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2004-12-28 @ 12:58 a.m.
shaking off the gift card frenzy with brother ray

I’ve been poor for so long, that when I get money (or in this case gift cards), I literally stand in the middle of the store and don’t know how to spend them. And I feel guilty too. I’m so used to being under severe financial constraints, that when I’m confronted with the ability to spend freely, I kind of sheepishly look at the $50 in my hand and say, “Gee, what do I do with this? “

I did that today at Target. My mom had given me a giftcard for $50, and I went into the store with absolutely no “Gotta Haves or I’ll Throw a Girly Fit”. I don’t let myself have “Gotta Haves or I’ll Throw a Girly Fit”. I usually have something more along the line of “Gotta Get or the Cat Will Starve”. I had prepared myself for this shopping marathon (ha, ha, probably some of you are saying...a shopping marathon on $50? Well, for me that was like I just busted a pinata full of $100 dollar bills), but going to the YMCA first to soak in the whirlpool.

It was incredibly frigid out today and my back was hurting, so I thought a little hot water dippy whirlpooly was just the thing to get into shape for my marathon shopping stint. I had to pee really bad by time I got there though. It was wretched driving up and down the parking lot, hitting bumps and swearing, hoping to find something close, only because I wasn’t sure if I could hold it long enough to run into the “Y” with any kind of composure. I do want to look “cool” at the “Y” since it is frequented by yuppie type guys in SUVs who might take a liking to an eccentric artist. Plus I just got a new black beret/Beatles/artsy style hat that makes me look even more bohemian and less house-wifie (don’t want to be mistaken for someone who is married after all). Finally I managed to find someone pulling out up by the front and managed to pull in and get to the bathroom with nary a leak. Yay me!

I have been worried about my bathing suit though. You know how bathing suits get old? You know how that Lycra stuff gets worn out? Have you ever seen a person with an old worn out Lycra bathing suit at the pool, and the material on the butt is so transparent that you can see their butt crack even though you may not want to? Well, I think my suit may be getting to that point. After I put it on, I went over to the locker room mirrors and did a butt inspection. The lighting wasn’t very good, so I wasn’t totally sure when I ran my hand over my ass, if I was just imagining the material seemed thinner over the butt crack area, or whether I was on the verge of a bathing suit malfunction, but I guess it seemed okay so I headed out to the pool.

I always like to check out the whirlpool occupants before I get in, so I peeked around the corner and it was full of men. And for some reason, because of the looming possibility of butt crack infraction, I decided to wait until at least two of them departed. I finally got in and it felt really good, as it always does. Of course I am always thinking that thing I think about when I’m in the whirlpool which is: This whirlpool is run by electricity. What if there was a short somewhere and we were all electrocuted? Yeah, I guess you can see why I can truly never relax.

Suddenly I noticed that this teenaged boy over by the pool was staring at me. He was nice looking and because bathing suits are so incredibly form fitting, witty “accidently” looked at his naughty bits. I didn’t mean to. It just kind of happened. He was far away though, so I don’t think he knew I “accidently” looked at his naughty bits.

Because, lets face it folks, when you’re at the pool, we’re all checking each other out. Guaranteed. Because I know when I’m sitting in the whirlpool, I may not look at people getting in the whirlpool, but I definitely check them out when they leave. Men and women. And I know, that at least some of them check me out. Ahh, the ascending ass of wittykitty. How totally delicious! I think for me, it really has less to do with sex than with my drawing class. I see naked bodies every week and I’m really interested in all the forms they come in.

So I was sitting in the whirlpool, writhing around like I usually do (ha, ha, not really), when I see this teenage boy still looking at me from across the pool. What? Do you think you spotted one of the mothers from your carpool? Or better yet, maybe from afar he thought I was younger because I have long, dark hair. But suddenly, him and his friend come ambling over and get into the pool and then its just me and The Boys. Or as I like to think of it, Mrs. Robinson and her little Dustins. Because, for some reason, this boy was still staring at me. And then he got out of the whirlpool really slowly, with his naughty bits sticking out rather prominently. And I was like yeeks. Ok. And then he almost immediately got back in...parading past Grandma Moses (me) really slowly as I was trying to pretend like I was watching the kids over in the kiddie pool. La, la, la.

OK! I SEE YOU fer chrissakes!!!! But more importantly, do you have a house in The Hamptons?

But then, of course, there was the sticky issue of you’re only like 16 and maybe slightly illegal for a woman of 4 decades.

Finally this incredibly luscious teenaged girl got into the whirlpool, and man, I was like history, immediately. Oh you mean that chick with the butt crack bathing suit? She left about 15 minutes ago. She had to go get some botox injections to her Ego.

So I finally got to Target, and all I have to say, is that I’m lucky I didn’t have a spouse standing there waiting for me to spend those measly $50, because they would have been tapping their foot saying, “witty, we’ve been here since sunrise and you’ve only got cat litter in your cart. Are you sure that’s all you can find in 7.6 hours?”


For the first two hours, I literally only had a pair of thermal underwear in my cart. I just could not find anything. I had hoped to find some clothes there, but may I make a direct quote: “Target’s clothes suck”. Thank you. All of the pants in the entire store were either shredded, ripped low rider jeans or black pants with pin stripes. There were stripes on virtually every piece of clothing in Target. What’s up with the stripes, Target? As far as I’m concerned, stripes on the ass region are definitely a fashion don’t.

So I headed onto the other departments. When it comes to shopping I am really unable to think outside the box, because I’m so used to only buying things I need, rather than things I want, than when given the option, I was still putting practical things in my cart. Cat litter. Toilet paper. Even when I went into the “fun” departments like DVDs and electronics, I would still just blankly stare at the stuff, unable to sufficiently convince myself that YES, I need some new useless, silly video (still couldn’t find “Anger Management, believe it or not) or some new cool, but essentially useless clock radio or some pretty but essentially useless home decor item. Why? Because I need toilet paper. I need cat litter.

Help “A”! What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I have fun? Why can’t I let myself go for a few minutes? I know when I used your giftcard, it took a lot of convincing to “allow” myself to buy that stupid 89 cent sandalwood soap, when I knew I needed practical things. I guess I don’t feel worthy somehow. I also feel like I HAVE to buy these things because any minute now, I’ll be without money again, and I won’t be able to afford to buy simple things like tp and cat litter.

I finally started getting really tired about Hour Three, with only a pair of thermal underwear, toilet paper and cat litter in my cart, so then I burst into demon-shopper mode. I knew I wouldn’t get any change from my giftcard, so I just decided to go for broke and get some wool socks (whoa, you crazy woman), coaxial cable for my DVD player, some felt pens for art, a sketch diary (ha, ha, my mom is supporting my art career and doesn’t even know it) and my best purchase, a Ray Charles CD called “Genius Loves Company” (and that I just picked up randomly. I had never seen it before but it has a lot of great performers on it like Ray, Norah Jones, B.B. King and Bonnie Raitt).

After I got home I, of course, had to call my mom to thank her for the giftcard and tell her what I got. Of course, than I had to listen to her yack on the phone for over an hour and a half about “::::::::::::::”. What’s that? I’m not really sure since I was sitting on the couch sketching Ray Charles in my new sketchpad.

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty