I don’t mean to be that lady.
Honest, I don’t.
It’s not like I plan these things out, and it’s never on purpose. It just happens, sometimes.
It all started so innocently, too.
There I was, standing in the laundry aisle of Walmart, contemplating my laundry hamper options. I had $200 burning a hole in my pocket, and I was trying to figure out how to stretch it as far as I could.
Oh, sure, if I were back in Orange County, $200 would have been enough to renovate the living room, the laundry room, and maybe even go out for dinner with what was left over. That was because the weather is always sunny down there.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t miss it down there. Heck, I don’t even miss the weather.
What I do miss are garage sales.
It turns out that garage sales are a seasonal thing up here in Portland. I can’t say I blame everyone – who would want to drag all their stuff out to their muddy front lawn just to watch it get soggy with the rain? It just makes sense to wait until summer time.
Still. I miss year-round garage sales.
What’s worse, without the competition from the garage sales, the prices for used items Craigslist is astronomical.
Beautiful, vintage, 1970’s sofa! Plaid, with green and orange stripes! Very low wear, light cat urine spraying, and only a few holes. Cost $900 new… asking $850 obo!
I’m only joking a little bit. I did see a used, hideous, green velvet sectional sofa listed for $900 the other day, simply because it was “vintage”.
Dear people of Craigslist: calling something “vintage” instead of “really old” does not make it worth more money. It just makes you seem kind of cheesy.
Anyways, with no viable options on Craigslist or at the Goodwill, and with no garage sales to fall back on, I found myself wandering the aisles of Walmart, trying to see how far I could stretch my money. I wanted to fix up our closet and laundry room, so there I stood, pondering the hampers.
This is what happens when you get old, and boring. I used to ponder the cosmos, and eternity, and theological principles and my calling in life.
Now I ponder stuff like:
If I got a laundry sorter with a drying rack, would I still be able to afford the storage shelves for our closet, and maybe have some money left over to search for a used table? But what if I bought the hamper and then found something really neat at Ikea and couldn’t afford it? Maybe I should wait?
Being a grown-up is so incredibly thrilling sometimes.
As I stood there pondering the vast complexities of laundry hampers and closet storage units, I leaned back and rolled my shoulders. Ouch. My back hurt. I’d slept on it wrong and had forgotten to stretch it out before heading out of the house.
I could usually fix any back problems with a deep stretch – I’d mastered the art of popping my own back years ago. But now I was in the middle of a store, and I doubt anyone wanted to see me sprawled on the cold linoleum, contorting myself until I made it pop. I’d just have to deal with it until I got home.
Speaking of home…. Yeah. Yeah, I should probably hold off buying anything until I checked Ikea….. but man, that was a really neat drying rack up on the top of that laundry sorter. What if I…?
Deep in thought, I leaned back slightly, and that’s when I felt it – a narrow shelf hitting me at just the right spot below my shoulder blades.
I never consciously thought about it – it was almost a reflex. Mentally tallying the cost of my imaginary purchases, I did it without thinking – I leaned back slightly, braced myself against the shelf, and rolled my shoulders back… and pop!pop!pop! My back reset itself, and I straightened up with a relieved smile.
And immediately heard: POP! POP!SNAP!POP!
Leaning against the shelf had caused the lip of the shelf to dislodge from the brace holding it up.
It happened in slow motion – I tried to stop it, but it was like a horrible domino effect I was powerless to stop.
If my “Oh no… oh no… oh no!” didn’t draw enough attention, the glorious sounds of the crash certainly drew everyone’s attention, causing other shoppers to stop mid-shopping and turn their carts around to peer curiously down my aisle.
Because with that one simple action, that one thoughtless, satisfying little crack of the back, I became known as “that lady who knocked down the entire vacuum cleaner display at Walmart.”