It really was supposed to be simple. I needed to get a winter coat for Claire.
Claire's dad had her on Sunday, which gave me the rarest of occasions..A DAY TO MYSELF!!!!
Oh, how I relished the idea of this day. What to do? I envisioned sitting at the Red Canoe sipping one of their amazing chai lattes and browsing through a new book. I had thoughts of me sitting alone in the Charles, watching a wonderful film that I had picked on my own, not having to worry if it suited anyone else's taste. Finally, I saw myself curled up on my couch, some forbidden food in hand, wrapped in my comforter enjoying the new Sex and the City Movie DVD I treated myself to in honor of Claire's birthday (hey, I made it through the first year, too!!).
Um, none of the above. Sigh.
I planned on making a quick stop at Toys R Us to pick up Mommy's birthday gift to Claire (whose real birthday is on Wednesday the 29th). I also wanted to make a quick stop at L.L. Bean in Columbia, because I had seen a lovely violet and aqua winter coat I wanted to get for Claire.
I hopped in my car and headed down to Route 29 to the mecca of Columbia. I trotted through Toys R Us and picked out a gift for Claire. Jumping ahead in this story, I have since discovered it really wasn't the thing I was looking for, and I have to haul it back this week. Grrrr.
After Toys R Us, I made my way down Patuxent Parkway to the mall. I have a love/hate relationship with the Columbia Mall. It's a beautiful mall with the best of stores. It's also ALWAYS ridiculously busy with notoriously shoddy parking. BUT it was a beautiful day and I was happy to park two counties away and jaunt to L.L. Bean. After what felt like the parting of the Red Sea, I made my way through the masses of people to the kids section. There was the coat! Yay! ...in every size but Claire's...grrrrrr.
This began the arduous quest for Claire's winter coat. I hit EVERY store in that mall that carries children's clothing, and the results were always the same:
There's nothing wrong with the coat; I simply did not want a pink bubble coat.
I searched high and low and kept seeing that coat. By the time the day was over, I wanted to rip it to shreds in every store. I finally found a wonderful coat at Nordstrom, but OF COURSE, they were toddler size (2T and up).
By this time, it's nearly 3 pm, and my feet are KILLING ME. I hobbled back to my car and traveled to the Long Gate plaza in Columbia to the Old Navy and Kohl's. Old Navy held promise, but no Claire sizes. Kohl's? Pink puffball.
My story ends in the unlikeliest of places: (I need a)Security (guard to survive) Mall. I walked through a sea of pink puffballs in Burlington Coat Factory and made my way to Old Navy. I finally settled on a coat that they actually had in Claire's size. Yes, it's still a puffball, which wasn't my plan. BUT it wasn't pink!!! It's a lovely ivory color.
As I pulled it from the rack, I heard my mother's voice..."It will show dirt!" And I replied OUT LOUD, "I DON'T CARE if it shows dirt, I'm tired of looking for coats!" Luckily most of the other people at the Security Mall were either too strung out to notice me talking out loud or didn't care.
I drove back to Owings Mills, coat in hand but not feeling victorious, and surrendered myself to a chai tea at Starbucks (not nearly as good as Red Canoe, but it would do).
There are definitely days where it's very tiring being me.