Hello. My Name is…
… Sandra. I live, I do stuff and I write about it. Although I should probably write a whole hell of a lot more than I do. Cause let’s face it – the smattering of posts I’ve managed to write would lead you to believe that I don’t do or get a whole lot of stuff accomplished.
I write my life in pieces because I don’t think I’m very interesting. Honestly. Or maybe I’m just trying to forget some of the things? But there has to be something I want to get out there, cause I keep coming back and trying… or vlogging, cause mostly that’s easier.
A whole lot easier than bra shopping… or purse shopping which I hate infinitely more than bra shopping. But I’ll tell you about my purse shopping and let you decide how interesting I may be?!
So yesterday evening, when I was supposed to be heating up some Special Snowflake Food (SSF for short), I realized that I had forgotten to go to Wally World and get some shampoo. And conditioner. I cursed my lackadaisical ways, asked The Nephew to grab my purse off its customary resting place – the back of my wheelchair (only when I am in the house, a throw back tactic from when I was DE-facto head of house and held the literal purse strings. Story for another time.) and headed out the front door and up the sidewalk.
But I forgot to take my Reacher. My Reacher looks like a medieval torture device for getting small children or rude men in line. It has a wooden handle on one end with a hole going through it which has a pretty piece of colored yarn as it’s hanging device and a short straight ‘poker’ and softly rounded hook on the other end. I take it most places with me nowadays because my arms have gotten weaker, not allowing me to do things like reaching up to wipe my face or fix my wig (when I choose to wear one) should it go askew. Which happens a lot more than I would like to admit.
But on this jaunt to Wally World, I had forgotten it and promptly busted a u-turn in the middle of the sidewalk in front of my neighbors house to head back to my house to retrieve it. Side note: I am convinced that my neighbors have look outs planted in their houses to keep tabs on what I am doing once I am out of my house. Because the amount to things that they know/have seen me do and recount to me is too coincidental for this not to be somewhat true. So I am sure they wondered what this u-turning business was about, but I digress.
When I pressed my automatic door opener to re-open my front door, I cheerfully announced to The Nephew that I was back because I forgot my Reacher. To which he responded “FAIL!” without missing a beat. And without missing the next beat, I uttered back, “Totally!” as I high-speeded it down the hallway to my bedroom to snatch up my Reacher from it’s designated place and busted another u-y, this time in my room to get back on the road to Wally World.
Stopping just outside the door while I made sure the opener closed the door and locked it, I took that moment to make sure I had all that I needed so I wouldn’t have to make another trip back inside. Any additional back and forth might scare the neighbors. Who wants that?
Cellphone? Check. Purse? Check. Reacher? Check. iPod and earpiece? Check. Clean washcloth? Check but it was covering a juice stain on my pants – the important thing was it was there should I need it to wipe my face or tie it to the end of the Reacher and wave it in surrender… or help. I was on my way!
Now, Wally World is a straight jaunt from the front of my house, south about 6 streets and across a busy main road, which I jay-roll across with contempt. Why should I roll the three avenues down to the lighted crosswalk (with no surety of safety) just to be safe from 2 tons of speeding metal? This wheelchair needs to earn its keep and better squeeze out all four miles per hour speed capacity that it has.
It takes me on average 15 – 35 minutes to get there on my chair. Why such a huge time spread? Well, it depends on why I’m going. Yes, you read that right – why I am going to the store. If I just had a bowl of Special Snowflake Cereal poured and I have about 3 drops of soymilk and two of them hit the table, then I will make it to Wally World in 15 flat. If I have to do my monthly supplies shopping and I don’t want to have to spend all that money, then it will take about 20-25 minutes, while I ruminate on the disparity of my bank account vs. my fate with the Powerball Gods. If I just need to get out of the house because I haven’t left it in about three days AND I have a new episode of Snap Judgement or Risk! on deck, it will definitely take me 35 minutes to get there. Drive time people, drive time.
Seeing as how this run was spur of the moment, I decided to high-tail it and make it in the 15 minutes. The few people I meet on the way looked at me funny because I often have this face of menace as I tool down the sidewalk or more often than not, the side of the road (it is smoother and less bumpy than a sidewalk). I usually take that face on because of bugs. Those small gnats that like to fly into you eyes and up your nose, causing you to look like you’ve been hitting that blow too hard. Yeah.
So to lessen the chance of that happening, I adopt the mean mug face on the way there. If I don’t, I wind up getting bugs in my eyes, which causes me to drive erratically with one eye open until I can find a decent place to stop. I then have to drape the washcloth over the end of the Reacher and oh so carefully lift the pointy, washcloth covered end to the crack of my eyeball to fish the bastard gnat out. Dangerous at best. Considering I don’t want to add on any additional disabilities to my list, I try not to have to do that often.
I fully appreciate how strange this would look to most folks. Which is why I carry my clean washcloth but mean mug to keep the bugs and gnats out of my eyes to keep me from looking extra bizarre out on the streets.
Once I arrived at Wally World, I had to decide if I wanted to get one of those hand baskets that is large enough to carry triplets or to forgo the hand basket and just pile everything on my lap. There lies a few points of danger in exercising either option: 1) I would have to ask a store associate to hand me a hand basket and explain to them how to position it on me (handles lifted up, on top of my feet, yeah, I can handle it), b) If I did get a basket I would be inclined to buy more shit and I already have issues with buying Walmart shit, さん)If I don’t get a basket, I may indeed buy less shit but I run the risk of dropping all the shit I did buy.
I’m a risk taker and decided against the basket – ain’t no body got time for that.
