- Last Friday I had to take the kids to buy shoes. I also
had some things to bring back to the Gap, so I decided to take them to the Stride
Rite Mall B instead of in Mall A, my default mall, because the last time I went
to Mall A and tried to return something to the Gap I discovered that Mall A no
longer has a Gap. I know! I mean, if the Gap isn’t at the mall, where is it?
(Incidentally, you know what Mall A now has that it didn’t used to have? Yogurt shop.)
So anyway, I had to go buy three pairs of very expensive full-priced shoes, because I had managed to put off the shoe-buying until the last minute which unfortunately landed me between sales at Stride Rite. I would have taken them to Marshall’s, but I was buying Ann Marie’s very first pair of real walking shoes, so I needed an actual trained person to measure her feet. I also would have taken them to the shoe store near my mom, but I had to return that stuff to the Gap, so Stride Rite it was.
I loaded them all into the van, and halfway to the mall Nora needed to use the bathroom. Twenty-minutes-in-a-Dunkin-Donuts-bathroom later, I loaded them all into the van again. We got to the mall and I went straight to the Gap. Halfway through my returns transaction which was complicated because one of the things had been a gift, which included a gift receipt, but they would nevertheless only give me the value towards a purchase right then or else mail me a gift card. Why on earth they couldn’t just hand me a gift card then, I will never know, but there you are. And everything in the store was 30% off, so I wanted to maybe buy something right then. But before I could look, JACK had to use the bathroom. So I took my gift back and off we all schlepped. While Nora, the baby, and I waited outside the men’s room for Jack, I scanned the directory for a Stride Rite. Which, as it turns out, Mall B doesn’t have.
I wailed and moaned and gnashed my teeth, Jack emerged, and we all schlepped BACK to the Gap where I was going to BUY something for 30% off SO HELP ME. I chose a pair of pants and exchanged my gift for them while noting to the cashier that they were definitely not going to fit, so I was going to have to come back anyway. “Oh, we have a dressing room that the stroller will fit in,” he said. Meanwhile, it was 4:45 pm and my children were race walking (no running allowed!) around the store. “Not worth it,” I told him.
After a stop at Kids Foot Locker for (full-priced) shoes for the older two, I found myself once again loading three kids into the van for a drive down to the strip mall that is about halfway between my house and Mall B because there is a Stride Rite there. We pulled into the parking lot, and you will never guess what is next door to Stride Rite. Literally next door. Not even at the other end of the strip; it is the storefront immediately to the left of Stride Rite. Yep. The Gap.
- Kelly tweeted some time ago about noticing an
under-mounted sink on a television show rather than noticing the attractive
actor. I can relate to this, because I keep zeroing in on window treatments. My
house has a lot of windows, and I lost momentum four rooms in. The problem lies
mostly in that window treatments cost a bajillion dollars. You know what
television show has some gorgeous window treatments? Parenthood. The oldest brother’s house has, at a conservative
estimate, $5,000 worth of window treatments. Valances! Curtains! Tie backs!
Fancy hardware! Custom Roman shades! Do you have any idea how much a custom
Roman shade costs? ONE BAJILLION DOLLARS.
But even though I lost momentum, window treatments became an issue when we took over the downstairs apartment. The sheets and towels clamped to the window frame weren’t really working for me. Because we had so many windows to cover, we decided to just buy inexpensive vinyl shades, which don’t feel that inexpensive when you buy them in bulk. Then there were a series of ridiculous problems which resulted in no less than five trips to three different hardware stores, an extra set of useless shades that we can’t return and don’t fit anywhere, and the kids’ room having shades just slightly too narrow. And there are still five windows without shades in the dining room and kitchen!
I gave up and decided to rehang the blinds that we bought for the windows before we rented the place, but none of them fit. This seems impossible, but it’s because I threw out the blinds that were in the kitchen because they were gross, and the kitchen windows are apparently a quarter inch wider than any other windows in that apartment. Meanwhile, we had the woodwork around the dining room windows replaced, and the new trim is about a quarter inch narrower than the old trim. But that, at least, I thought we could solve by just asking Home Depot to recut them. I figured it would be easy; we had bought them at Home Depot originally. The label even says “Home Depot” right on it.
Yeah, they wouldn’t cut them. And it’s not because they were just being jerks, it’s because their machines do not cut the plastic blinds, “But, you cut them when I bought them,” I said. “No, we can’t cut those,” he said. “But… they DID,” I insisted. “If they did that,” he said, “they weren’t supposed to. It’s against store policy, and they ruined the blade and destroyed the machine. We can’t cut those.”
It was the “If” that rankled. “If” they cut them? They cut them. Believe me, 22 7/8 inches is not a standard width for plastic blinds. And that “if” really made me want to get him to admit that they at least USED to cut them, so I asked him how long he’d been working there. “Two years.” So OK, fine. I bought these seven years ago, when they apparently had different machines, because THEY CUT THEM. Which he never admitted. But he did give me some replacement mounting brackets for free, so I forgive him.
- This has nothing to do with shopping or home improvement,
but here is what I would like to happen on Sunday mornings: First, I want to
sleep late. Second, I want to have a leisurely breakfast. Third, I want to go
to the early mass so that the rest of the day is free.
Somehow, I do not think I’m ever going to have all three of those things happen together.