Saturday, February 25, 2012

Shop-aholic 1/3

A short story

I wear riot gear when I go shopping. The police call them crowd dispersants. Rubber bullets, tear gas, flash bangs, and pepper spray.

The first time I did it was during a closing sale for my favorite little kitsch shop. The shop had the most beautiful little collections and the closing sale was magnificent. 70% off or more. How could I resist? I wanted the ceramic cherubs holding different fruits. I wanted the vintage tins of cookies and coffee. I wanted to absorb the store.

And I could never really shop with such awful patrons. The people that shop at kitsch stores are the most self-debasing individuals in the world. They are the unhappy housewives that go antiquing with their best girlfriend from college for the weekend with thousands to blow on relics from an era before their time. They hold lattes and have boring affairs with their gym trainers. They eat botulin for breakfast. And they are rude.

It’s no way to live; it’s certainly no one you want to hang out or shop with. And I was tired of their cattiness and their aggression.

The moment I decided that my shopping technique would change was when I was leaving a quaint town center. I had parallel parked on a side street in the middle of what appeared to be a main street from a coming of age 1950s movie. I was organizing the car and getting ready to leave when I heard a honk. I didn’t think much of it because I wasn’t part of traffic yet. I continued getting the car clean and ready to leave.

Another honk. This time I looked in the mirror; there was a car waiting for me to pull out. Granted, the area was crowded but there were a few open spots. Why the woman with the enormous pouty lips and face pulled taut against her skull needed my spot I couldn’t tell you. But there she was, waiting for me to move. I kept at my task. I would leave when I was ready.

I glanced again in the mirror. She gestured wildly; flailing her arms, her mouth moving. Her lips formed a variety of words that all appeared to be obscenities.

I looked back at my task and continued organizing. As I finished putting things away she pulled up to my window and honked again. I held in a sarcastic sigh, rolled down my window, and smiled at her.

“Are you moving?” She asked me sweetly; as if I hadn’t seen her rage fit in my rear-view mirror.

“Soon. I’m organ--”

“Great, then you’ll move now,” she interrupted me, rolled up her window and hit her car in reverse. I rolled my eyes, made sure everything was secure, and put my car into drive. I pulled out with agonizing sloth--hoping to elicit some more frothy anger from the plastic woman behind me.

And that was the moment I decided that shopping wouldn’t be like that anymore.