Today was the day I chose to go running around town doing non-essential errand type things with Norah. Today was also the day that Hurricane Gustav poured out buckets of rain in Arkansas. But did I let Gustav stop me? Of course not. It takes a heck of alot more than a hurricane to divert my attention from The Gap.
My decision to go shopping today was a real idiot of an idea, ranking right up there with the rest of my idiot ideas like: that time in the third grade when I was laughing at the naked people in National Geographic, that time in the third grade when I lied about laughing at the naked people in National Geographic and tried to convince my mom that I was laughing at a knock-knock joke, eating half a package of Oreos in one sitting, those green Chuck Taylors, telling my friends I would make dinner for them after they had a baby and then remembering that I don't cook, and watching three whole episodes of Secret Life of the American Teenager.
I had to go to school this morning to sell some books to other students and I should have taken it as a hint when I got to school and could not find a parking spot anywhere near the building I needed to get into. Instead, I parked super far away and dragged myself, the diaper bag, two books, Norah and an umbrella that weighs more than Norah all around campus. I nearly dropped everything, and really should have just left the umbrella in the car, that's how useful it was to me. Walking up to the student center I realized that everyone inside could see my stupid and soaked self since the whole building is made of windows. I was trying to figure out how to open the door without dropping and/or breaking anything when a nice Latin American boy took pity on me and opened the door. But not before he and his friends looked at me and laughed. Once I got inside I realized that I was not only dripping wet with a slippery baby, a useless umbrella and vagabond hair, but I was also too late to meet the girl I was selling my book to.
Still not taking the hint from the heavens I trudged all the way across the soggy campus, hitting several cars with my giant umbrella before making it back to my little Honda. I had a fleeting moment of lucidity when I thought Maybe I should just go home and drink some tea, but that thought was quickly followed by The Gap! The Gap awaits your arrival! so I went home to change into dry clothes and then kept on going, all the way to lunch with Dawn.
At lunch I had to feed Norah and was confronted with an old man in a cowboy hat who would not stop staring at me. While I was feeding her. Covered up, but still. He eventually moved tables, but not before standing up and staring some more. Perhaps to get a better view?
Then Dawn and I went to the mall where I realized how agonizingly slow the process of getting her from the car to the store can be. Especially in the rain. We shopped and shopped, and in typical fashion, Norah fell asleep just as we were leaving but not when we were trying to shop. It was still raining, perhaps even raining harder, but undaunted I chose to wade on through Old Navy and Target.
When I left Target I was carrying Norah in Bjorn, the diaper bag, a Target bag, a blanket a drink and yet another useless umbrella (that I bought for myself but was also rendered useless by the heavy duty plastic clip holding it closed). When I finally made it to my car and sat down to strap Norah into the car seat, I looked at her, with her face and head wet from the rain and her feet bare because she kept taking off her socks, it occurred to me that maybe I should have stayed home today. But then Norah, probably amused by her mother looking like some kind of damp crazy person, started laughing and I thought Eh, at least it will make for a good story later on.
All that, and I didn't even buy anything at The Gap.