It’s hot. In fact, it’s so hot that I feel like I’m going to burst into flames. Arizona in the summer is no place for a menopausal woman with hot flashes.
But, nothing can keep me from going to one of my favorite stores, Target. I spend hours browsing through their novelty t-shirts, their scented candles, the endless supply of CD’s and DVD’s for sale….you know, all the worthless crap that you buy that ends up cluttering your home. I’ll go to Target with the intention of buying one bottle of fabric softener, and one hour later leave $150 poorer while hauling 10 bags of where-am-I-going-to-hide-this-from-my-husband contraband.
Today, I went to Target to buy a greeting card and some dish soap. As always, my first stop is at the “Dollar Store” section where everything is (you guessed it) a dollar. Or, as I like to call it, Romper Room. This is the only place in the whole store where mothers can drop off their kids and say, “Pick anything you want in these 2 aisles.” The younger kids open their eyes in wonder and shop. The older kids roll their eyes and pout.
I was browsing through the section, when I started to have the Mother of all Hot Flashes. This one came on so quickly that it took my breath away. I actually started panting. The sweat was rolling down my face, so I took off my hat and started fanning myself. It was then that I noticed a ten year old girl watching me. She was locked in a stare that looked like it was full of wonder. That is, until her jaw dropped as she watched me remove my hat. She actually recoiled at how crazy I looked: bald, no eyebrows, no eye lashes, catheter in my arm and sweating. I tried to smile at her, but she bolted from the aisle and ran to her mother.
I felt bad that I made her feel uncomfortable, so I moved away and went to the book section of the store. I thought I was safe until a five-year-old boy ran by, laughing. He took one look at me, stopped and his face fell to the floor. You would have thought that I had told him there was no such thing as Santa Claus.
I’m beginning to feel like I’m a ghost that no one can see except children. The adults around me avert their eyes and pretend they don’t see me, while their kid’s eyes widen in horror at the crazy sweaty lady.
Not that I can blame anyone. I haven’t been able to look at myself in the mirror in months.
For the first time, ever, I left Target without buying anything.