It was raining. The birding looked bleak. We really did have a few errands and chores that we couldn’t justify postponing any longer especially given the weather. So we packed up Mac and headed to that lovely hamlet of retail and sprawl know as Columbia, Maryland.
Babies R Us was the first stop to return a baby gate that was ill-equipped to deal with the demands of decorative molding, multiple pets, and open stair cases. Then to REI to get me an SPF shirt and sunglasses for Mac. And FINALLY Target (insert the sounds of angels singing and rays of light shining down from the heavens).
For anyone who knew me before Mac’s arrival and my stay-at-home-momness, you might recall my slightly excessive retail habits. And by slightly excessive, I mean I bought any fucking thing I felt like whenever I felt like it and wherever I felt like it – Tiffany’s, Nordstrom, Goodwill. I was an equal opportunity shopper. However, due to its genius merchandising and proximity to my office, Target was a weekly $200-minimum endeavor.
I can’t honestly recall the last time I set foot in a Target. I avoided it for months. I’m not sure if this was because I actually didn’t need anything from Target or because I couldn’t trust myself in a place full of such tempting retail crack.
But Saturday, we went. The pediatrician specifically recommended a baby sunblock that is sold at Target (Blue Lizard, and NOT this Target by the way), and after my last shitty Wal-Mart encounter, we decided Amazon and Target would be our go-to’s for sundries.
I thought long and hard about this excursion. I wanted to look mostly having not been there in ages. I wanted just a few items: the Boot’s foundation I like, the suggested sunblock, an Easter outfit and basic socks for Mac, a casual knit dress/swim cover-up, and perhaps a few new athletic shorts/T’s for me.
But mostly I wanted to look.
I honestly like having less income. No shit. It’s pretty fantastic actually. It forces me to be more resourceful and creative. It offers me a confidence in my creative abilities I have never experienced before. I wanted to look at the children’s clothes and the women’s maxi skirts to see how they were constructed. I wanted to see what the colors and trends were. I thought perhaps I could get a few good ideas to alter some hand-me-downs for Mac or sew myself a nice new comfy skirt or two.
My typically sweet, actually great shopping companion Husband was a complete kill joy.
At some point in the ladies clothing he pronounced loudly, “I think we should only look at the stuff we came here to purchase.”
A few moments later he completely dashed my dreams of $12 seersucker pants for Mac’s Easter ensemble proclaiming Mac had perfectly good kakhi pants at home. He does, but they are cargo pants, which are less than ideal for Easter.
And then something inexplicable happened to me: I felt like crying. I cry approximately once a quarter and typically only for justifiable reasons – death, something mushy I read, stupidly watching Forest Gump (again why do I do that?!). So I couldn’t exactly process what was happening in that moment.
I think I know now. I just wanted to be left the hell alone – in a place I enjoyed. I wasn’t there to buy out the joint. I was there to enjoy the experience and be inspired. My creative happy place was being marred by Husband’s budget and apparent fears I was going to blow it.
I was pretty hot about it too. I couldn’t look him in the eye. It felt like he was treating me like a toddler that wanted every toy. It was hurtful to my ego to a certain degree. I used to earn nearly as much annual income as him, and now he’s calling me out in Target like I’m some kinda’ fiscally irresponsible stupid wife? Over $12 pants? Over looking at skirts? I wasn’t throwing shit in the cart left and right. Hot. Irked. Irate. Hurt.
Look, he’s a darling, really, I’m sure he was just worried super-retail Deni would come out of retirement. He didn’t intentionally make me feel like a pissed off three-year old. Which is exactly why I was gracious and only held a grudge for about 4 hours.
So from now on, this covetous wench will go alone to Target. As an act of goodwill and to ensure continued marital harmony and sanity for my poor husband, I’ll leave all my plastic and cash at home when I do it.
Much, much love to the man who is married to a reformed covetous wench.
It’s hell some days I’m sure.