My first stop was to the shampoo aisle, which might as well have been a wall of hieroglyphs. Give me more than four or five choices and I may be there for forty-five minutes trying to make a decision. Thankfully Celiac Disease does a great job of cutting that list down to a good two or three brands that I can safely use. But it being Walmart, they naturally have 65 permutations per brand.
This time I went with Garnier Fructis. I think I remembered reading some obscure blog post some time ago that their brand is generally gluten free. I think I got the Triple Nutrition. I say ‘think’ because honestly that was the one I could reach without having to bother one of the store clerks to reach it for me and put it into my basket. And it made sense for my dry, I’mma Do What I Want When I Get Ready re-growing hair. Plus the coupons I printed were so faded that I didn’t want to risk buying some new-fangled shampoo of theirs and not be able to use the coupons. Which I was worried they wouldn’t accept since you couldn’t clearly read the limitations.
Shampoo and conditioner in hand, I went to the bar soap aisle and copped a six bar pack of Caress. Yeah, it’s gluten free but I also had a dollar off coupon, so… you know how that was gonna go too. I was supposed to have remembered to have gotten a new comb, for my new growing hair and a pumice foot brush. But all that was eclipsed when the thought to check their Women’s department for a pair of comfy white slacks, entered my mind.
I bee lined for the plus sized department for a white pair of shorts, capris or comfy slacks. I am not one for white pants but I have an upcoming outing and I wanted to wear white bottoms. Contrary to popular belief, this short disabled woman’s ass is quite round and ample. As opposed to my upper half, which decidedly is not. Luckily for me, I had my Reacher in tow and used it to hook the hanger of the first pair of white capris and bring it down to me. I could have asked a stranger to help me with this action (as none of the store clerks were around) but how embarrassing is that?
“Pardon me Ma’am, could you hand me those large white bottoms?”
“Are you sure these are your size?”
“Why yes – my posterior is quite ample.”
I checked out the capris material to see if they would be soft enough (having pants cut into your skin sucks, hard.) and though they were passable, I decided to keep looking. And something strange came over me. I began to get… giddy. I don’t shop for myself very often because I choose practical things like paying for my shelter and food vs. buying clothing. So when I do find myself buying an article of clothing, it is often a necessity. And not fun. But this short shopping excursion for this simple article of clothing felt… fun. So what if I blew $15.00 out of my budget to buy a pair of pants? I was living wild now!
As the fates would have it, I found a jersey pair of white capris, in my size for $9.00. The smile on my face grew from ear to ear and I proceeded to hand off the first pair of pants to a store clerk (how come they always show up AFTER I need their help?) and pick up the second more comfortable and economic pair. I felt like I was on a roll and decided to press my luck. So I headed to the purse department.
Now, the reason I despise purse shopping so intensely is because as with many of my personal things, there is so much to CONSIDER! Color, size, style are the obvious but I have to go further with inane things like zippers – is it easy to open and close? How many pockets/card slots/dodads and gadgets does it have? Are the straps adjustable? Are the straps too thin/thick? Will it fit on my lap?
So with my new found giddiness and zeal I attempted to give purse shopping a try. Just one. If I didn’t find something right off the bat, I would call it a day because I would force myself to make a decision (good or bad) because I don’t want to have to go through this torture and probable disappointment again.
The first aisle of purses presented me with purses so big, that I was sure me and my wheelchair plus a watermelon or two would have been able to fit inside comfortably. Definitely not for me. The next aisle was full of tweenager purses. Yeah, no I am not a Beliber.
I began to wane and waver. But when I turned the next aisle, I saw some promise. My best friend always chides me about being so boring when I pick out things like purses or underwear. But something about fuchsia purses are just not for me. And the last time I tried sexy lingerie, I felt like a cheap hooker. So I typically choose neutrals and classic style things. Except for the undies – I have graduated from tighty whities to Vicky’s Secret. Major upgrade – hot stuff, watch out!
But something like a purse?! Nah, give me black, beige or brown, preferably leather so it can last longer and I won’t have to go through purse shopping torture for some time again. But this is Walmart and I cannot expect Macy’s or even JCPenney quality from them. No matter how much I would like it. So I dug around, I poked some purses, I prodded, I zipped, unzipped, I toggled and turned them over.
I took a deep breath and prepared to walk away when from the corner of my eye, I see the thin strap of what I am hoping is a small purse. It was on the bottom shelf, way in the back. Now I am short and can generally spot things that most people miss but not even I could see this purse properly.
So I lean forward enough not to drop the contents on my lap and loop the string of my Reacher around my left wrist, driving my chair closer with my right hand. I hook the purse with the Reacher and pull it forth.
It is filthy – covered in that benign store dust that the store supervisors always assume their subordinates clear away. I am slightly mortified. I don’t want to have to wash the white capris on my lap before having to wear them. But this purse!
It is the size of 3/4 loaf of bread. It is light. It is black but cloth. I try the zipper and though it is a bit stiff, it has promise to get easier over time with regular use. It has a front pocket for easy access to cards/money and the bonus is a front pocket for my cellphone! None of my other purses have ever had that feature. At best I’ve been able to leave the main part of my purse open and just shove the phone in there in such a way that I can reach it and it won’t fall out if I hit a bump in the street.
My heart literally skipped a beat. I looked up and down the aisle wondering if I had been punked and this purse was actually a gag or booby prize. Sure, it was dusty (I coughed a bit as I dusted it in an attempt to look it over proper) but it was functionally and aesthetically what I had been looking for!
I looked over the shelf just to be sure there was nothing else that could have suited me better. But every time I did, my heart ached a little bit for the dusty purse in my lap. Yeah, it was a keeper and the purse shopping torture was short and sweet this time. Take a look at my find:
Maybe I’ll tell you guys about my first Miami Gay Pride Parade experience.