I saw this guy from the front, first, and then, in a very synchronistic way, realized I was following him to the restrooms after I had made my purchases. I pulled my phone from my purse and surreptitiously snapped his photo.
When I first spied him, in his belted bathrobe and sweat pants, he and his wife were sampling some of those delicious marinated vegetables. The eggplant and artichoke hearts and peppers.
"Low fat and no gluten!" said the sampler guy.
Low fat? They were marinated in OIL.
Probably yes, though, they were gluten-free.
Bathrobe. He was wearing a fucking bathrobe. A belted bathrobe. What the fucking fuck?
I thought about yesterday when we were in Thomasville and it seemed like every other woman we saw was wearing leggings, a large top, and boots.
"This look isn't working for me," said Lily.
"I understand it," said May. "I, too, frequently wish I could just wear my pajamas all day."
This guy just took it one step farther. He got out of bed and belted on his bathrobe and said, "Okay, I'm ready. Let's go to Costco."
People. Please. Show a little fucking respect to your fellow humans. I mean, really.
YOU ARE NOT THE DUDE, DUDE! NOT EVEN CLOSE! THE DUDE ABIDES. YOU WILL NOT! YOU ARE JUST A LARGE GUY IN A BATHROBE WHICH IS A GARMENT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO WEAR IN YOUR OWN HOME!
Anyway, on that trip to Costco I bought a ham and pimento cheese and frozen strawberries and tomatoes. I had looked for presents for my children. I mean, there simply has to be something under the tree from their mama or the world will come to an end. I feel certain about this. I went down all the aisles I rarely visit, hoping beyond hope that something would spring up and say, "I am it! Buy me!" For any of them.
Nothing did, although one item sort of tickled my fancy.
But. No. I did not buy it.
I left the Costco after taking that picture and using the restroom.
I drove down the road closer to town, thinking, Hell, I'll go to Target.
I was hungry. I stopped at a sandwich place and got a sandwich and ate it while reading from the book I keep in my car for just such occasions. I felt anxious and horrible and worried and stupid and inadequate. Then I thought about that item I'd seen at the Costco. And I started to laugh.
What if? What if I got every one of my children one of that item and also, one each for their beloveds?
No. I am not going to tell you what that item is but I will say it is practical and a bit luxurious and it will make everyone laugh.
I got back in my car and returned to the Costco. I went immediately to the place where that item was. I counted out what I needed and put them in my cart. The woman selling fancy purses saw me and she laughed.
"Christmas shopping done!" I said to her.
She laughed some more.
"That's great!" she said. "I love it!"
I felt so relieved you have no idea. I went to Publix where I saw a friend of mine, a woman who works there who is going through chemo. We stood in the aisle and talked and talked and we hugged more than once. I bought the pickles I need for my chicken salad, and the grapes. I bought orange juice and fancy mustard and Dixie Lily self-rising flour and full-fat buttermilk and potatoes. I loaded everything up and drove home. It took me about fourteen trips to get everything into the house. I didn't care. My soul was light and happy. I have presents for my children and for my grandchildren and for my husband. I have the ingredients to make food for Christmas eve, including angel biscuits. It is still raining and also this- when I stopped by Lily's this afternoon on my way into town and she was showing me the nursery, I asked Owen what he was looking forward to doing with his sister.
"Guess," he said.
"Hold her?" I asked him.
"No," he said.
"Calling her Beauty?" I said.
"More than that. Guess!"
"I don't know! Tell me."
"Read to her," he said.
He is learning to read and he is so proud of that.
I grabbed him to me and I said, "You just made my heart explode."
And he did.
All right. Off to wrap presents.
It is almost Christmas and I am ready.