Adventures in Shopping

I went into a store today. It was a Saturday.


I know I can hear you from where I am sitting. I made a pledge to myself that I was done shopping and any gifts I forgot will just need to be purchased by my loving hubby. No need to give myself a panic attack right?

Well this week my husband and I took a little jaunt over to a local chain store in downtown Preston. It was a weeknight, nothing really was going on and we had eaten early so it was still supper time. This store isn’t normally that busy on a given day, although we have been there when there are lines but that’s more due to lack of cashiers than actually being really busy. The store itself is considered kind of a knock off type establishment. They like to copy looks for less and rarely has anything that is brand name. Or rather – they have brand names, but they aren’t really names you’ve ever heard of.

I realized when looking through all our presents that we needed two more gifts. Nothing really exciting, but they would knock off our list. I already told my hubby he needed to do the purchases as I can’t handle shopping at this time of year. He was cool with that, but in a rare move I decided that we should go check out this store.

I’m a big girl. Okay, I’m a plus sized girl. Not really model material unless it’s for one of those Big, Bold and Beautiful type clothing lines. Not too many stores carry things in my size and this is one of the few stores in town that does. Sure it’s knock offs, but for a girl like me who is used to spending $30-$50 for a t-shirt that her girlfriends pay $5-10 for it’s a good investment. Also, styles change and really – who looks at the tags.

I wasn’t going in looking for me, and in fact, didn’t find any clothes that were just right but I did find something amazing. New curtains. And not just any new curtains. Coloured new curtains made out of one of the worlds best fabrics – corduroy. Yes folks, I found ORANGE corduroy curtains for my living room that look and feel amazing. And that isn’t even the best part. The curtains were $10 a panel. Did I mention that this store was made of awesome and has everything?

We hmmmed and hawed over it, and of course my stomach decides it’s had enough so we had to leave. All week since we left I’ve been kicking myself for not picking up the curtains. For $40 we’d have a brand new living room! Both my husband and I have hated having the beige walls, beige curtains and beige sofa in that room. Punches of colour in the pillows just doesn’t add enough oomph. I’m a colourful person. Bring on the colour!

So today after kicking myself for not going, I decided I needed to get there. Even just to see that the sale was still going. I brought my game face, knew that the curtains were at the very front of the store and I could leave anytime that I wanted. I was by myself, I didn’t have any outside pressure pushing me in any direction and no one was with me that HAD to go and get the latest Justin Beiber bedspread. (Yes, this store even had those!) I was a woman of my own destiny and I was going into war.

Yes war.

Quit looking at me like that. You aren’t the one who starts to get tunnel vision, start hyperventilating and feel like everyone is staring at you and going to hit you and knock you over. Shopping for you isn’t a scary experience so please excuse me feeling like it is.

Anyhow, I was ready for war. Found a great parking space as the parking lot wasn’t that busy. It was busier than when we were there earlier in the week, but it was manageable. I go inside the doors and it was like angels started singing. The curtains were still on sale and all the gorgeous orange ones were right up front. I could hear Hallelujah being sung as I sauntered over to the rack. Shoppers were going past me in all directions and I couldn’t believe no one else was snatching these up.

I’ve looked into curtains for the living room for a long time. And by long, I mean since we actually put an offer on the house nearly 2 years ago. I wanted colour, we wanted something a little heavier in fabric and my husband was insistent on the big huge grommets that you see on all the decorating shows. The fact that I found some for $10 a panel when every other store we’ve seen them has them listed as $40 a panel – it was a miracle. I began the painful process of hunting through the rack of about 50 or so orange panels (there were black, grey and blue there too) to find matching sets. We have two windows that currently have 3 panels each. Finding four or 6 curtains that were an exact match was my mission.

Soon I hear the pumping tunes of my youth in my head as a woman comes up to start looking too. I see her eyeing the price and she starts going through the rack with me. I wasn’t letting my curtains get away. I started grouping the panels by colour, and then I start grouping them by material. I kept finding 3 of a like type and colour, but couldnt’ find four. I was getting irritated as this woman is starting to look at the colours I haven’t sorted yet. And then it happens.

The woman leaves the side of the rack I’m working on, grabs a random blue panel and walks away.

The angels start singing again and I can carry on with my task.

Remembering that there were a handful of the panels in the store in the regular window covering section, I take my favoured colour/material inside and make my way to the section. My brain starts playing Danger Zone as more and more shoppers are heading around me. The closer I get the song gets quieter as I have my eyes on the prize. I am looking at the aisle with the curtains and I am going to get the ones I want.

Ugh! Another woman looking at the same exact section I want. Why??? Why can’t she go to the toys or the candy like everyone else in the store. Why curtains? I make my way around with a cart so that I can lean if I need to. My cart being a saving grace so no one gets to close. I think if someone touched me I’d run for the hills. I end up seeing cute purses, with no one around.

Of course I had to stop. Who wouldn’t? As I’m standing there looking at the purses I notice a sign. “No Tax Weekend” it reads. My heart leaps with joy and I hear a single “Hallelujah” as I realize my $10 curtains will really be $10! I grab a great purse and wander back over.

Woman is gone. Yes, I say to myself. Eyes focused I start seeing patterns inside that I didn’t see outside. The colours were all so similar but I just couldn’t match them all up. I start sorting as I did outside and soon found two sets, similar colours but with different patterns and they all had 4 of the same panels. I put them in my cart and decide to keep wandering around before deciding. I kept touching them to see which fabric was the best as both of them had different types of corduroy. Soon I see those slippers needed for my father in law, and then a wonderful bathrobe for my incredibly shy perpetually single Uncle-in-Law who is considered part of the immediate family. Really feeling triumphant I realize that it’s time to make a decision. I’ve got a great purse. I’ve got the last two Christmas gifts needed and now I just need to narrow down which set of curtains I will chose.

A beautiful angel appears wearing a black sweater with long blonde hair and a nametag. “Oh I see you are looking at curtains,” she says to me with a smiling face. I know this is my chance – finally someone to make the decision for me.

I show her both, ask her opinion woman to woman and she selects the type with the best texture. As my heart was kind of leaning in this direction, I thank her for her help, put the other curtains back and make for the checkout.

There isn’t any music in my head as I pull my full cart to the register and find there is barely any line and I’m only standing behind a single man with a movie in his hand. The check out girl smiles warmly to me and talks about one of the things she admires in my cart and it takes my mind off the line of 10 people that lined up behind me.

Soon she’s bagging everything I’ve bought, I’m paying my bill and making my way to the car.

I did it. I triumphed and yes, the curtains look amazing.

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