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  • Monday, September 03, 2007


    So after hanging out with my nephew and family for the birthday celebration yesterday, SM and I decided (okay, I decided and SM agreed because he's a good guy that way) to go to Michael's to pick up a few things I needed wanted.

    I had bought a necklace while on our mini-break to the Eastern shore, but it was missing a small gold link. Which got me 20% off. And a trip to an arts and crafts store to buy the piece. I also wanted to buy some needlepoint materials because I was inspired by a pillow I saw (and bought) -- I thought, "I can do that!"

    I think that a lot. And despite thinking that often, I rarely manage to complete said "I can do that!" project. And it's even more rare that the final version resembles that which I am attempting to copy. And still, that reality doesn't ever deter me from thinking, "I can do that!"


    So off we went. When I got there, I realized that I had another project in the works that I needed bits and parts for, so I spent quite some time in the jewelry-making section.

    And then on the way towards the front of the store where the check-out is, I noticed that frames were on sale. Frames! I need frames! Actually, I do. I had decided to decorate one wall in the hall with family photos, only to discover that SM had very few family pix. And the ones he did have? Couldn't hang them on the wall. So I needed to change out those frames for ones with hooks on the back.

    And then, again on the way to the check-out, I noticed plate stands. Plate stands! I need plate stands! Actually, I do. LOL. Okay, I wanted them to decorate. We have a large bookcase that we use for some of our nicer tchatchkas -- like ceramics, dolls and other decorative items. And I have several Japanese platters. In fact, I have this exact one:

    (Ain't it purty?) And I needed a few stands to display them.

    While I was perusing the stands, I noticed someone out of the corner of my eye as he walked by me. A man carrying a toddler girl, about 18 months old. A small chill went through me.

    I looked again, surreptiously.

    Yep. Uh huh. I think that's him. I kneeled down to give the plate stands closer inspection. And one more pseudo-stare across the store at the man.

    Yeah. It was my most recent ex-boyfriend. Now, "most recent" is still a break-up at the end of 1999, but he's the most recent. His hair was longish (which was interesting because I was the woman who convinced him to stop wearing a crew cut). He wore dark glasses (but then again, it was sunny out). He was carrying a child. But other than that, he looked pretty much the same.

    And I had no interest in having an encounter with him. And no, it wasn't because I've gained like 40 pounds since he last saw me and looked like crap (although that certainly didn't help). It was because after I broke up with him, he failed to act with grace. Actually, he was mean and jealous, probably because he was hurt, but well, he wasn't pleasant. And I didn't have any interest in seeing him, even 7+ years later. So I picked out some plate stands and weighed my options. He had asked a question from the staff in the front and had headed to the back of the store. I had a basket full of stuff and wanted to get the hell outta Dodge.

    What to do? Make a run for it and hope he was sucked into the massive inventory of the store?

    Well, I decided that I was done shopping and had no interest in hanging out, skulking about or hiding, so yes, now that there was no line (an anamoly at this particular store), I was heading for the check-out.

    Of course, I had the world's sloooooowest checker. She was on the phone when I came up. And then she was talking to the other checker, who was a teenager on the phone. And my checker was South Asian and spoke with a heavy accent, so the teenager kept saying, "Huh? What?" to get my checker to repeat and repeat and repeat the message. All the while, I'm waiting and hoping former boyfriend is otherwise occupied.

    Yep, he is. He's wandering around and on a cell phone, apparently getting instructions on what he's supposed to buy.

    Finally, the checker starts checking me out. She is painfully slow. Pain. ful. ly. A line is forming behind me (which is good, because it provides cover from being seen). She finally finishes. Just as former boyfriend heads to the front of the store. And I head for the exit. He's getting a shopping cart and putting his daughter in the seat. I get out the first set of doors. Phew, made it! I stop and look back. Former boyfriend's daughter and I make eye contact. She's very cute with big brown eyes. I smile at her. I leave.

    I'm glad to get out of there. SM and Gidget are waiting for me outside. We go home.

    I know I acted like a teenager there, but I really had no interest in seeing him, considering how he acted towards me way back when. I also know it's more than likely that he did see me too but was playing dumb, which is just fine with me.

    And oh yeah, I spent something like $156. Damned frames. And plate stands.

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