Shopping With Momma
I knew Momma was getting better from her concussion when she announced one morning that she was going to go shopping. She felt she had been deprived long enough and decided she would go to Naples. (Editor’s note: one who is on a budget does not set paw in Naples). Momma would not be deterred, however – she was sure she would find something there that she could not live without.
The problem was what to do with me. Janice and Natalie, my sitters, were not available, and Anne and Gracie, my adoptive family on the Island, were out of town. And Momma couldn’t leave me home alone for 8 hours (could she? I could almost hear her think). That left only one option – to bring me along. She hated the idea because caring for me would cut into her shopping time, but she really had no choice. Then when her friend, Donna, who was going along, said she would take turns holding on to me (Donna was desperate for new clothes too, apparently), it was a done deal! Momma loaded me up and off we went. She would make this work!
Momma was practically in a shopping frenzy as she parked the car and dragged me into the first of her favorite stores. It didn’t take me long to realize, however, that this was not for me. I did not like shopping – the chirping women, some who wanted to hold me, and the unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells overwhelmed me. I just wanted to go home – or at least to a pet store!
Momma, however, had just gotten started. She was on a mission and tried to get me to sit and stay as she frantically pawed her way through the clothes racks. After our beleaguered sales lady carried a pile of soon-to-be-rejected items into the dressing room, Momma pulled me in after her. (“We’re both girls, Lina – it’s okay. Actually, Lina, these days it would be okay no matter what sex you are,” she continued, unable to help herself.) Here I am waiting for the torture to end . . .
Momma was loving this and tried on item after item. From time to time the sales lady would pop in and deliver a bit of fake news like, “you really look great in that” and “no, I don’t think that outfit is too tight.” Right.
Finally having me in the dressing rooms became too much of a hassle for Momma (and Donna was busy with her own stack of clothing), so she decided to make the sales staff part of my village. “I’d like to try this on – would you mind watching Lina for awhile?” she would implore. (“They weren’t doing much of anything anyway, Lina,” she would rationalize.)
Here I am being cared for, once again, by others ~
The sales ladies turned out to be very nice to me and gave me water and treats and lots of attention. One of them crossed the red line with Momma, however, when she handed me a third biscuit. Although Momma didn’t declare war on the store, she did send a clear message that I had had enough treats.
Luckily, our shopping trip didn’t last much longer after that, and Momma, Donna and I headed home. I was pooped.
In case you’re wondering – once again, I came home empty-pawed.
A few days later Momma returned to Naples to have some routine maintenance done on her car. She had been avoiding it because she did not like to spend money on things that she couldn’t bring home in a shopping bag. She knew she had to though – she had been staring at the “maintenance required” message on her dashboard for 3 months now.
Momma had already decided that she would not sit and wait for the mechanics to change her oil and whatever else they (allegedly) did for for the astronomical fee they charged. She would ask that they give her a loaner so she could run some errands (code for more shopping) in Naples. This would actually be fun, she thought – it almost made the pesky stop at the dealership worth it.
Before she could even leave the store, however, a “tire expert” popped into the service area and told her she needed four new tires! Momma was instantly on guard – here she was, a single female at their mercy, and they might be trying to sell her something she didn’t need. She was just sick – think of the clothes she could buy for the ridiculous price of tires! Momma couldn’t really remember though if she had ever put tires on the car (except the one when she ran into a curb one time) and the expert told her they were dangerously thin. Not willing to chance an blowout (did tires still have blowouts?) and another possible concussion, she caved. Plus, she wanted to get in that loaner and go to the stores!
Momma was in a hurry – she had at least three stops she wanted to make (it turned out to be six) and she needed to be back at the dealership within two hours. That is why she took a shortcut and made an illegal turn on the busiest intersection in Naples. And it didn’t go unnoticed. Soon there was a uniformed officer behind her on a motorcycle lit up like a Christmas tree.
As the officer swaggered over to her car (well not really her car), Momma suddenly felt as those she had wandered onto the set of “Smokey and the Bandit.” The officer, a sergeant(!) with the Collier County Sheriff’s department, was straight from central casting: mirrored aviators, big gut and hands on his hips (or was it his gun?!). He was also hopping mad. For just a moment Momma was scared she might end up in paw cuffs, especially when he demanded to see the car registration. She began to wonder if orange really is the new black.
For once (oh yes, Momma has been stopped before), she didn’t argue or smart off to the officer and it worked. Being more than a little panic stricken, she apologized, and he let her off with a warning. She hustled back to drop off the loaner and get out of Dodge, er . . . Naples.
Does anyone see a pattern here?
Lina, Drawing My Own Red Line on Shopping & Naples