I just narrowly averted doing the stupidest thing that i’ve ever done in my life… not ‘bad decision’ stupid, or ‘i can’t believe you just said that’ stupid. Just plain dumb.
I, of course, blame my mother.
Some people’s parents are deadbeats, weekend warriors, or dirty hippies. My mother is a middle-class shopaholic. She is too good to shop in bargain department stores, but would hardly know what to do with herself in an honest to goodness designer outlet. Somewhere between those two poles falls her two current vices: Walmart & Old Navy
Though i definitely live in fear of any location that involves that disturbing foreshortened version of ‘market,’ the former is innocent enough; after all, where else can you buy laundry detergent, cereal, Christmas decorations, and tube socks all in one shopping trip? I can’t begrudge those luxuries to a working woman, but the latter is infinitely more bothersome.
Apparently, everyone’s favorite low-rent Gap ::shudder:: decided to set up shop just three blocks from our house which, you know, is just beautiful for all those South Philly children who had previously been forced to schlep all the way to a mall for their fleece hoody pullover fuck-if-i-cares. Of course, within three months my mother had an Old Navy credit card. Yes, that’s right, plastic especially dedicated to going into debt to the company who uses the losers from American Idol as its spokespeople. And Morgan Fairchild.
As a result, she is constantly trying to buy me the low-quality logo-bearing crap that the store is packed to the gills with. So far she’s succeeded in buying me exactly one piece of clothing, of off which two buttons have already fallen. Honestly, i think she’s really reached the Middle Age when she starts conversations about how cheap she can buy sweatpants and wouldn’t i love some soft sweatpants, wouldn’t i?
No mom. Anyhow, mother issues aside, all this means to her poor collegiate son is that all of her wonderful care-grams come wrapped in a plastic Walmart bag inside of an Old Navy shopping bag, regardless of their source or content. Mail? Eggplant Sandwich? Girlfriend’s Christmas gifts that i had been hiding at home? The aforementioned tubesocks? New discman so i can survive my yearly plane ride to Florida, plus my electronic plane ticket for said flight? All presents delivered in her unique idea of gift-wrap along with, if i’m super-lucky, a tale of what she original brought home in the bags.
Of course, being a college student, all of these bags typically wind up dumped out in the middle of my floor, at which point they are promptly used to throw trash into. Term papers, tissues, pop-tart packages, and all the other things lying around on my floor. Also due to my lazy college nature, said bags typically accumulate into a pile numbering about a half-dozen before it occurs to me that they can be safely expelled from my room. The pile of Walmart and Old Navy bags containing collegiate trash had today grown to the size of a dozing Bengal Tiger, and in my fear that it would awake and pounce upon me in my sleep i decided it was time to throw them out
And, out they went. Hours ago. However, it wasn’t until just a few minutes ago that i began looking for my new discman and my nonrefundable electronic airline ticket that i realized i had rid my room of all those sinister blue plastic degraders of Earth and their paper-handled brethren when i took out the trash. All. Of. Them.
For those keeping score, that’s upward of $420 dollars in prizes that i put out on the curb, along with a bag of tube socks and a four-pack of batteries.
Down the stairs i went. Out to the curb i ran. There, i was faced with two identical bags that i had casually tossed into trashcans on my way to have margaritas with Amy & Isabelle earlier this evening. One bag contained a dead rodent complete with shavings and q-tips used to examine her bizarre ailment, and the other was full of neatly tied shopping bags full of innocuous trash and one bag that was worth nearly half-a-grand. And, faced with my poor dead rodent or some fabulous parting gifts, did i pick the right bag?
Of course i didn’t. Why the hell should i? So, after gingerly re-twisting the twist-tie of poor Stoli’s proverbial plastic coffin, i then made off with the second bag, which i promptly dumped in our vestibule and kicked until i made contact with something that felt like a fairly expensive Sony discman, at which point i scooped all of the other nearly sealed non-dead-rodent-containing bags back into the momma-bag, put it back on the curb, and slunk back up the stairs to my room to open my early Christmas gift.
How i managed to tell this story before the story about the drag queens in Walmart or Gina and I shopping for toys in Target i can’t tell you, but rest assured both are in the works. And, yes, i blame my mother for the entire thing, and as a penalty have taken her lovely Sage & Citrus scented Christmas gift for my very own.