I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe I was still working through the whole "pigeon" thing I wrote about yesterday. Who knows, but the fact remained I wasn't in a good mood.
Errands and chores awaited us. My phone died. I got a used phone. We went to the bank and that's when things escalated. The Zombie Elf stood behind me. The teller pointed in my boy's direction, "Your son's getting naked."
I laughed without even looking. "He won't actually get naked. He's all show, just trying to make a scene and get attention."
But when I turned he WAS almost naked, and everyone stared!
I quickly put his clothes on--after turning red--and tried smoothing things over with the elderly teller. "You know how it goes. You have any kids?"
"No," she said barely keeping a grimace from her face. "I never wanted . . . children."
So, we left and went to the mall; after all, I needed a charger for my used phone. Two stores rested next to each other in the middle of the place. I looked at each kiosk. One was a T-Mobile, while the other said, "Used phones and accessories REAL cheap."
"How much for a charger?" I asked the T-Mobile representative.
I tried acting nonchalant as I quickly turned, pretended to go near a toy store, then doubled back to the used phone kiosk. The T-Mobile rep had seen me though--I'd make a bad spy--and he glared at me as I asked his competitor, "How much for a charger?"
The used phone rep seemed a bit stuffy. I judged him then. I imagined how he'd just come back from a religious mission. He probably thought life was made of peaches and cream. He was a virgin--obviously, his flowered bow tie proved that.
I didn't mind him really, just the way he looked at me, the Zombie Elf and Doctor Jones (my two babies). It also bothered me that the other rep--the T-Mobile one--wouldn't stop giving me the hairy eyeball for going to the other place!
"Wow, your kids are busy."
I just turned to him and with my face I said, Ya think. Pretty boy, life ain't made from peaches 'n cream, not always.
I tried striking up a simple conversation about what charger I'd need, but he was too busy straightening his tie to move fast.
"Wow, look at that," I said, pointing to a tablet the size of a brick. "I remember when cellphones used to be that big. It was terrible calling anyone."
"Seriously?" the young guy said. "You actually remember cell phones . . . being that big?"
I felt old--really old. "Yep. I'm ancient."
Then out of nowhere. "Your kid," the guy suddenly blurted. "I think he's getting naked."
Why does my son do this to me? It's not cool to undress EVERYWHERE. Tellers don't want to see his dingle berry. Phone reps don't want to see it as he jumps up and down clapping his three-year-old hands. IIIIII don't want to see it--every flippin time I turn around!
But that's beside the point.
The real issue remained, the rep had sickened me with his innocence and youth, and I don't know why, but I was finally sick of being Pollyanna.
The Zombie Elf had taken off his socks and shoes. He was about to take off his pants fully, right there, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MALL.
"Quit that, will ya," I said in a loud voice. "I told ya, if you're gonna be a stripper, at least do it where you'll make some money. That's what I do, anyway."
The rep's mouth dropped. I never realized it, but I must have a pretty good poker face.
And although I've never been a fan of strip clubs, I LOVED them in that moment.
The guy stuttered. He fumbled with the charger he'd just picked up. That Einstein, looked me up and down (as if it wasn't an obvious gesture), then after nodding and probably thinking I might be a stripper, he turned back to the chargers and blinked hard looking horrified.
I helped my boy get his clothes back on. When it was time for the rep to ring me up, he seemed so nervous you wouldn't believe it. "That'll be ten dollars," he said, clearing his throat. "Ma'am."
I leaned in real close. The day had gone so bad, I couldn't help but have a little bit of fun. "Did you notice that other rep, the T-Mobile one?" I whispered.
He didn't even nod. He just stared at me sideways, a cool sweat breaking over his forehead. .
"Well, he keeps giving me the hairy eyeball," I said. "I know it's terrible, but I can't help feeling like I'm cheating on his store," I turned completely to the guy, "with yours."
I swear the guy looked like he might have an accident. I still can't believe what I'd done, but it was the most hilarious thing. We sauntered away after that and I realized being a stripper wouldn't be too bad. I called Cade as soon as I left.
"I scared the crap out of some guy. He really thought I was a stripper."
"Oh. My. Hell! Elisa." Cade laughed for a long time.
"Not bad for someone who remembers cell phones being the size of bricks! I feel really great," I said.
"Because someone thought you were a stripper?" he asked.
"Well, yeah. Kind of. I mean seriously, how many women actually know what it's like being a stripper--who doesn't have to take her clothes off?!"
He snorted. "You're something else, you know that?"
"No," I said. "But at least I know what I can pass for."
"You still can't dance. So don't be getting any ideas."
"Details . . . details," I said. "Just don't ruin the moment. I had a terrible day up until that point, and I refuse to let anything get me down."
"Nice," he said. "You aren't a stripper, though. Thank God."
"I don't know." I laughed into the phone. "Pretending to be one . . . that's practically like jumping out of a plane."
"Without a shoot," he said, and I laughed so hard, thinking about how much I love that man.
"Are you shocked that I did it?" I asked after a moment.
Nope," he said. "After your toilet stunt nothing phases me."