Just Another Delightful School-Shopping Experience

This weekend marked a big event around these parts — Sales Tax-Free Weekend. And since I will soon have THREE boys (*sob*) in school, Husband and I decided to do something we try hard to never have to do . . . take the whole crew shopping.

First of all, let me remind you (if you’ve forgotten from my last post) how ungodly HOT it is here. Is it hot where you are too? Ugh. It’s like walking into a blast furnace, which is exactly what I want to be doing, especially if I have three boys whining on my heels.

Second, let me tell you that this tax-free weekend’s a pretty big deal where I live. Granted, if you’re just in the market for a pair of socks, you might as well stay home and pay the extra 18 cents. But if you’ve got three boys who’ve either outgrown or worn out their wardrobe, that 6% can really add up. So it was not only beastly hot, but crowded too. My favorite ingredients for a relaxing day.

Sidebar: One more note on this tax-free weekend here. Okay, I appreciate what the state leaders are trying to do, but I don’t really get the logic behind what’s tax-exempt and what’s not. For example, backpacks and bags are not on the tax-exempt list. However, if you’d like to get a wedding dress, it is on the list. Because everyone wants to wear a wedding dress on the first day of school. Oh, and it has to be under $100 too. Seriously, is that even possible? You can also purchase a tuxedo (but not rent) or clerical vestments, but not school supplies or belts without buckles (those with buckles are okay). Cleats? No. Fur coats and stoles? Yes. (Again, under $100.) You can get garden gloves but not welding gloves. Bowling shirts? Yes. Adult diapers? Yes. Watches and wallets? Sorry. I honestly think they just closed their eyes and pointed to a list and whatever items their fingers landed on were exempt.

Anyway, it started out relaxing, with me screaming firmly insisting that the boys stop touching each other in the backseat, which was resulting in tattletaling, flying elbows and even a punch or two. We took the car instead of the van because we thought it may be safer considering the van is currently riding on two front near-bald tires (it’s on my to-do list this week), but in retrospect we maybe should’ve just risked it for the sake of sanity. Boy #1 was still grumpy because we’d just come from Sports Clips, where he’d gotten his juvenile delinquent-esque hair cut to a respectable-looking length. All in all, it was a pleasant drive to the mall.

The next few hours were spent answering the question, “Do we have to go into ANOTHER store?”; telling the boys to quit chasing each other through the aisles; and trying to come to a compromise with Boy #1 on shoes that he would wear but did not cost $70 or look like clown shoes. (We talked him out of the bright purple skater shoes.)

Toward the end of the day, we had just hit our third mall when I experienced what would become the highlight of all of our day. Honestly, why do these things only happen to me? (And possibly Liz Lemon.)

We were walking down the middle of the mall, when I felt my flip-flop-clad feet slip out from under me. I tried to remain upright, swayed to and fro for a moment, but I just couldn’t hold on as my feet flew up in what I swear was slow motion and I landed on the ground, in something wet. I had been holding Boy #3’s hand but lucky for him let go so he didn’t go down with me. Nope, it was all me. Sprawled out in a puddle of who-knows-what.

And as I went down, what did Husband do? Rush to my rescue? Give me a hand up? Nope.

Grabbed his phone to update his Facebook status. I think the world knew what I did before I even had a chance to dry off my legs.

Fortunately, this happened at the least-populated mall in the city. Honestly, I think there were only about 7 other people there besides us. But still…the ones who were there were snickering.

But this wasn’t the worst part for me. Nope, it was when I stood up and started walking (trying to catch up with my family who I think was trying to pretend like they didn’t know me) that I realized something that only other middle-aged women who’ve borne babies can appreciate — my legs weren’t the only things wet.

Did I mention that my bladder had been full when I fell? Well, it wasn’t quite as full anymore.

I’m not too embarrassed to admit that I peed my pants a little bit. Well, maybe a little bit more than a little bit.

And as I steered my family toward the bathroom after relating my issue, Husband promised, as his face was buried in his iPhone, that he would keep that little nugget out of his Facebook update.

WARNING: IF YOU ARE A MAN OR ARE SQUEAMISH ABOUT NATURAL BODILY FUNCTIONS, PLEASE SKIP THIS NEXT SECTION THAT I WILL SEPARATE (APPROPRIATELY ENOUGH) WITH A SUCCESSION OF PERIODS.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

If you’re still reading, you have probably already guessed what I discovered when I got into the bathroom: not only had I peed my pants a little, but I also had an unexpected visit from my Aunt Flo.

And even though I’ve been visited from Aunt Flo (aside from the months when I was pregnant or nursing) for 26 years, her visit always comes as a bit of a surprise every month. Which means I never seem to be prepared in terms of carrying the necessary supplies for her arrival. (Why plan ahead?)

