To do this, I needed a haven. A safe place. A place to find my center of balance.
I browsed, looking at purses, then moving on to shoes, before I headed to apparel.
The red clearance section was too picked over and messy, even for me, so I went right for the jugular: Regular-priced merchandise.
(Dun dun dunhhhhh)
I'm totally over my current winter wardrobe, yet the notion of spring arriving anytime soon to New England is a joke. (AND NOT A FUNNY ONE.)
So I thumbed through the pants, finding a few pairs of khaki-colored work slacks (hi, I'm 85 years old) to try on.
Of course, the pair that fit best? No price tag. And most likely super expensive, even for TJMaxx because they were Ralph Lauren.
But I decided to take a chance, and made my way over to the looooooong checkout line.
When it was finally my turn (annoying robotic pre-recorded female voice: "Register 9 is now open. Please make your way to Register number 9."), I showed the cashier the lack of price tag. So she had to page someone. And I waited. Finally, an associate came up, took
The cashier rang up 2 more customers while I waited. And waited.
Sensing my impatience, she paged the associate.
(Tick tock, tick tock, Sarah needs to get back to work...)
(In the meantime, my internal struggle was such: "Should I just go? I'm gonna be late. But I really like those pants. And they fit. But I don't want to pay more than $30. I'm sure they're gonna be more than $30. I will have wasted all this time standing here for NOTHING.")
Finally, the associate wandered back. Holding my pants (because at this point? I was determined that after all that time, I was walking out of there with them, dammit) and shaking her head in defeat.
So then the cashier, the associate, and a manager huddled in the corner, conferring about my pants.
And I waited.
(By this time, I was thinking: "Ok, I'll pay $40. But nothing higher.")
Triumphantly, she held up the coveted pants. "We couldn't find another pair. So my manager said we could give them to you for....
I'm wearing them right now. Along with a shit-eating grin.