I engaged in a bit of retail therapy yesterday. After a day on the battleground called motherhood, I escaped for a few hours into the Mecca of all home furnishing stores. Did you know the power that four simple little letters can wield?
Say it slow. Let it roll off the tongue.
I rolled a cart through the golden aisles, little fairies giggling and blowing pixie dust on me as I danced past. When I entered the showroom, a beam of light appeared from nowhere casting an ethereal glow across the cheap, yet terribly stylish, furnishings.
I actually think walking through there made a few of my wrinkles disappear.
I found something I loved in every room. I bought Christmas presents for Tia and resisted the urge to grab the arm of the woman in yellow beside me and shake it in excited glee. Oh the organizational wonderment to behold!
I ate Swedish meatballs in the silence of my reverie, all while visually digesting the wonderment that stood before me. It was like being at the spa, only no strangers were touching me and it didn’t require the sacrifice of my first born to afford it.
I left with a few treasures in my basket and a considerable amount of satisfaction at how much I got for the amount. I piled my treasures in the back of my (smokin’ hot) minivan and off we drive toward the glowing orange orb in the sky.
It was as beautiful an evening as one 30-something could possibly experience.
As I made my way down the road, I slowed to a stop at a red light (always a good idea). I glanced in my side mirror to see a truck in the lane to my left stopping next to the car that was directly behind me. Inside the rusted truck were two girls who didn’t look old enough to be wearing makeup, much less operating a vehicle. They motioned wildly at the older gentleman in the car next to them so he rolled down his window.
“Hey there, Grandpa,” the girl in the passenger seat yelled, smacking her gum with the force of a perturbed cow. “You’re pretty cute.” Head thrown back. *giggle, giggle, giggle*
The poor old man shook his head and rolled his window back up. The girls drove forward and pulled up alongside me. I had my window down and the radio blasted all the current Christian hits of today. I bobbed my head up and down to the beat and drummed my fingers on the side of the car. I rarely drive with the windows down these days, but last night was so perfect I couldn’t resist.
Giggle tweeny bopper looked my way and I tried to ignore.
“Hey,” she called, still giggling uncontrollably. It was the silly giggle that reveals complete and total immaturity. I turned her way and smiled.
“Hey,” I said back with a grin. “How are you guys doing tonight?”
The driver laughed. I briefly contemplated asking her to give me proof that she was indeed old enough to drive. “We are, like, so. great.“ She said. Her words were emphasized with two smacks of her Hubba Bubba. Whoa…they were doing great.
“So what are you up to?” Giggly asked. And just then the light turned green and the line of cars began to slowly move. I waved as the Silly Mobile pulled forward with a squeal – was it the tires or the girls?
And then I laughed. It was the knowing laugh that completely solidifies you as a full blown grown up.
The total lack of respect for others aside, those girls reminded me a little bit of myself. I remembered the day that my best friend Lindsey and I, also both barely legal to drive, made the trek from our house to a friend’s out in the sticks of St. Louis. We had the windows down and our music blaring and we hung our heads and arms out the windows laughing uncontrollably and altogether reveling in our youth.
Life was a joyride. It was a wind in your hair, laugh at the world adventure. We were silly and crazy and completely free of the responsibility of adulthood. There weren’t children or husbands or mortgages or bills.
I can honestly say that at that moment in my life, the very last thing I wanted to spend my hard earned money on was a kitchen scrub brush and a watering can.
Home furnishings weren’t exciting. Freedom was exciting. The wind whipping by as we headed to the Lake was exciting. Life was a grand adventure just at the tip of our fingers. And as those girls peeled out, shrieking with laughter at…um, nothing…I shook my head. They are me back then.
And as I glanced at the IKEA bag glimmering in the evening sun next to me, I let out another laugh. I am them now…or not long from now. The wind still whips through my hair and my music is still loud. Only, more often than not, the music is sung by talking vegetables and my minivan is loaded with practical things like kitchen scrub brushes and watering cans…and place mats. Really, really cute place mats.
Life is still an adventure, isn’t it? I think it might even be a little more grand.
Someday those silly little girls will understand.