So I used what supplies I had at my disposal (toilet paper) and rigged up a makeshift “feminine napkin” that would’ve made MacGyver proud (by the way, what is up with calling it a “napkin”? Gross!). Then I had to deal with the fact that anyone who was walking behind me would probably be able to tell that I’d had a bit of a leakage problem. Fortunately, I was alone in the bathroom, so I turned on the hand dryer, spun around with my eyes glued to the door, and bent over with my butt under the warm air in an effort to dry the wet spot on my shorts. Honestly, if someone would’ve opened the door, the first thing anyone would’ve seen would’ve been me, on my toes with my butt right under the air. The dryer could not have been placed any more directly in line with the door. Luckily, something finally went my way and I was able to spend a few solitary minutes with the dryer, which I had to keep turning on every 30 seconds.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

So after that little hiccup in our afternoon, we finished our shopping, and I served as the source of entertainment for the rest of the evening. While eating at Carlos O’Kelley’s, Husband read me the comments his update had gotten so far.

I told him I’m lucky he just updated his status and didn’t stop to take a picture as well.

He told me, “That you know of…”

Please tell me someone else’s school shopping experience at least somewhat rivals mine. Anyone? Anyone???

Image via Threadless

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12 thoughts on “Just Another Delightful School-Shopping Experience”

  1. oh my gosh paula, I am soooooo sorry you had to go through that, I would have been crying and probably would have smacked my husband a few times for not rescuing me or at least attempting to. Girl, this takes the cake to anything I’ve ever been mortified with, my hat is off to you.

    I totally understand your need to save and I agree that most people do come out alive on those bargain shopping days, but I, at all costs, avoid days like these, including Black Friday. I absolutely hate/loate/despise shopping with my kids, as a matter of fact I almost hate anything public with them as they are so whiney and that little nugget in the brain that says “act normal” goes completely out the window the second we are in a crowd of people. I swear they want to see me die of pure burning anger so they push every. single. button inside of me.

    love you! Hope your Monday is better!

  2. Oh Paula. I laugh with you because I feel like the only person this crazy crap happens to! Tsk, tsk Brian! I do so wish they had some experience equivalent to pushing a watermelon out their hinterlands and dealing with the life-long consequences. It’s a real treat. Hope the rest of the weekend was better.
    MM3´s last blog post ..Shop Until Fooey Drops

  3. Oh my gosh!! I had to run to the bathroom while reading this because, of course, I was laughing so hard tears were flowing…and almost something else!! I can tell you that these things do not improve with age…not the coordination nor the ability to give a urine sample anytime during any day.
    My life has been full of humiliting experiences. Fortunately, I was also blessed with a less than stellar memory…but I do have children who can recall every one of those episodes. Or at least you say you do…and I believe it, ’cause who can remember?
    So Sorry for you that the ‘apple’ wasn’t able to fall farther from that tree.
    Oh, and another little joy to be watching for…as you lose your eyebrows, you gain a mustache…beware of migrating facial hair!!

  4. @Elaine, thanks for the pity/sympathy. I am soooo with you on just not taking the kids anywhere. What is it with these people who can take their five children to their tax appointment with them and they’ll just sit quietly in the corner with coloring books? Not in my world!

  5. @MM3, hee hee, love your use of the word “hinterlands!” And I think the reason we became instant friends is that we are on the same wavelength! 🙂

  6. Hey Paula… I’ve been gone a while & I’m so glad to see that life hasn’t kept you from blogging, as well! Back in March, I had a more embarrassing “accident”. It wasn’t just a little leakage… I was never more embarrassed… but thankfully… I was on the road when my “accident” happened & I will never (hopefully) come face to face with anyone at that KFC I stopped at, again, LOL.
    Amy (atrailerparkmom)´s last blog post ..Wishes…

  7. Wow… That is quite the adventure you’ve had there…

    We didn’t venture out as, for some reason, my kids are set for clothes this fall. Until they grow six inches in October, that is. Although my darling daughter is now a diaper-less darling daughter and I have no idea how I’m going to keep her pants up. She needs the length of a 3T, but I’ve got to cinch those suckers in so far that she has six-inch elastic tails on each hip…
    IASoupMama´s last blog post ..My Pregnant Hubby

  8. That’s great that your kids are set for fall. I love your description of those elastic “tails”, too! How true is that? If only we had that problem, right? 😉

  9. Paula,
    I am so glad I decided to read some of your posts at lunch today! I needed a good laugh after the kids’ first day back at school and myself being back to work full time. Thank you SO much!!

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