6 of which were denim)
3 shirts for me
2 pair of denim capri pants for me
1 pair of yoga capri pants for me
6 pair of flip flops
1 pink baseball cap
and a partridge in a pear tree.
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