I went shopping. Live and in person. I didn’t mean to, it’s just that I was meeting my friend for lunch and we happened to be meeting at a restaurant in a mall and…it just happened OK? Maybe if Talbot’s hadn’t been right there. Maybe if I hadn’t arrived 30 minutes early. Coulda, shoulda, woulda, the fact is that I went shopping and I just can’t keep beating myself up for it.
I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to find a lightweight cotton maxi dress because, well, just because. I have one I wear a lot and I want to rock another maxi dress before they go out of style again.
Anyway, I wandered into Talbot’s to find, of course, anything but maxi dresses. I found shorts and capris and jackets and blouses and everything else under the sun, but not a single maxi dress. The helpful saleswoman asked what I was looking for and when I told her she said “stay right there.” I tend to do as I’m told, so I froze in place, right there next to the 40% off all capris rack. Two minutes later she came sweeping in with the perfect maxi dress; it was literally the only one she had. Right size, right style, looked cute on me (well, duh), but umm, price tag. The price tag was not good. In fact, it was the very worst part. But it is a navy and white summer dress, and since everything in the frickin’ store is on sale, this must be too!
Nope. It’s the one item in a 50 mile radius that is very specifically not on sale. I resigned myself to leaving it there and trying to find a way to move forward with my life and find meaning in my existence; without the dress. Sigh. But then I thought, for at least 15 years a good portion of my disposable income has been turned over to Talbot’s. And the one time I really wanted and even possibly needed (!) a dress that was too expensive, I was left out in the cold.
I know that there are bigger injustices in life (although I can’t think of any right at the moment), but there comes a time when a woman can’t just shrug her shoulders and walk away. “Bee,” I said, because Bee was the saleswoman’s name, otherwise I totally wouldn’t have just randomly said “Bee.” And even when she told me her name in my head I was thinking “Bea” but when she wrote it down it turned out to be “Bee.” Anyway, since it was her name I said “Bee, the time has come to put this dress on sale. It’s navy and white and cannot possibly be worn after Labor Day. That’s a rule. And we’re already past the summer solstice. So. It’s time Bee.” And just like that, Bee pulled up my account and found some stray reward points and cobbled together something else and knocked 30% off the dress.
After that I said “Bee,” because that was her name and all; I said “Bee, you rock.” And then, overcome with emotion at our shared victory, I just went ahead and gave her a big old hug. And she hugged me back and everything and didn’t even reach for the phone to call security.
So Bee and I bonded and as she rang up my sale she told me the story of a nice lady who left her wallet in the store the other day and how relieved she was that Bee found it. The nice lady also calls her Bee because that’s her name. No other reason. Then we bid a tearful farewell and I moved along to the restaurant to meet my friend.
When I opened my purse to pay for lunch…my wallet was missing. This wasn’t my typical ploy to get someone else to pay for my chow; it was for sure missing. But I didn’t panic, because I knew that Bee was keeping it safe. And I even laughed a little that I had gotten so caught up in the story about the other lady losing her wallet that I somehow left my own.
When I went back to the store, there she was, My Bee. And there was my wallet. And all was right with the world. And I just have to wonder if somehow, subconsciously, I left my wallet because I wanted to have an excuse to come back and visit Bee one more time. And an excuse to say out loud “Thank you Bee,” because that’s her name. Or maybe it was just a good way to weasel out of paying for my own lunch.