Thursday, August 2, 2012

Shop Till the Evil Eye Drops You!

There was the time when my friend dimples’ father asked everyone in her family what their dream vacation looked like. Her mom wanted to go to the Caribbean, her sister wanted to go to a dude ranch and ride horses all day, her dad wanted to go to a fancy tennis spot, but dimples, all she wanted was to do was spend a week shopping. Everyone got their wish except for dimples, because well, it was too expensive and boring. To that I say, “HA!”

Many years and three kids ago, right after dimples and her husband were wed he was transferred to Illinois, so they moved into a middle class suburbia neighborhood on the outskirts of Chicago. He was working full time and going to school for his MBA, which meant that she was home alone day and night, and knew no one. After a month of not finding work and going stark raving mad she phoned and asked if I wanted to take a trip out to visit her; of course I jumped at the chance. Neither of us was into the nightlife scene; we didn’t drink, smoke, or chew, no, we spent every day shopping, and always in a different store. It was during this time that dimples told me of her dream vacation. We both laughed, because it was quite obvious she was having the week of her life!

One of the days was spent in TJMaxx, which at the time was a new chain of stores popping up around the country. It had everything, and of course we had to walk up and down every aisle and inspect every item. While we were in the housewares section I spotted a Chinese fishbowl, not a glass bowl for fish, but a huge piece of pottery with depictions of chrysanthemums and birds on the outside, and koi fish swimming on the inside. It was fabulous and I had to have it. So I lifted it up and placed it carefully in my cart, it was so large it actually took up the entire basket. No sooner did I have it in place when a woman of Middle Eastern descent pounced on us. She pointed her plump finger at the bowl and said she had had her eye on that for several weeks. Not being put off, my response was, well, why if you liked it so much didn’t you buy it while you had the chance? She just glared at me and followed dimples and me throughout the store harassing us incessantly. Finally we lost her in the lingerie section, where we quickly pulled bras and slips off the rack. We crouched down and scurried into the fitting room where we each proceeded to try on the mound of intimate apparel we had piled in the cart. We must have been in the fitting room for over an hour, and as it turned out 18 of the bras I picked up fit fabulously (I told you there was a mound!), and I bought them all…but I digress.

Our hiding tactic to lead this crazy woman into thinking we had left the store appeared to have worked, until we spotted her in the children’s clothing, it was then she spotted us and rushed over only to say that she had placed the evil eye on the bowl and although she hoped it didn’t break, it probably would. Dimples and I looked at each other, rolled our eyes like errant teenagers and hurried to the checkout counter. We couldn’t get out of that store fast enough and once we were in the car dimples drove while I watched to make certain we weren’t being followed. Amazing what intimidation can do to you!

We laughed about it years later and agreed that it was the most interesting shopping expedition we’ve ever had in our lives, and it was also the only time we’d ever purchased so much underwear at once! And the bowl, well it’s just as beautiful as the day I bought it and doing quite well; so there crazy lady in your (evil) eye!


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