12 hours ago
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Nothing wrong with a little store therapy
I brought down the house at Toys 'R Us tonight. Well, the customer service department, anyway. I had to exchange a camera I'd gotten Sabrina for her birthday, because it's pink and as of this minute she's into blue and, yes, catering to the kids' color obsessions has become my new occupation.
I forgot to bring the receipt and credit card I'd bought the camera with, of course. "If I tell you the card numbers, will that work?" I asked the store manager. He nodded, and I reeled off the 16 numbers from memory. He and the other person behind the desk cracked up. "How'd you remember that?" he asked.
I don't have a shopping problem. No, really, I don't. I'm a mini shopper—I mostly buy small things here and there. A lip balm, a wicker basket to hold papers, a purple t-shirt for Max (unlike Dave's shopping expeditions, when he comes home with some new tech toy, a moped or some green vitamin drink that he thinks is going to make him instantly healthy). Sure, I love a trip to a museum or photo gallery, but visiting Target at 9 at night is inspiring in its own way. Half the time, I don't even get anything. I'm probably Tarjay's worst nightmare. Perhaps my face is on a poster in the store's back office. "Strange woman alert—fondles votive holders but doesn't buy," the sign might say.
After Max was born, CVS was part of my therapy. I'd leave Max with Dave, drive there and stroll around, soothed by the neat rows of products—proof that there was still order in the world. I found the bright, sunny baby goods especially reassuring: Max had a stroke and was at risk for terrifying things, but he could have that sweet, intoxicating Johnson's Baby Shampoo smell just like any other baby in the world. He could still have that silky soft Baby Magic skin.
Shallow indulgence? Pathetic escape? I'll take it. When you've got worries on your mind, it's good to get away.
Photo by arfblat
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 2:32 AM