Yesterday I did something that I would describe as silly. Others have characterized it differently. In any case, what happened was this: I left the house wearing two different colored flip flops and didn’t notice it for several hours. Neither did the woman with whom I went to the mall and to lunch. Of course she is just as blind as I am. Also, she’s a hillbilly, so she’s not really focused on footwear.
In my defense, one of the flip flops was brown and the other was gray. They looked the same when I fished them out from underneath the couch. Once I slip into a pair of shoes I rarely spend any time looking at my feet, what with my bodacious ta-tas and all. Maybe I should. Anyway, guess who did notice my faux pas? My teenage daughter, that’s who. She was with us, but shopping apart from us, as any self-respecting adolescent should be. She spent a few seconds rolling her eyes and acting exasperated, as any adolescent girl would. And then it dawned on her that we might be seen. By people she knew. By other teenagers. We had to get the hell out of there and fast!
Once we had made it to the safety of the car, having avoided a close call with some familiar looking young people just outside of Nordstrom, my friend and I, now breathless from our mad dash through the mall began to laugh hysterically. And I mean hysterically. Bent over. Holding our stomachs. Tears coming out of our eyes. Legs crossed to avoid peeing ourselves. Hysterical. For some reason, my daughter did not find any of this funny at all. Nope, not in the least, which made the whole thing even funnier to us.
When we had finally composed ourselves enough to drive, I called her lack of a sense of humor into question. She said, “I’m sorry if I don’t find having a scatterbrain for a mother funny!” This gave me pause. A scatterbrain? Suddenly the image of Aunt Clara from “Bewitched” popped into my head, which was a little off-putting, especially because I had always fancied myself more of an “Endora” than a “Clara”. Never a “Sam”. No way. Too much running around trying to please that idiot, “Derwood”, for my liking.
Sure, I’ve been known to have a forgetful moment once in a while, obviously. I put things away, you know, for “safe keeping” and pretty much never see them again unless I somehow manage to stumble cross them accidentally. I frequently make grocery lists, very organized, aisle-by-aisle, grocery lists, complete with coupons clipped to them; and leave them at home where, as my husband likes to helpfully point out, they “won’t do anyone a damn bit of good.” Reading glasses also seem to elude me. Usually after a cursory search, they are easily discovered— atop my head. These are examples of what I would consider “garden-variety” memory lapses. While it’s painful to admit, I suppose that I may be a little flaky, but I’m certainly no scatterbrain!
She then reminded me that last year at Christmastime, while shopping in the very same mall, her father realized that I was wearing two different sneakers. I would like to tell you that they were, like the flip flops, of a similar nature. But that would be lying. No. One was a black Nike running sneaker, the other was a white Skecher.
To this day I have no idea how I managed to do this. But do it I did. I would like to tell you that I left the mall right away upon realizing my mistake. But that would also be lying. My husband, who is easily embarrassed and has no patience for this sort of thing was encouraging me to leave, actually it was more like pleading, but I couldn’t leave. No way. I still had one more store to get to, one more gift to buy. So I reasoned that if I faked a limp that anyone who noticed the two different shoes might assume that I had done it on purpose; that I was wearing two very different shoes due to a malady of some sort, which I decided would be bunion removal surgery. If anyone looked at me strangely, and I was in a situation to explain myself, I would tell them that I was recovering from bunion removal surgery. Really. This was my plan. My husband was skeptical, but he always is. Plus, he has no sense of adventure. I still contend that the plan might’ve worked if it hadn’t been for the damn children. I didn’t take the children into consideration.
Children tend to stare at the handicapped. So do adults, but we do it more surreptitiously. Children, due to their proximity to the ground, are also far more likely to notice people’s feet. In addition, they enjoy pointing and giggling. My master plan was foiled by a few kids whose eyes, having noticed the limp, were drawn to the feet and, ultimately to the shoes. The pointing and giggling that followed was inevitable. Also inevitable? My husband refusing to be seen with me another second.
Abandoned, yet undeterred, I made my way to Best Buy. With my head held high and with as much dignity as a woman knowingly sporting two different athletic shoes can muster, I purchased that Kindle Fire cover for my father and joined my husband at the car where we enjoyed a nice, quiet ride home. My daughter doesn’t come by her lack of a sense of humor from nowhere.
After hearing this story, my friend pointed out that, as I suspected, I am no husband-pleasing Samantha. And while I have my sardonic Endora moments, what I should probably come to terms with is that I may just be Aunt Clara after all. Oh, and I’m not allowed to call her a hillbilly anymore. I’ll try to remember that!