Staring at Watermelons

August 25, 2008

If you have never lost a baby (and I pray to Buddha that if you haven’t, you never do) let me let you in on a little secret.  The absolute WORST place for someone of my “persuasion” (that is how I have begun to refer to my stint as a “failing breeder”) is Target on a Saturday afternoon.  Yep, that’s right, Target.  My former Mecca (and still is on a Friday night after a couple glasses of wine), on a Saturday afternoon is Dante’s fifth circle of hell.  You folks playing along at home, stick with me here.

Normally, if I need to run into Target (yeah right, no, I spend HOURS in Target), I can avoid the “trouble” spots ie the baby department, diaper aisle and the maternity department.  I can look down or to the side, walk the long way around the store or get really interested in something in my purse when any of these areas come into view.  I have gotten really good at this. 

However, on a Saturday afternoon, there are WAY to many people to employ this tactic.  It’s like all of Apex, North Carolina has descended upon Target as if there were no other store in a 50 miles radius in which to get toilet paper, paper towels and Dora the Explorer sheets.  Not to mention the fact that apparently a memo was sent out that all pregnant women (skinny ones at that) and women with newborn babies (boys if we are REALLY lucky) are to meet at Target and tag team the sad, frumpy, childless red-head who is trying desperately not to cry.

Let me give you an example of my Saturday.  I HAD to replace the air filter for the air conditioner (plus I wanted to return a blouse that I had bought because my ham-hock size upper arms were completely restricted from movement when I tried it on at home).*  It had been way too long since the filter was changed (like the day we bought the house 5 months ago) and I was getting more and more severe allergy symptoms despite the HEPA filter in my room (sweet memories there too, it was purchased because the babies were going to sleep in our room at the old house and we wanted the purest of air for their little lungs).  I tell you this because I would have otherwise never have gone to Target on a Saturday. 

So I pull up my big girl panties and venture out to Target at 2pm thinking that most of the successful breeders and adorable new mommies would be gone.  Oh no, I was so wrong. 

I power walk with my head down to Guest Services, knocking into about 37 people (including a 12 member family of Mormons all dressed in identical denim outfits).  Guest Services is, unfortunately, just past the baby department and located directly in front of the little boys department.  Okay, no problem, I won’t look that far right.  Just then, Perky McMommyton rolls up behind me with her adorable 9 month old little girl.  In general, older and female babies tend not to trigger fits of tears but one just never knows.  Plus, Perky is really pretty.  And thin.  Alright, I won’t look behind me.  Just then, I notice a commotion at the Guest Services register at the front of the line.  I thought it was probably related to Target’s new return policy of not taking back anything, ever.  Nope.  The employees are going “ga-ga” over…wait for it….NEWBORN TWIN BOYS!  Yes, people, it’s my lucky day.  There they were, in all their double stroller glory about 2 weeks old.  My boys would be two weeks old this week.  Oh goody.

I quickly start reciting my “grateful” list (see “Panda Out, I’m Done” post) and I am trying to avoid eye contact with anything under the age of 2.  As a result, my eyes are shifting around like marbles in a pinball machine, I am quietly muttering to myself, lips moving of course and I’m trying not to flee screaming so I’m practically panting.  Add a plastic bracelet and feety jammies with my name stenciled across the back and I would easily pass for an “escaped” mental patient from the newly closed Dorthea Dix Mental Hospital in Raleigh.** 

I take a deep breath and think, “okay, I can’t look straight ahead or too far to the right or behind me.”  Some where between straight ahead and to the right, I lock eyes with a bin full of watermelons.  I tune out the cooing from the employees, the sweet gurgling from the baby behind me and the visions of the baby department where I registered for two of everything pale yellow, pale green or Winnie the Pooh and focus on the bright green watermelons stacked in the bin.  Slowly my heart rate returns to normal as the twins move on.

I love watermelons.


* If you do not know what a ham-hock is, you obviously do not live in the South.  It’s the upper thigh of the pig.  It’s usually salted, cured and then slow cooked with black-eyed peas and served on New Year’s Day.  Try it, it’s tasty.

** Dorthea Dix hospital shut down due to health and safety violations and several patients that had no family to claim them just “escaped” a couple of days before the place was locked for good.  No one really knows just how that happened.  A bonafide mystery.  Uh huh.


3 Responses to “Staring at Watermelons”

  1. whataboutmyeggs Says:

    I love watermelons too. Way to focus.

  2. Gretchen Says:

    Wal Mart is worse…don’t even go there…EVER! Well, except maybe in the middle of the night. I love Fat Back! (JK)

  3. Rebekah Says:

    I’m so sorry, I’m glad you had something to focus on though. I had the same problem at the Cookie company one time- I’m sure they thought I was mental too. (We’d announced our pregnancy with a giant cookie- so walking by them I almost lost it) I don’t think I’ve ever left the mall that quickly.

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