Retail therapy and memories

I’ve been in such a funk lately that the only thing that could help was shopping.

Angie and I left work at 2 p.m. on Friday with the honest intention of only running to the post office. But then I decided I should really return a suit to Old Navy (read: $60 refund). But I spent another $20 while I was there, and we went next-door to Borders Books for some much-needed caffeine.

Well, don’t drink specialty coffee drinks with lots of sugar and caffeine when you’re near a mall. On a payday. Seriously. Because you will bust out that credit card and show it to anyone wearing a name tag! We ended up at Springfield Mall and did hundreds of dollars of damage at Tar-zhay, Spencers, J.C. Penney and everywhere in between. We bought shirts and purses and shoes and belts and all kinds of fun household goodies. I picked up some microfiber pillows and a rug for the living room. Now to clean the house so I can properly furnish it!

I picked up some cobalt blue sheets from Wallyworld, too. I’m moving toward breaking up the black theme of the house by introducing shades of purple into the living room and cobalt blue in the bedroom. And because I am broke till next payday already, I am glad to have fun projects ’round the house, ’cause I can’t exactly afford to leave it anytime soon. 🙂

I just ordered some birthday gifts for Alex — she turns 1 year old on Monday! She’s fascinated by Elmo (that furry little fucker is crack for kids), so I got a talking doll and matching cell phone and shipped it out to Oregon. I included a card that said I wanted her to have a friend until I can come out there and play with her again.

A part of me is in denial that Alex and Shan really aren’t here in Virginia anymore, but when it occurs to me that it’s true, I burst into tears on command. Everything reminds me of them. And I can’t forget Alex waving to me as she and her daddy got on the elevator at work to leave the building. I keep telling Shan she has got to get that baby into modeling — there are some babies who are cute, and there are many who are not. But Alex is ethereally pretty — sometimes you look at her, and you’re stunned that she’s so little. I mean, she looks at you like she has unscrambled the mysteries of the world and is just waiting to be able to talk so that she can share her insights. She will grow into her beauty, of that I’m sure.

I can’t believe she’s a year old already — I remember driving like a madwoman down to George Washington University Hospital for her birth. I couldn’t wait to see her. I couldn’t hold her because she was a preemie and was attached to monitors and machines for the first couple of weeks of her life. But I remember parking myself at Shan’s bedside for those first few days, fighting with doctors and running to the gift shop for chocolates and pink baby gifts. And something told me that I won’t have my own, but it’s OK because in a way, Alex will always be mine, too. Shan tells everyone that the reason Alex is here today is because of me. I knew something was wrong and begged Shan to go to the hospital, threatening violence on her if she didn’t go (she was seven months along with Alex at the time). If there’s one thing Shan does, she listens to me when my intuition kicks in, and thankfully so. The doctors did a sonogram and saw Alex was so active that the cord got wrapped around her neck. So they delivered immediately. Everytime someone asks Shan about when Alex came into the world, she insists I am the reason Alex is here today (like she and her husband didn’t have something to do with it! LOL). But I admit I feel a little special there — I will always have a connection to that gorgeous little girl.

She may have also saved me as well. A month after she was born, I went into surgery. When I woke up on the operating table, Shan had placed her on my belly, so that was the first little face I saw. And my hospital ordeal and the painful recovery following it nearly killed me, but I kept remembering those moments with Alex, knowing that if she could make it after such an auspicious start to life, well, then I could get through my horrible medical adventures as well.

So anyway, happy birthday, princess. Your favorite aunt misses you and loves you very much.

On iTunes: Everything But the Girl, “Apron Strings”

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