So I went to the evil empire the other night, right? No, no, no…not the Scientology headquarters located in lovely downtown Clearwater, a mere 20 minute drive from here (in case you ever want to see the trophy case where they keep John Travolta and Tom Cruise’s REAL brains in those creepy glass jars usually reserved for fetal pigs and two-headed snakes. Note: Would also make for awesome science class field trip because BRAAAAAAAINS)
No, I went to that store that rhymes with Schmalmart—and I realize, as a bleeding heart liberal who tries to live as greenly as possible and supports fair trade and loves the mom and pop shops, that I’m committing some serious sacrilege but I had to go there. HAD TO. For roller skates. Because my daughter wants some for her birthday and because I was away at BlogHer on her actual birthday, which means whatever ‘lil missy wants, she WILL get. (Note to kids everywhere: Guilt is a terrific parental motivator!) Also, because it was, like, 9pm and where the frig else can you buy skates at 9pm?
So, after much wandering about, as I’m not well acquainted with the layout of Schmalmart, I finally ask some employees who were clearly more interested in continuing their conversation about whose bad ass rims were THE MOST bad ass, where they keep the roller skates—because this is fricken Schmalmart and THEY HAVE EVERYTHING.
Except they don’t.
Because they DON’T SELL ROLLERSKATES AT SCHMALMART, according to surly guy #1
Then, in a feeble attempt to be more helpful and less surly, surly guy #2 suggests I instead go home and peruse Schmalmart.com and mail order some skates.
Well, thank you, sir, for that helpful suggestion but if I wanted to mail order stuff, I would have been all over this task WEEKS AGO. But why would I want to mail order something when, in theory, I should be able to walk amongst the People of Schmalmart, pluck some damn skates off the shelf and JUST BUY THEM.
Also, weeks ago I was much more concerned with MY OWN NEEDS…like buying shoes and dresses and shit for BlogHer. Priorities, people—I HAVE THEM—in case you didn’t know.
Okay…so I resign myself to the fact that I’m not going to get any skates on this particular evening. I’ll just carve out some more kid-free time some other day this week, because we all know how easy it is to come by kid-free time IN THE DAMN SUMMER.
So I leave and go to the toy section, thinking since I’m already here and have already committed a green mom’s cardinal sin by setting foot in the front door, that I might as well get the other gift I needed…a card game called Slamwich.
I look and look and look and I don’t see Slamwich but since I’ve never actually laid eyes on a Slamwich game, I have no idea what it looks like.
So, I go back to surly guy #2 who is now ticking off all the reasons he will, in fact, be getting a date with some girl he fancies (I’m sure his bad ass rims will play a huge part in all of this) and ask about Slamwich.
Me: I’m looking for a game called Slamwich. Can you check your computer and see if you have it in stock?
Surly Guy: Slamwich? Like sandwich?
Me: Well, yeah, except it’s Slamwich
Surly Guy: Oh. Okay.
Me: Can you check if you have it in stock?
Surly Guy: Let’s see if it’s on the shelf
Me: I already looked at all the games. I didn’t see it but I’m not sure what it looks like so it would probably be easier if you just looked it up.
Surly Guy: No, I have to look.
Me: *suppresses eyeroll*
Surly Guy: Is it this game? *holds up something called Slam*
Me: No, it’s SlamWICH
Surly Guy: Oh yeah, like sandwich!
Surly Guy: Let me call some other stores
Me: If I have to drive across town to another Schmalmart, I really don’t want it.
Surly Guy: Okay, I’ll call and see if any other store has it
Me: Are you high?
Surly Guy: What? *thinks about it for a second* No, definitely NOT high.
Me: Okay, but you should know that you SEEM really high
Surly Guy: Oh. Haha. Yeah. That’s funny. No, wait. I mean it’s funny but I’m not. Here, let me call them right now. *dials number, asks someone to help him locate “SANDWICH” and gets put on hold*
Me: No, it’s Slamwich
Surly Guy: What?
Me: Dude, seriously, LOOK IT UP ON THE COMPUTER
Surly Guy: I can’t.
Me: Why not?
Surly Guy: I’m not allowed
Surly Guy: Because we can’t look up inventory
Me: You’re not allowed to look up inventory?
Surly Guy: Yes. I mean no, our computer doesn’t do that
Me: What???? Every big box store can do that
Surly Guy: Not ours
Me: So you mean to tell me that the largest retailer ON THE PLANET cannot look up something on the computer and see if it’s in stock?
Surly Guy: Nope
Me: No, seriously
Surly Guy: *hangs up phone*
Me: Wait, did they answer you? Does anyone have this stupid game? *clearly annoyed*
Surly Guy: No, I just got tired of waiting
Me: So you just hung up?
Surly Guy: *smiles* Yeah!
Me: So now what?
Surly Guy: Uh…go to the front desk. They can look it up for you
Me: Are you joking? Why didn’t you tell me this, like, ten minutes ago? Also, NO…because in my experience, those people are completely useless
Surly Guy: Yeah *laughs*
Me: Are you sure you’re not high?
So I hurried across the street to Target, which is in extreme renovation mode (translation: totally sucks right now) and also where I’m not supposed to be shopping at anyway because they gave money to anti-gay groups, and bought some damn skates. I feel bad about breaking my boycott but as noted, parental guilt is a seriously effective motivator and apparently I am willing to compromise ALL my principles in order to avoid it.
Related: I suck.
BUT I GOT THE SKATES!
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get Sandwich *sigh*