by now, you know me. you know that, despite my best efforts not to (and holly’s unreasonable aversion to them), i like the jeggings. you know holly’s from western pee-ay and that once i got lost in the woods (by myself) behind her twin sister’s house while on a quad, got stuck between two trees b/c i didn’t know how to do a k-turn and then thought i heard a big brown bear that would inevitably maul & kill me in my low-blood-sugared state.
in other words: yes, i am a city girl. (and there’s a reason i brought up the jeggings.)
so we went to pee-ay for thanksgiving. one of holly’s family’s traditions–at least among the women in the family–is to go out shopping at the local mall the day after thanksgiving (Black Friday; just the thought of it makes me shudder). if that’s not bad enough, they go out at the crack of dawn. literally. actually they went earlier than dawn this year–at 4am. (i know. i threw up a little when i heard that, too.)
shopping in general is not something i love to do. perhaps it has something to do where i grew up–in north jersey, home of the eff-you eye socket punch THAT’S THE LAST ONE AND IT’S MINE (ok, maybe i was never punched in the eye socket but it sounded funny and i’m basically trying to tell you that ppl are rude there). it also has more than a little something to do w/where i live now–baltimore, maryland, home of I’M ON MY BREAK cashiers/salespeople that throw daggers at your from their eyes (again w/the eyes) and give you looks that say why are you bothering me? i’m sexting my boyfriend right now and if there weren’t security cameras in here i’d totally cut you. (ppl can be pretty rude here, too. the difference is that they’re armed.)
yeah so i’m not so into shopping. i have zero patience for crowds, dressing rooms and food courts. so i didn’t go w/the rest of the girls friday morning. holly did, however, convince me to go later in the day. i was frozen w/black friday fear from the looks of the packed parking lot. but for whatever reason, the mall wasn’t even that crowded. and hot damn! the salespeople are really nice in butler, pee-ay. even the other shoppers are nice. it’s very disarming. and i actually found myself…(gasp!) having fun (!).
soon i was in a poorly ventilated dressing room surrounded by at least 15 variations of these new-ish strategically droopy yet strategically clingy sweaters and sweater dresses. i haven’t truly shopped in a very very long time (despite my two entries on going to one of our local malls–total blip) and, must admit, was pretty jazzed to try on any and all 80s throwback sweater gear since my tomboyish ways back in the day kept me from wearing them the first time around (well, that and the fact that i was like, 10).
i decided on one that i liked, proud to have zeroed in on a good buy in less than 10 minutes. holly was with her younger sister and her new niece. when i found them, i mentioned my new buy to holly and she was happy that i was happy.
“can’t wait til you see it on me!” i said.
“i can’t wait either,” she said.
all smiles, hugs and butterfly kisses, right? sure. (ladies, you know what’s coming next.)
when i tried it on for her later that night, she was pretty much half asleep from waking up at 3am (!!??) that morning. she told me she liked it, but didn’t seem elated (and she *must* be elated when she sees me in something new–ladies, do you feel me on that one?) or anything. i blamed it on her exhaustion. it had to be the exhaustion, right?
the next day (saturday) holly announced that she and i were going to make a special trip to a local tree farm, a christmas tree farm, to pick out a fresh tree to bring back home. not only b/c it seemed like a fun thing to do, but b/c they’re about three times more expensive in baltimore. if they didn’t have one in the lot that we liked, we could actually go and chop it down, she said.
chop it down! woah!
“bundle up!” she said with a smile. “it’s cold out there!”
oooh! i thought! how rustic! bundling up to go tree-hunting! i buttoned up my most rustic flannel (western-ish; purple with pearlescent buttons) and added a multi-zippered black vest under my pea coat for good measure.
we jumped into holly’s stepdad’s red pick-up (ok i didn’t so much jump as gingerly step into it–but “jumped” sounds so much better) and started down the windy road to the tree farm. holly took my hand in hers and looked at me.
“babe,” she said.
she’s going to tell me how much she loves me and how excited she is to go to the tree farm with me, i thought. the only thing that could make this more perfect is a thermos of hot chocolate.
except for she didn’t tell me she loved me.
“babe, i don’t think i like your new sweater on you so much.”
was she KIDDING?! this felt like a repeat of our ill-fated “perfect ten” episode. (if you’re unfamiliar w/the whole “perfect ten” debacle, i strongly suggest you read it.) my first instinct was to elbow her in the mouth or kick her in one or both shins. but she was driving. safety first, i thought.
instead i took a deep breath and told her that i actually thought it looked good on me and i couldn’t believe she was ruining a potentially perfect afternoon by dissing my new sweater that i was really excited about.
“you had to choose now to tell me that? thanks. a lot.”
“honey! i just…i just wanted to tell you! when i ask your opinion on something i’m wearing i always want to know what you really think.”
“yeah but i don’t randomly bring it up out of nowhere when we’re going to do something new and fun like go to a tree farm!”
“but you tell me when you don’t like something and i don’t get offended.”
i was silent for a moment.
“well, i don’t like your new moccasins ,” i said flatly. “i wasn’t going to even say anything b/c they make you so happy but i’m saying it anyway.”
she started laughing like she does when i’m being ridiculous, which is often, according to her.
i told her that this wasn’t funny and that she had ruined everything and let’s just go pick out a damn tree and i’m wearing the sweater anyway and i’m going to get more jeggings while i’m at it and wear them all the time whether she likes it or not. afterall, they make me happy like her friggin moccasins make her happy.
i dropped it when we got to the tree lot b/c damn, it smelled so good there. (“like candles except real!” i told a bewildered tree farm lady who smiled at me politely.) within about five minutes it became apparent that we’d have to go out into the wilderness (ok, the tree farm but still. it’s really big) and chop down our own tree. which would prove, of course, to be an adventure.
and b/c i just realized this entry’s already long enough, i’m going to have to leave you hanging and finish the rest tomorrow. in the meantime, pls feel free to express your annoyance with or at holly that she chose our special tree farm experience to tell me she didn’t like my new sweater.