My nephew lost his second tooth yesterday. He came to my house with money to burn, five perfect dollar bills lined up in his new shiny wallet. (Something about that wallet made me want to cry. It was just so simple and sweet.) Apparently he heard via television that Kmart is “the place for toys” – his direct quote.
I have never been to Kmart, that I can remember. I have some bad childhood memories of people making fun of a kid for having Kmart Blue Light Special clothes and it was so ingrained in my brain that I was never able to see it as anything other than a public relations nightmare.
As a general rule I go for quality over quantity. I mean, I shop at Target and Old Navy, so it’s not like I’m only lining my drawers with raw imported silk, but I don’t go to places like Winco or Big Lots.
Could I digress for a moment to ask about Big Lots? Does everyone have one of these? I went there one time, and I drove away feeling lucky that I hadn’t taken a shiv to the ribs. That place is no joke, and I was left with the distinct impression that it is not a real store but a money laundering operation that puts a couple beat up chairs and a pack of candy out front just to keep the feds away. Why, yes, I do watch a lot of television, why do you ask?
Anyway. My sister and I were curious about the Martha Stewart collection there, so we decided to go check it out. I mean if Martha has stuff there it’s got to be cute, right? RIGHT?
Sweet baby Jesus.
At first we were like, okay, this isn’t too bad! We were walking around the toy section and all the sudden this burly voice says, “Can I offer you a ticket for the raffle?” right in my ear. It was more like “CAN I OFFER YOU A TICKET FOR THE RAFFLE?’ or, if I can really be specific, since the lady was obviously smoking meth in parking lot before her shift, it was “CANIOFFERYOUATICKETFORTHERAFFLE?” We accepted mostly because I thought I had seen her once – AT BIG LOTS, and we didn’t want a shiv to the ribs. So she tells that us in five minutes we should go to the lighted section by automotive, and I suddenly was faint, like omgomgomg is this a Blue Light Special? Don’t look into the Blue Light!
We could hear her deep, gravely voice all over the store, telling people where to go. So sure enough, she starts yelling to go over there and I’m guiding my sister to the edge, because people are coming from all over the store, like zombies, slowly moving and surrounding us. Me and my sister (who I call Boop, so let’s just start that already) are eyeballing each other with our secret sister language. Without speaking we had decided that we were moving to the edge, probably not going to hang out, that these people might be zombies and this girl definitely did meth before her shift.
So then Mrs. Methy McGravelVoice announces that she is there to show us some jewelry and that we should hold on our tickets until the end of the show and Boop says (because I am deaf and she is used to repeating stuff) “SHE IS SELLING JEWELRY DUDE, KMART JEWELRY” so I start pushing the cart away and Methy McGravelVoice yells to us not to leave but if we are going to then we need to give our tickets to someone else so that they can be entered in the AWESOME contest. I’m sure of it, dude. This one guy was like “I WANT IT! GIVE IT TO ME! I’LL TAKE IT!” and I was like, easy there Tiger. You will get your cubic zirconium soon enough.
I digress once more to tell you this: there was a lady just pushing her way to the front of Methy McGravelVoice’s presentation, with her cart. The cart had the following items in it: body wash, deodorant and three boxes of Vagisil. Listen, we have all been there. But three boxes? And even if I did for some hellish reason in fact require three boxes of Vagisil, guess where I would NOT be? Pushing my way through the crowd at the “jewelry show”.
So we get away from that clusterfuck, and finish looking around, and Andrew picks his toy out and we go to the check out. The checkout lines are (of course) a total nightmare. I pick the one with the least amount of people, and let Andrew go first because he has his toy and his wallet and he is so excited to buy his first thing ever. He is totally bump drafting the guy in front of us, to the point that the guy had to lean over from the of the lane to pay because Andrew was already at the paying counter. (I explained to him how bump drafting in lines is BAD, and every time you do a unicorn dies. Just kidding, kind of . . . )
The checker can clearly see that Andrew is excited and she says, I will be back in just a minute, I have to get some change. So we wait. Andrew starts doing the pee pee dance, and we debate whether we should go and go back through line and Boop looks at me like if we make her go through the line system again she will be the one shiving my ribs. So we wait. FIVE MINUTES, you guys. That is a really long time for an adult. For kids that have to pee it’s like waiting for 2nd grade to start. I was so pissed went she sauntered over, and she did saunter too. I was just gritting my teeth, like really, dude? Really? But I kept my happy face on so Andrew could be happy while he made his first purchase ever, and look you guys:
So I take him pee while Boop checks out, and we get the bathrooms and I am not sure which one he should go in. I mean, he heads for the men’s room, and he is a six year-old boy with his own wallet. These bathrooms though, they are rough, and I can’t go in the men’s with him. But I decide to be cool about it and just let him go in.
I can here some banging around in there. It’s been three minutes. So I look around and then lean in towards the vent in the door and hiss through, “ANDREW!” and he says something back but because I am deaf, I don’t hear him. I can still hear a banging and I just know that he is playing with a door or a cupboard or (gah!) a toilet seat. So I lean down again and hiss through, “ANDREW! WRAP. IT. UP”.
He comes out holding his hands in the air like they need washed and says, “There was a funny door in there!” As I’m hosing him down with antibacterial gel, I am thinking that this is not worth it. The price break can’t be low enough to justify me ever stepping foot in this store again.
When I got back to the car, Boop and I said to each other in the silent sister language: FUCK.
I went there so you don’t have to. I took one for the team, and I’m telling you, Martha-Smartha, it was rough.