Monday, December 13, 2004

It wasn't my fault

Hi, I'm Betty, and I am a shopoholic. Hi Betty!

I can't help it. I cannot be blamed. It's ingrained in my DNA. I'm convinced that if a lab ran my chromosomes through their chromosomometer at least one pair would resemble dollar signs. I'm hard-wired to spend money and I'm a true-blue believer in retail therapy. Ya'll can have your comfort food and cigarettes, I'll take Target.

Since I spend a fair amount of my time meandering through department stores, ogling wares, feeling up clothing and molesting the merchandise, I seem to find myself occasionally resembling a bull in a china shop. This too, is not my fault. (Well, most of the time).

I will admit, despite being incredibly coordinated and situationally athletic, I am accident-prone to the 11th degree. I'm the person who's movin' her booty on the dance floor like a pro causing envy and lust from all who witness my most excellent shakin' of dat ass, when I slip on an olive and go sailing under the nearest table while pulling a groin muscle and ripping my favorite jeans. I'm the person who tore a ligament in her pinkie putting her hair into a ponytail. I'm a living oxymoron.

This charming trait of mine is not aided by my surroundings. Chairs jump into my path, walls lean over and smash my head and drawers magically shut on my fingers. If being in the comfort of my own home wasn't hazardous enough, venturing out into the retail world sometimes proves to be littered with landmines.

There's the obligatory clothing that always, always, always, comes spontaneously flying off the hanger as soon as I get near it. And stores that jam all their shit so tight and stacked so high that you can't help but pull it all onto your head when you're just trying to find your size! And let's face it, quality is hard to find. It's not my fault that Inspector 14 was hung-over that one Thursday and let all those precious products roll on by with fatal flaws.

And it's because of this, that I'm now afraid of an inanimate object. An innocent collectable that millions of people display with pride and adoration on a million shelves in a million homes. A simple souvenir minding its own business. A harmless, insignificant knickknack that should not illicit anxiety and ass-squenching making me run the other direction less I actually touch one, but does. A new phobia was created and added to my collection one particular Christmas season and it's not my fault.

I was cruising the gifty areas of a large department store, relaxed and happy, silently gathering useful potential-gift information. I'd hit the jewelry counter, sauntered through the shoes then headed up to the third floor to check out housewares. After nixing the knives and poo-pooing the plates, I came upon a large display of snow globes. There were globes of all sizes. Big ones, small ones, medium ones, and itty-bitty teeny-tiny ones.

They were mostly Christmassy scenes with little houses, wintry trees and snowmen. A few contained a maniacal Santa busting a gut with his gloved paws on what I'm sure was supposed to be his big jolly belly, but once again, that lazy bitch Inspector 14 was sauced up at her station and let a gaggle of Chris Kringle's go by with him obviously grabbing his North Pole and Jingle Bells.

I continued to scan the array of orb's filled with their glitter and snow and drifty drift junk inside. I picked up a few and gave a tester shake to watch the magical sparkly filler spin and float around, landing on the permanently affixed object inside. I wondered to myself who (maybe me) of my friends (possibly me) would appreciate and receive this for Christmas (most likely me).

Then I saw a really elaborate large-sized globe that seemed pretty cool. It was an ornate winter wonderland scene complete with several cabins, their little windows glowing from fireplaces inside, a forest surrounding the houses, children's sleighs resting in the snow banks. It was colorful and festive. And HUGE.

I don't know why I treated this one differently than all the previous globes I'd so thoughtfully and gently examined, but this time I decided to turn it totally upside down instead of giving a delicate wee shake. It wasn't even a conscience decision. It was a reflex really. In fact, maybe I had had a miniature shopping seizure. Whatever it was, it wasn't my fault.

I held the trinket in both hands, and with a quick turn of my wrists, I flipped it. Before I could blink...CRASH!!! The globe separated from its base faster than whale shit in an ice flow. In what seemed like slow motion, I watched it fall to the ground and literally explode on the scuffed tile floor. My ears ringing from the deafening concussion of glass shattering. It sounded like a grenade had had been launched right there in the middle of Macy's, briefly silencing the Christmas muzak playing overhead.

There was a little old lady nearby who let out a little old lady squeal. I was mortified. I was frozen. I tried to kick-start my brain and process what just happened. My only recourse? GET THE HELL OUT! I quickly put down what was left of the globe, the little wooden corpse that was still in my hand, and did an about-face; sweat tickling my forehead as I made a quick trek back to the escalator. My face hot and flushed with horror.

I thought I was home free until I spied a sales lady staring at me, her lips puckered into a tight frown, while she gave me an icy-cold up-and-down. Finally settling her steely eyes on my feet. She hadn't seen it, I was sure, so how could she know that apocalypse had been me?? That's when I looked down and saw the evidence of my snow-globe murder. My jeans and shoes were shimmering with the dripping evidence. From the knees down I was saturated with magical sparkly globe water and covered with snowflakes.

Our eyes locked on each other. Mine wide with guilt. I mustered a panicked, phony grin, nervously giggled, said "Merry Christmas". Then ran away.

It wasn't my fault.


Ginny said...

I feel your pain.

This comming from the woman who sprained her shoulder jumping over my balcony because I lost my keys... And had no underwear on.

Anonymous said...

Another big laugh from Bitter Betty - thanks, Betty!

While reading, I felt like you embodied the cast of Will & Grace (I like that show; it's a compliment).


No_Newz said...

You can't control chromosomes or poorly assembled snow globes. I agree, it was not your fault. Funny as hell little glitter girl, certainly not your fault!!
Lois Lane

Becka said...

I have left department stores trying desperately to look casual and nonchalant. I feel your pain.