Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Mad Dash

“So what did you buy in your mad dash?” CD asked.  The  “mad dash” he referred to was my buying spree at the mall the night before, triggered in part by my being mad at my husband. 

My darling had been in a mood all day long. We had plans to go to New Orleans for lunch and then to watch racing at the Fairgrounds, plans that were my idea. However, he had signed off on them, and I had gone cheerfully to watch a movie with him Saturday so it was my turn to pick.

When it came time to leave, however, John was having problems with an engineering program he was using to double check breach analysis figures. He kept getting an error message.

I suggested we cancel our plans for the Fairgrounds so he could stay home and mess with the software. He declined. All the way to New Orleans, however, he mused out loud about why he was having problems with the software.

It didn’t help that our first choice restaurant was closed. We headed for another favorite restaurant, with John speculating the entire way that they would be closed, too. Actually, they were open, but that didn’t make him any happier that I could see, especially when the waiter gave us the bill for the party at the next table, a bill that was $15 more than ours. It all got straightened out, but by that time I didn’t have high hopes for what was left of the day. The high point was when the ice cream cones my husband bought us melted some on his way to our seats. He threw his away, but I ate mine, getting ice cream on several articles of clothing, plus my nose, in the process. By time I returned from cleaning up in the ladies room, my darling had decided we were never going to that race track again. “Well, you’re not,” I thought to myself, “because next time I come here, you won’t be with me.” We watched a few more races without betting and then went home.

I got home to find a message on the answering machine from a jeweler who was fixing a necklace I got as a Christmas gift by lengthening the chain. It turned out that they were still open and would be for long enough for me to get to the mall and pick it up. I would have let it go until today, but I liked the idea of putting some distance between me and the grump.

The repairs to the necklace were $50, and I had been in need of a new nightgown with long sleeves ever since the colder than normal weather set in. As soon as I got to Dillard’s, I was of course confronted by rows of cosmetics, and the realization hit me that I could use a lipstick that would go better with the coral colored blouse I was wearing than my current one did. Only after I tried on and fell in love with the perfect shade by Dior did I find out that their lipsticks are $34. (Their lip liners are $30, but I bypassed that until I can try the one I have and see how it works.)

I wandered around the nightgown department facing more sticker shock. If I hadn’t been living in a cave, I would have known of Hanro of Switzerland, a company that makes $200 nightgowns of the sort that look like long T-shirts. I might, at a stretch, pay $200 for a silk and lace confection of a nightgown that would be completely impractical and not stay on very long anyway, but not for a long T-shirt. Yes, I know, that makes no sense. But I have my dollar rule. If I pay $200 for something, it had better make me $200 worth of happy.

As I headed for a fitting room with the two lesser priced, prettier looking gowns I did find, my phone began playing Love by John Boswell, my special ringtone for my husband. I fished the phone out of my purse, thinking Love is a Battlefield might make a better choice. “I’m sorry,” were the first words I heard. The next words I heard were an account of how he had tried the software on the new tablet I had given him for Christmas, and it worked fine, so the problem was his old computer, and when would I be home so we could go out for dinner? I promised him that I just needed to try on two things and then I’d be home.

From the top: "Mine, mine mine", "Maybe" and Maybe Not". This is exactly how I try to organize items in a dressing room. Thank you, Dillard's.

“That was my husband, calling to apologize,” I said to a bored saleswoman who hadn’t heard me on the phone and didn’t care. “Where can I try these on?” That she cared about. I tried on the gowns and bought them both, for a total of another $127. I talked to the saleswoman about the $200 nightgowns. “Their panties are expensive, too” she said, pointing to a pair of plain white boy briefs on the counter marked $21. Good thing my husband had called. 

So this morning I commented to friends online that I really shouldn’t go to the mall when I’m mad at my husband, prompting the “mad dash” comment. Of course, nothing but the overpriced lipstick was a true impulse purchase. And it did look good on me when we went out to dinner. So did the necklace.  And the - 

Well, let’s just leave it at that.

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