Saturday, February 21, 2009

Do Those Pants Come in My Seismic?

Some months back,  I was in Macy's, on the second floor of the three-story building.  I had been on the hunt for a good deal ever since I had eyed the "60 percent or more off " racks at the back of the store. The pickin's were slim, but had the time and I had the hunger.   A few near misses on the blouse rack had only intensified my appetite, so I journeyed on, hoping to flush out hidden prey.

Finally, I spotted them: black pants with a blue pin stripe running throughout.  Oh, they were cute, cute, cute and my size and they were marked down, down, down, from $80.00 to an incredible $10.00.  I made my way back to the fitting rooms and tried them on.  Success!   I stood there in the dressing room admiring myself in these dreamy trousers. Oh, this was the deal of the century.  I changed back into my clothes and emerged from the dressing room just as I felt the floor beneath me shudder.  

I was hoping it was just my own personal earthquake registering my excitement at this deal, but the swaying mannequins told me this was a bit bigger.  The lighting fixtures that hung down swung in that eerie, uniform way.   I looked ahead at the cash register counter where a man and woman employee stood, befuddled.  They were looking around, while the woman ashen-faced, was holding on to the counter in front of her.  The large sign reading "Customer Service" swayed above her, creating just a bit of a creepy, horror movie-like creaking sound. Determined, I walked amid all the gently rocking racks of merchandise, and confused customers who were heading for the doors, to the counter.   

The employees were looking around.  "I'm not even sure I should use the cash register," the man said. "Should we leave the building?" the woman asked.  "I'll call down and see what we should do," he said, grabbing the phone.

Were they kidding?  Even if the walls started to come down, and the floor gave way, I was going to leave the store with these pants.  I could just see myself emerging from the rubble, bloodied and battered, but with these pants in my fists.  I had to act quickly to avoid such a fate. Quickly,  I whipped out my credit card and stood there, shoving the pants in the woman's direction.  She just stared blankly at me, so I waved the credit card under her nose like smelling salts.  "I'm ready!" I announced, hoping those words, combined with the whiff of the credit card would spark in her a deeply-instilled sense of service or at least a robotic reaction programmed in her by some rigorous employee training sessions. 

She showed a glimmer of consciousness, so  I gave her a reassuring smile,  shoving the pants closer and positioning my credit card in the little machine on the counter, all the while hoping she did not look up to see the 75 pound sign still swinging above her.  

"I'm sure it's all over now," I said, in a brisk, no-nonsense voice.  Finding the tag with the UPC code on it,  I flipped it over and positioned it just under the scanner.  Now all she had to do was move it three inches.  She looked over at the man on the phone who just shrugged.  

I stared into her eyes and, willed entirely by my incredible mental energy, she finally completed the transaction, all the time talking about how scared she was, how these things freaked her out, about aftershocks, the dangers of living in California, she hoped her kids were OK, blah, blah, blah. When my beloved pants finally made it into the bag, I breathed a sigh of relief.  

Oh, I love my pants.  I wear them with my pretty blue sweater.  I call them as my "earthquake pants" because of how they came to live with me.   

One time after hearing me refer to them this way, Evan asked, "Hey Mom, why would you need special pants just for an earthquake?"  


Susan said...

I have those same exact pants, except mine are not earthquake pants. :-(

Bossy Betty said...

We should wear them out together some time!