Conventions really wipe me out. For about 3-4 days after, I enter what can only be described as post-convention stupor of stupidity.
While at Romantic Times I get a text.
Kid 1: Hey mom! I got a scholarship.
Me, trying desperately to avoid thinking about college costs: Mhm.
Kid 1: This much money.
Me: O_O How much money?
Kid 1: That much.
Me, basking in the glow of future savings and calculating how much less we will have to pay over the course of four years: Yeah!
Kid 1: So does this new scholarship buy me a computer chair? For my apartment? So I could study?
Me, still starry eyed over the savings: Sure. How much money are you thinking of?
Kid 1: This much.
Me: Okay, that’s reasonable.
Being a writer and sitting for ten hours a day makes you a connoisseur of chairs very quickly. I will spend money on shoes, chairs, and computer equipment, but if she wants a relatively inexpensive chair, that’s fine.
Kid 1: And possibly a dress for the ceremony where this scholarship be presented?
Me, greatly relieved that she is not planning on wearing tiny shorts and a crop top: Sure.
Kid 1: Thank you, mommy. I really appreciate it.
As an aside, when I asked Kid 1 what is the easiest subject for her in school, she said, “Mom, you know, the easiest subject for me is Economics.” You can see why from this trip. I am trying my best to convince her to take a Business Minor at least, because it would be a crime if she didn’t.
We get home on Saturday and I am done. Sunday rolls around and I am still a complete zombie. And I don’t mean like smart zombie who flirts with people and solves crimes. I mean “door handle is an unsolvable puzzle” kind of zombie. Kid 1 arrives.
Kid 1: I’ve researched the chairs. I found one at Office Depot. It is a fantastic chair. It’s like sitting on a cloud and it has great back support. It is on sale, 50% off, so we can get the two chairs for the price of one and still be within the budget.
Me, realizing that she had done her homework most likely prior to contacting me about the chair in the first place: Wait, two chairs?
Kid 1: We (her and her boyfriend) purchased two computer desks, one for the desktop and the other for the bedroom and my laptop. If we can get two computer chairs, that lets us both study at the same time.
(We made them buy their own desks and bookshelves, because we are mean like that. Her dad and I made sure she had a bed and decent couch. Both the bed and the couch were completely out of their price range, so they thought about buying used. Given the bed bug infestation prevalent in our area, this would’ve been a terrible idea.)
Me: But he isn’t going to school. He’s working.
Kid 1: He is planning on going to ACC in the fall. Also having only one chair means we have to roll it back and forth between living room and bedroom and I am worried it may damage the carpet. It would be very nice, but of course, I will take whatever I can get, so if it’s one chair, then I am happy to have it.
Me, realizing that 1) her father and I put the safety deposit on the apartment, 2) I am being outmaneuvered and I actually don’t mind because it demonstrates that my child is logical, intelligent, and persuasive and since I gave birth to her, I can pretty much take all the credit for that, and 3) I was going to buy the chair anyway and 50% off is a good deal: Okay. Let me get my purse. Let’s go see the chair.
Now it must be said that a few days ago I had left my purse on the floor, something I normally never do. The next time I picked it up, it was wet and had a lovely new scent, a touch of a special Eau de Perfume, Pipi de Chat. For those of you unfamiliar with French, that would be cat pee. I strongly suspect Edward. For some reason he decided that any fabric on the floor within the vicinity of his litter box is fair game. So I bought a new placeholder purse. Nothing special, a $25 purchase at Forever 21 while shopping with the kids. This seemed like just the continuation of my mild string of misfortunes, culminating in that time I left my wallet on top of my car in my driveway right before RT and it was rained on.
So we take separate cars and go to the gas station to fill up. At the gas station, Kid 1 says, “So mom, since we are going to be right there, could we go to the Office Depot first?”
Now in my head, I know we are going to the mall, and next to the mall is the Office Max store. “Okay.”
We get into our separate cars and fight the traffic to the mall. I am super tired. I just want to crawl into bed, but her ceremony is literally tomorrow. She is walking across the stage in a robe and then attending a reception, and I want her to wear a dress for it. On top of everything else, I am wearing my convention shoes with a heel that are completely unsuited to the marathon of mall shopping. They were right there and looking for the other shoes was too hard. And it is hot and humid and muggy, and I am baking in my really thick winter jeans, because I was too tired to find anything else and grabbed the first thing I saw in the closet.
I get to Office Max. I get out, clop my way across the parking lot, get a cart, start shopping and realize Kid 1 is nowhere to be seen. That’s a bit strange since she drives faster than I do.
Meanwhile, Kid 1 calls to the house.
Kid 1: Hey, Dad, where is Mom?
Gordon: I thought she was with you.
Kid 1: We took separate cars and she isn’t answering her phone.
I had set the phone on vibrate during RT and blissfully forgot to turn the sound on.
Finally I check my phone and see the message from Kid 1. When she said, “right there” she meant Office Depot a block from gas station on 183.
Me: Why didn’t you tell me?
Kid 1: I did! I said we are right here, Office Depot by Taco Bell. This is the one that has the sale.
Me: Angry emoticons.
Her: Crying emoticons.
I abandon my cart and fight the traffic back tot he right Office Depot. It takes me forever. I arrive. Kid 1 had selected a reasonable chair, but they only have two of them in stock, because it is the close out and one of these is the floor model. So, my Economics-gifted child quickly does the supply and demand assessment and realizes that walking away from the chair is too much of a risk. I found her sitting in the floor model chair with her feet on the other chair’s box and employees giving her odd looks as she had been sitting like this for the last 15 minutes.
We buy the chairs, stuff them into her car with assistance of two employees, and I proceed to drive in a zombie-like fashion to the mall. We hit Maurice’s first, which carries summer-type clothes. I wander around and I am just covered in sweat. I see a dress in my size. I try it on, it fits. I buy the $40 dress, fully realizing that I am paying $40 for the privilege of getting out of the jeans. (The dress is very cute.) Kid 1 doesn’t find a dress, but does find a pair of shorts on sale for $10 so I tell her I’ll get it for her. As I stand there, getting ready to pay for my dress and her shorts, I open my bag and the stench of cat urine hits me.
For some bizarre reason, in my zombie-like state, I had taken my wallet and cell phone out of my new bag and put it into the old bag I meant to throw away. I can’t tell you why or how I did that. It just happened.
I get to the counter, completely embarrassed, open my wallet and see this.
Yep. My wallet, having been soaked in the rain, has grown mold on it. And I had opened both my purse and my wallet in Office Depot and did not notice any problems.
The sales lady says nothing. Kid 1’s eyes are the size of saucers. She says nothing either. I want to fall through the floor. We pay and escape.
PS. We did get a cute dress and she looked great in it at the after honors party. And I bought a new purse and wallet on Amazon this morning. And this is why, ladies and gentleman, I am not a good example to follow in real life. 😀