You know when you are teetering on the edge of a decision and you have to decide right then and you can’t take it back once you decide?
Like, oh I don’t know buying a coffee table from the high-and-mighty-never-had-a-real-job-in-their-lives women who run the consignment shop where Every. Single. Item. is overpriced and returns or even a 24-hour loan is completely impossible (insert perfectly arched eyebrows here because I will say as much as they bug me these women look good for being mean and old) and you promise yourself you are NOT going back to their store ever again but of course you go back like an idiot and you find just the right coffee table? Like that?
Or like cutting bangs? Signing the marriage license? Naming your newborn?
You must just trust that you’ve made the right decision, and everything is going to be okay in the end. Because you are a good person. You floss. You give money to charity. You have a living will.
Here’s what happened. I was at HomeGoods on Sunday afternoon and found a great console table for a client of mine along with two end tables, some decor pieces and a package of expired toffee flavored almonds that were surprisingly delicious.
I was determined to get these pieces in my car. I have a huge car because as many of you know I have named four newborns. And according to the law they all require seatbelts. This results in needing a car that is the size of small airplane. I told the nice man at HomeGoods that yes, I did have a big car and yes, I was sure I could fit everything.
Well, a woman standing 10 people ahead of me overheard this conversation and then this happened:
Lady: You can’t fit that in your car.
Me: Oh, I think I can! It’s a big car.
Lady: Well that’s a big awkward piece and you can’t fit it. You are too small (how this affected everything is still a mystery to me but.) and your car is too small (no, she had not seen the car). I have a truck. I’ll take it and follow you home.
Me (Smiling politely like my mother taught me): Oh, that’s so kind of you but I am ok. Thanks anyway.
Lady: Don’t be crazy. Where dewya live?
Me: Oh, far far away from here. Far. Super far.
Lady: Okay, meet me outside.
Then the lady starts yelling at the HomeGoods clerk over a cooler bag that was apparently marked $12 but the tag had fallen off and now the HomeGoods clerk wants to charge Lady (wait for it) $13.
A small fight ensues, and the manager is called, and I am now standing in line and sweating because Lady is scary and what the hell I am going to do?
They work out the bag issue. She got it for $12 (as if you couldn’t guess). And by the time I get up the counter I am in panic mode. I shell out $500 for my finds and then I am standing with Nice Jerry the Manager. Scary Lady is outside. Waiting. For me.
Me (To Nice Jerry the Manager): I don’t know if I should do this.
Nice Jerry the Manager: Probably not. Now she’s waiting for you.
Me: Oh God.
Nice Jerry the Manager: She could just drive away with all your stuff.
Nice Jerry the Manager (Looking at my car): Yeah there is no way this is going to fit.
Me: Oh God.
Scary Lady (Screaming from the bed of her truck): I’m over here!
Me (Smiling politely like my mother taught me): This is so nice, but not necessary. I am going to have my husband come and pick this up.
Scary Lady: No way. Let’s go. I do this all the time.
Me: Oh, umm, ok (WHY? WHY? I HATE MYSELF!).
Nice Jerry the Manager (Loads everything up, considers my eyes and squeezes my arm): Are you, all right?
Me (Looking deeply into his eyes so he remembers my face for the police report): Yes. Thanks Jerry.
Me to Scary Lady: What is your name?
Scary Lady: Mary (Shakes my hand harder than any man and this is when I am 99% sure that Mary is either on heavy doses of prescription meds or has met her insurance deductible in an institution, though I don’t judge because an institution is currently my dream vacation.)
Me: Well, thanks Mary. How about I get your number in case we get separated?
Mary: You don’t need my number. I am going to be so far up your tail the whole way.
Me (Nervous laugh): Wow, that sounds personal.
So, then Mary gets in her car and I get in mine and we are off. And I am watching her in my mirror and she never loses me, but I am praying silently while talking out loud to myself that now I wish she would in fact steal all my stuff because she is going to come to my house and then she is going to ask for a drink of water or to use the bathroom and then she is going to murder me. I am imagining a knife in the mid-section. Mary doesn’t seem like a hitter. More of a stabber.
I face the fact that I must call Andy Blackford who thinks I am already at home resting and has no idea that I am working “yet again “on a Sunday.
(I dial, Andy picks up.)
Andy: Hi. What’s up?
Me: You home?
Andy: Nope, at the park playing baseball with the boys. Why?
Me: Wellllll. I bought this huge piece of furniture and I couldn’t fit it in the car and this nice lady offered to take it in her truck and I said yes and now she is following me home but I bet I am going to need some help to get this piece out of her truck. It’s heavy.
Andy (Long pause. Then an equally long sigh):
Why did you say yes to that?
Me: Ok, I know. Not the greatest idea. I am sort of scared. What if she kills me? She is coming to our house now. Can you please come home? She can’t kill us all right? I’ve already determined she is not the gun-type, more of a knife-type.
Andy (Long pause. Then another long sigh.): Ok. I’ll meet you at home.
I get home. My darling boys pour out Andy's car, along with a little friend who is super skinny like only five-year-old boys can be skinny and I know immediately he won’t survive a knife wound. And then Mary gets out of her car and I don’t see the glitter of a knife. Yet.
Andy starts to unload the furniture and Mary starts yelling at him to wait because it’s heavy and it’s her truck. And so, Andy says ok and offers her a Fresca (stabbers like Fresca I bet. Stabbing is thirsty work.) and Mary says no and then she tells Andy what to do and they unload the furniture and she doesn’t ever even reach for a knife and I offer her $20 and she gets completely offended.
Me: Please Mary do something nice for yourself.
Mary: No! NO. That is offensive. I believe in karma. Use that $20 to buy these boys some ice cream (Henry Blackford about has a coronary at this point.).
Henry (age 8): Oh my GOSH! that is so nice! Isn’t it mom? Can we go to Dairy Queen? Mom? MOM?
So, then Mary leaves. She just gets in her truck and drives away without stabbing anyone. And I was standing in the driveway thinking that sometimes you just have to trust everything is going to work out. That the universe or God or whatever or whomever you believe in is on your side. That people are innately good. Even those bit*&es in the consignment shop. So, I am off to buy that coffee table.
And then I am going to cut bangs.
Be brave my dear readers! Get rid of that ugly piece of art that was expensive but horrid. Paint your ceiling black. Buy a white sofa.
Everything is going to be ok. Except for those ladies at the consignment shop because, like Scary Non-Knife-Wielding Mary said, believe in karma.
See you next time at The Neighbor’s House.