Retail Therapy

As the only money I’ve spent in the past few weeks has been on pizza and other hideous fast food disasters, I decided that it was time to celebrate surviving the past few weeks of work with some bargain shopping. And although I spent waaaaayyyy too much money, I am a happy girl right now.

Poor Shan is tied up with work stuff through tomorrow, so I braved the shopping plazas alone. I found a bunch of super-discounted shirts at Ross, and also found a Hilfiger skirt I’d wanted for months (for which I’d refused to pay retail) as well as a great olive-green suit for a mere $27.99. That was the easiest $90 I’ve spent, but as I have bags of goodies waiting to be unpacked, I am pretty darned pleased. Besides, I got five shirts, three of which were $3.49, and the others were $7.99 and $12.99. My theme today was trendy but timeless — they’re not warm enough for this ridiculous cold snap we’re having, so I think they’ll still be in fashion for the springtime. 🙂

And then I hit the grocery store, for the first time in ages. I never really wander around in the supermarket, as cash is always severely limited and I only stick to essentials, but today I treated myself to some new, frivolous items as well as some old standbys. The damage was too much to mention, but I’m deliriously pleased with the new coffee-and-cream Oreo cookies that I opened before I even stuck the beer in the fridge. Oh, yeah, that’s another treasure. I haven’t had a Yuengling since I left Pittsburgh in June — it’s brewed in Pottsville, Pa., and it’s dirt cheap above the Mason-Dixon line. And it’s good, too! But I hadn’t seen it in bars or stores down here until today, and hell yeah, I got a six-pack! w00t!

As I was wandering through Kingstowne, I did a lot of thinking. I wish I were motivated enough to write down all of my thoughts, because I had about six thousand ideas for businesses to start, things to do, things I should’ve said, etc. Sitting in front of a computer really isn’t my point of inspiration — it’s being out and about, eavesdropping and observing. I really should bring along a tape recorder every time I leave the house, because I already talk to myself — at least the tape recorder would justify my sudden little verbal outbursts.

At least, though, I don’t speak directly to people. But they don’t return the favor.

Retail Agony

I had the Church Lady chatting with me in Ross, as she picked up ugly tops and admired them and did the “Isn’t this gorgeous?” conversational entree to me. Sweet Jesus. Then she showed me all the other shit she had in her hands, Xmas books and tapes for kids. She bragged that she’ll put those aside for next Xmas, but she fretted that she wants her grandkids to learn more than the meaning of Xmas. Initially, I thought that was cool, because I assumed she meant that she wanted to teach them that Xmas isn’t the only important holiday and Christianity isn’t the only faith in the world, but I was wrong. She started launching into this diatribe about how all the Disney shit in her hands wasn’t the true meaning of the holiday, but the Bible is. And she went on to tell me that she has Xmas-themed religious books for the kids, to balance this trash that she was buying. Christ. I scooted away quickly after that. I mean, I respect all religions and have no problem with people having faith in whatever they choose to believe or celebrate, but for god’s sakes, if you’re denting my bargain-hunting time with it, well, I get pissed. Then again, my own spirituality is a private thing, and I hate when people assume that I am thrilled to hear about theirs.

But I digress. Again, I keep to myself when I’m not among friends.

The joy of finding bargains was once again overshadowed in the checkout line. I was third in line, and a girl walked over to the couple in front of me and said, “I can take the next in line,” and she motioned to her desk. They stared at her. She said it two more times before the couple in front of THEM told the salesgirl to speak in Spanish. So she did, and they understood and followed happily.

And then everyone looked at me, as if for my approval or jubilance or something. Yeah, whatever. I was pissed. I kind of blew my bangs out of my eyes and sighed deeply. I wanted to klunk their heads together. I mean, if they can’t even comprehend conversational English, between the two of them, what the fuck are they doing in my country? I mean, I can’t believe that when I go into CVS, I can’t find a CVS Care Card application in English, but there are two displays full of them in Spanish. When I got my card, I didn’t even fill out a form, because I couldn’t read the damn thing. Believe me, I can only imagine how frustrating it is for a non-native to learn English, as there are millions of Americans who take English for 12 years in school, then for another four years in college, and still can’t pronounce a third of our vocabulary.

Blah. At any rate, I treated myself to coffee and a cinnamon scone at Starbucks, which is absolutely my favorite breakfast in the land. I’d wanted Columbian coffee, but they hadn’t brewed it, and the cashier asked me to pick among some other flavors, and she offered to put a shot of hazelnut in whatever I chose, to give me the Columbian flavor. I asked her to surprise me, as my brain had not been caffeinated yet and therefore I was rendered incapable of making this decision. She seemed pissed that I wouldn’t pick for myself, so she made some concoction that ended up being fabulous for me. What I did not mention is that I couldn’t UNDERSTAND what she was asking me to pick from, as her accent was too thick, and I couldn’t be bothered with my Gibberish-to-English translating capabilities at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. And I tried to joke with her a little bit, but she didn’t understand me, either. We were equally glad when I took my scone and java and went to the coffee condiments station.

In Other News

Looks like Chris and Shawn’s wedding reception will be on-or-around July 26 in Minneapolis!!! And Leslie from Ireland called me for a long chat, and she will be in town for it. Woo hoo! She will fly into Dulles Airport earlier than that, and we will bum around D.C. for a few days before wandering out to Minnesota together. One can only hope that I have my life a little bit more on-track by then, so that I can afford the trip as well as the drinking that I KNOW we’re going to do! 🙂 When we were last in Pittsburgh together, she also entrusted me with her wedding present for our friends — here’s to hoping I will remember where I put it by then!!! Ooooh, goody. I can’t wait for her to meet Shan — my two Pissed Off Irish Princesses, together at last!!!

It’s so strange — many of my friends are finding true love and/or even welcoming the next generations of their lives into the world. Many times, I’ve wished for a great relationship, but it’s just not in the cards for me right now. I’m OK with that, but it still doesn’t help when everyone else around me seems to have someone to complete their lives. I guess my real hope is that, after all of this wishing and wondering, the person I eventually meet will have been worth this insufferable wait. In the meantime, I have a litany of self-improvements I need to make for myself, so that when the right one comes along, I will be able to lavish affection upon them without having any outstanding issues of my own to resolve. Unfortunately, at my age, people are still getting over or even just beginning to face their own demons. My dream of dreams is to find a normal person to complement me, and to be that normal person that they themselves have been searching for.

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