I know that’s an outdated reference, but I’m gonna use it anyway. If you are afraid that something personal about me could make you feel awkward around me, stop reading now. Seriously.
Having said that…
In 2003, I went to my 20-year high school reunion. I was living in Nebraska but had gone to school in Georgia so this meant a flight to Atlanta. When I arrived, I got a rental car and headed toward a friend’s house (we’ll call her Ellen Michelle) where I would stay until the reunion. One of our mutual BFF’s (we’ll call her Melissa Gail) was in town from Indiana so we had planned several shenanigans.
We had a blast! We went shopping, got pedicures, ate at several restaurants, and drank a LOT. Even so, we were pretty tame and no bail money was needed that weekend.
The day after the reunion we met with several other ladies from our class to have lunch. One of our classmates (we’ll call her Bitchy Specks) came to the lunch but hadn’t attended the reunion. She and I decided to spend some time together after lunch. We drove around for a bit then found ourselves at a traffic light in front of Starship in Suwanee. For those not from the area, this is a store that sells “adult” items. Neither of us had ever been in one of those stores and were curious. #BucketList
I pulled into the parking lot and as we got out, the traffic light turned red. We received several catcalls and many car horns were beeping as we walked toward the building. Evidently, we were not invisible. Who knew? Once inside we turned into 16-year old girls. We were laughing so hard that I’m sure everybody there thought we were idiots. We finally decided to separate, thinking that would make it easier. It didn’t.
We were the only females in the store so I attempted to not make eye contact with anybody. I was trying to act casual while I strolled up and down the aisles. I’m guessing most of y’all have seen American Graffiti when one of the male characters who was underage was trying to buy alcohol. He went into a liquor store and picked out several sundry items thinking the store owner would ring everything up and not notice the bottle of alcohol. I thought that maybe I could do the same in this store. They had quite an assortment of birthday cards, refrigerator magnets, bongs, etc. so I grabbed some (about 20) before going to the good stuff.
I found an “appliance” that appeared to be adequate so I got it and headed toward the register. When Bitchy and I rejoined each other, we saw that we had each selected the same appliance. The laughter escalated to the point that we were literally crying.
There was nobody in line at the register so we thought we’d get out of there without drawing attention to ourselves. We started a “you go first” argument that ended with me agreeing to step up.
If you haven’t frequented one of these fine establishments, you wouldn’t know that the floor behind the register is probably three feet higher than the rest of the store so the cashier can see everything. I put my items on the counter. He started ringing up my purchases while reciting a memorized speech about how nothing was returnable or exchangeable. As he got to the appliance, he continued his speech, saying that because of their policy, EVERY item had to be checked before purchase. He opened the box, inserted batteries and tested each and every setting of the appliance to make sure it worked. The appliance was not silent. Since he was high up, everybody could see exactly what he was testing. I paid and grabbed my GIANT brown paper sack as I heard giggles from throughout the store.
Then it was Bitchy’s turn.
Since my purchase had taken so long, there were several men in line at this point. She had chosen a few items in addition to the appliance. The cashier went through the same speech and routine that he had with my appliance. By the time he fired up her appliance every man in the store was in line behind us. If it was possible to die of embarrassment, it would have happened that day. Bitchy then took out her debit card and I thought I would pee my pants. She could tell my laughing was different and asked what was up. I told her I’d tell her when we got outside.
When we opened the door to leave, the traffic light had again turned red, causing us to hear all the “woo hoo” and “damn, girl” comments AGAIN. I held my GIANT brown paper sack in front of my face, grateful we were in a rental car and not in my minivan with the Jesus fish on the back. Once in the car, Bitchy asked why I was laughing so hard. I said, “You paid with your debit card!” She responded with, “Well, you paid with your American Express.” I then added, “But you work at the bank! Nobody at American Express knows me or what Starship is.”
I took her to her house then headed to the home of another friend (we’ll call her Marjorie) where I would spend the night. I was flying out the next day. As I showed her my purchases, she reminded me of the stringent security measures taken at the airport and pointed out that my bag might be checked…in front of people! Suddenly all those extra things I had bought didn’t seem so silly. I opened the appliance and put it in a gift bag I had bought, hoping it would appear to be for somebody else. The powers that be smiled down on me the next day as I presented my bag to the counter agent. She checked it and sent it on its way, without opening it in front of people.
I have never gone in another one of those stores.
If there is a moral to this story, it is that appliances should only be purchased online. You’re welcome.