Pray for the Child at Big Lots (Remix from July 2005)

The Amazon and I headed to Big City Friday to shop. We both desperately need clothes and there are things we need around the house. Before we left, I fixed my hair, donned earrings and a necklace, even put on makeup. I thought I was hot shit stuff. The first place we stopped was a little shop downtown, I can't remember the name but it's a Scottish/Celtic place. This area was settled by alot of Scottish immigrants so the whole clan thing is big business. We parked in the parking garage and made our way down the stone lined streets. It was really hot and being the woman of ample form that I am, I was perspiring like a large farm animal and my new happenin' hairstyle was plastered to my head by the time we reached the store. It was cooler inside, but, once I start sweating, I can't stop. The stuff just rolls down my face like Niagara. It's embarrassing. I don't even have to be hot. I don't really think it has anything to do with my weight, the same thing used to happen when I was considerably thinner. So anyway, inside we met a very refined, well educated, bordering on snooty, yet surprisingly friendly, little old woman. She was tiny, yet spoke with such conviction, I was certain that she took no crap off of anyone. Not a single white, perfectly coiffed hair was out of place. I'm usually intimidated by ladies such as this, but yet we stood in that store and talked to her for a long time. It was a little annoying, she wouldn't hush long enough for us to really get a good look at everything she had in the store. She inquired about our clan, the McPhersons and went on to tell us stories about the 40 years she worked in D.C., how she'd drive home to visit her family when she could and how frightened she was to have to drive through the remote mountain area my father's family was from. Still to this day, stories abound about the oddity of the people who live there, the hauntings, the great massacre that occurred during the civil war. The Amazon was completely taken with her and her stories. I imagine we'll have to venture back to her store before summer's end.We left there without buying anything, although there were plenty of mugs, pins and necklaces bearing the McPherson name and insignia. They were all a bit too expensive for us. We totally forgot to ask her about the De Glenn clan, another Scottish line in our family.

We found a cool little store just down the way that sold imported, handmade items from less fortunate countries at VERY reasonable prices. They had literature all over the store telling the percentage of the selling price which made it's way back to the artisan. There were these dolls (no body, just a head and a long dress) hanging from the ceiling with saris, I really wanted one and the price was right, but I didn't buy one. I needed mixing bowls and rope to fix the dog lot cover more than I needed a doll. It would be a nice birthday or Christmas pressie though (<-------HUGE HINT HERE Amazon).

As we left there, the thunder began rumbling with a bit more force and it began sprinkling. The picture in my sidebar of the girl with the accordion was taken seconds before the heavens opened up in biblical proportions releasing a gully washer of a storm. It wasn't simply raining, the drops were huge, you couldn't see across the road and, of course, neither of us had an umbrella. We tried to make our way back to the parking garage, the cobblestone street already becoming flooded and me in my rubber Nike flip flops, trying to keep them from sliding off my big Flintstone like feet. We sprinted for the cover of each awning, few and far between, dodging the pointy extensions of other people's umbrellas, nearly losing an eye. As we spotted the entrance to the parking garage in the distance and plodded our way in that direction, there stood under the protective cover of a store front, an older man, white hair and beard, sipping his coffee and grinning at us like the Cheshire cat, obviously seeing the humor in our situation. He nodded, smiling in a comforting, somehow familiar way as we went by. It made me smile a bit, it was only water after all. I often think Spirit puts people like this in our path to help us realize that things aren't as dire as we sometimes make them in our own minds.Finally, we reached my car, sitting down in squishy jeans and drenched shirts. I looked in the mirror to assess the damage. Eyeliner mixed with a torrential rainfall results in raccoon eyes. Any other trace of makeup was long gone. I reached up to adjust my necklace, one I had made when I first began doing bead work, only to have it come apart in my hand. Green, blue and silver beads went everywhere. As we made our way towards a more conventional and dryer shopping center, the Amazon picked off the beads that were stuck to my neck, giggling at my luck.

We stopped at J&S cafeteria for lunch, one of those places where you go through a line and happy little line workers slop your requests on a plate so you can carefully carry it all on a tray back to your table. I had to make two emergency potty runs while there, not that ya'll need to know that, but it was a clue of what was yet to come. It must have been senior citizen dinner time, I think we were the only people there under 70. There was, however, a nice little fella who came around to fill our tea (asking the Amazon if she wanted a refill but not me) who was quite obviously flirting. Her face turned a lovely cherry red as she hunkered down in her seat whispering to me, "shut up.. just shut up."After that we headed to Catherines, the fat clothing store. They didn't have anything I'd be caught dead in nor that I could afford. I usually attack the clearance racks there, but being a new location, they didn't have much that was marked down. It was all old lady, schoolmarm clothes. I have enough insecurities without dressing like a dork wad. Then it was off to Office Depot where I bought a cleaning cloth for the screen on my spiffy new camera. After that it was Target where I got a pack of rope in the dollar bin and a new set of Anchor Hocking mixing bowls. We were down to one that Ma'd had before I was born. I treated myself to some new eyeshadow as well, for which there were coupons in this Sunday's paper.. just my luck.

We hit Big Lots next, I bought some much needed cereal bowls for 99 cents. Nice deep ones, since we tend to eat in the living room. While standing in line, I felt a familiar urge creeping around my backside and hurriedly shoved some cash in the Amazon's hand saying, "Here, pay for this, I'll be in the potty." I prayed no one would be in there and that it would be at least reasonably clean. I hate public bathrooms, I spend alot of time in them as you're slowly finding out. Just as I reached the door, a little girl, about 10 or 11 ran in in front of me. Bless her heart, I wanted to apologize in advance. She was in the stall right next to me so, as a public service, I tried to make things as quiet as possible. As a result, the process was quite drawn out and I sat pleading silently for her to complete her mission and be on her merry way. No such luck. She must have eaten at J&S too. After a couple of very embarrassing minutes, I just couldn't stand it anymore. Giving myself a pep talk, I convinced myself to just go for the gold, let it fly, do what needed to be done. The result was the loudest, wall vibrating, weapons of mass destruction type sound ever known to mankind. The next sound I heard, as the echo settled, was the fleeing of little feet as my stall neighbor went flying out the door, no doubt seeking the comfort of her mother's arms. I wanted to DIE. But, mission completed, I did the required tidying up and walked casually out of the bathroom, as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. At the entrance to the lengthy hall where the potty is housed stood the Amazon, waiting patiently with our little bag of goodies, by now used to my frequent if not inconvenient shopping interruptions. When we got to the car, I felt the need to share my traumatic experience and the resulting unrelenting assault on the tender senses of the sweet child. When I got to the previously mentioned "weapons of mass destruction type sound" which was violently released from my embarrassingly huge backside, she stopped me and said, "I know, I heard it."

Excuse me? She HEARD IT???

The door was closed and she was nowhere near it, if she heard it, it must have been heard by others. The offices for the store were located at the other end of the long hall, employees coming and going, presumably taking their MEAL BREAKS for Gods sake. Could someone just SHOOT ME NOW??????After that, needless to say, I made a beeline for Frog Pond Holler where I can unleash the unsavory emissions which regularly release themselves from my body, surrounded only by my immediate family who I assume are now accustomed to it.

The preceding story is a reprint from my old blog. I finally bit the bullet the other day and deleted it, but not before I went through and found a few posts I couldn't bear to lose forever. After a bit of editing, I've deemed it safe to share them with ya'll here.