'Twas the day after Christmas. The carnage was over. The presents that I spent hours lovingly wrapping were unwrapped, the feasts I'd laboriously prepared were consumed and I was contemplating what a wonderful thing hibernation is. I was happily imagining the bliss of stuffing myself so full of food that it would sustain me through the long months of winter and then, oh sweet, merciful, blessed thought, I could just go to sleep! For MONTHS! Judging from the recently snug fit of my jeans, I'm more than halfway there already. I slumped in the chair thinking maybe I'd just stay in that spot for a week or so. I could just summon Son when I needed food, drink or batteries for the remote. It would be perfect. But then right in the middle of my lovely reverie, a horrific reality presented iteself in the form of my husband with an announcement:
"I want to go shopping. I can exchange that BEAUTIFUL, WONDROUS, NOTHING-MORE-LOVELY-HAS-EVER-BEEN-CREATED-BY-HUMAN-HANDS-SWEATER that I'd keep if only, oh if only it fit." (Mike's mom gave him the sweater. She may read here. Everyone wave to Mike's mom!)
I summoned all the energy I had to open one eye and stare at him.
"Are you mad? Do you know what the stores will be like today? Only crazy people are out today."
"Yes, yes they are. And we have a duty to support our fellow crazies by mingling with them in the mall."
"You mingle. I'm sleeping. Besides, I don't like people anymore."
"Aw, c'mon. It won't be that bad. What happened to "Good Will Toward Men"?
"I think I lost it somewhere between getting run over by an enormous remote control Batmobile and getting broadsided by two women having a tug of war over the last 'Boobah.' That's kind of funny, though. When those women find out that 'Boobahs' make noises that melt the auditory nerves and grate on every other nerve in the system of anyone unfortunate to listen longer than 2 minutes, they'll realize there are NO winners in Boobah world."
"Right. Well guess what?" he wheedled, "You know that sweater you've been wanting? I'll bet it's still there. On sale even."
"I don't care. It'll be spring soon and too warm for sweaters anyway. Nice try, though."
"Books. Books will be on sale." Silence. "Honey? Did you hear me? Bookstore?"
"Let me get my shoes." Rotten man. He never did play fair.
We made the 45 minute trek to that den of insanity known as the mall. As we drew closer I said, "Shhhhhh! Quiet! If you listen carefully, you can hear credit cards screaming in pain from overuse! We must turn back!"
"You'll never get a parking spot. Never. You'll have to stalk some poor souls as they come out of the mall. You'll follow them to their car and wait nearby with your signal flashing, only to find out they're just there to leave their stuff in the car before returning to the chaos."
"Nope. There's a guy. Look at the cold, dead look in his eyes. He's not going back anytime soon." Mike was right of course. He followed the guy and when Mike scored a parking spot mere steps from the door I hung my head in defeat.
Nothing but my unconditional, undying and deep, deep love for my husband could have made me follow him into Eddie Bauer. Well, nothing but that and the promise of a trip to the bookstore.(I hate it that I'm so easy.) I mostly read for three hours while having discussions like:
"Do these socks match?"
"Really? They match this sweater?"
"No, they don't match the sweater."
"You just said they matched."
"They do. They match each other."
It actually wasn't so bad. With the strategically timed visit to the bookstore, and the help of a zealous young salesman who had far more interest in and excitement about clothing than anyone not working on commission has any right to be I only thought about banging my head against the wall, oh three, maybe four times. It must be stressed, however, that I might have escaped even that if the salesman had not insisted on returning with items I had already vetoed. (Sorry, Mike's young and he's gorgeous, but even he cannot pull off mukluks.)
The plus side is, he looks INCREDIBLE. He looks ten years younger, and my oh my oh my! Let's just say I'm grateful that he can no longer get his wedding ring off. I told him that if I weren't his wife I'd be seriously lusting after him. I meant, of course, that even if I weren't married to him or even in love with him, I'd find him extremely attractive. I think that came out wrong though. He laughed himself into a fit of hiccups and ever since he has been making commments like, "If you weren't my wife I'd tell you how beautiful you are this morning."
Still, after twelve years of marriage it's pretty cool to find my heart beating the drum riff to "Wipe Out" just because he walks into a room.
There is down side to having a recently "made-over" hubby, however. I now look like his chaperone. I'm sure we'll go out together and people will whisper, "How did a guy that HOT end up at the party with his mother?" You know what this means. That's right. More shopping. But I'm no fool. I'm not going back into that mob of crazed post-holiday-sale scavengers. I don't care what's on sale. I'll go back when things quiet down a bit. Besides, who knows what size I'll be once I'm through hibernating?