The shopping blues…

“Mom, I can’t find a clean shirt to wear,” Jeremy said ten minutes before we needed to leave for the bus.

I got rid of all my larger shirts a month ago but that didn’t stop me from frantically pawing through my shirt drawer and closet just in case I missed something, anything. I hadn’t.

Jeremy liked my black velour holiday shirt with glitter across the front but it was too small. It was also a little over dressed for Wal-Mart but if pjs are appropriate than fancy attire should be too. Jeremy finally declared my very last t-shirt to be “okay”. Zie also took my sweater, one I’d long outgrown but loved too much to give away.

Jeremy expressing zir

Jeremy expressing zir “inner cat lady”.

Both Jeremy and I approach clothes shopping with a sense of despair coupled by a frantic desire to flee, which is why we both need new shirts badly. It’s not that either of us hate clothes particularly, we simply hate what’s out there. Why on earth would a t-shirt need pleats on the back? Or a stripe of completely different fabric along the bottom (but just on the front)? Or an entire front panel that’s a different material? Rips up the side? Ties *and* rips up the side? See through material? Jeremy abandoned me halfway through the shirt section with a promise zie’d meet me at the dressing room if I found anything. Zir “if” sounded dubious. I didn’t blame zir.

I eventually found four shirts for me to try and three shirts for Jeremy before calling zir out of the electronic department. Zie dismissed all three as being too tight and too weird; I had similar complaints. Zie finished first and raced back to the electronic department, asking me to meet zir there.

The sales associate looked up from Jeremy’s pile of shirts as I walked over with mine. She leaned close, obviously concerned.

“Did you know all these shirts are from the ladies department?” she whispered.

I leaned close as well. “Yes, I know,” I whispered back. Then I walked away and collected Jeremy for grocery shopping.

I tried not to glare at the old man blatantly staring at Jeremy when I found zir by the cellphones, although, to be honest, he was so focused on Jeremy I don’t think he’d have noticed if I even stuck my tongue out at him.

I vented to Jeremy about shirts on our way home.

“All I want is a plain, simple t-shirt with maybe a picture or a saying on it. Preferably Doctor Who. That’s it!” I exclaimed. Jeremy nodded.

“All I want is a shirt that’s not too tight and pants that have pockets. Oh and both have to be purple.”

After our last round of shopping I’m thinking we might as well ask for the moon.

Just stop staring!

Jeremy and I stopped into Shoppers Drug Mart yesterday afternoon to buy more hair dye for him. He was wearing his usual clothes; a purple polo style t-shirt, a pair of red silky soccer shorts, and a pair of black and grey sandals… all from the mens department. His hair’s faded to a faint purplish brown, it was loose and simply tucked behind his ears. He hasn’t shaved his legs in several weeks and he removed his toe nail polish directly before the family reunion. His fingernail polish is clear.

“I’m just checking the electronic section,” he informed me cheerfully.

The electronic section is a tiny corner near the front of the store containing a handful of cameras, a rack of video games, a couple of Wii consoles, and a variety of cords and headphones. No one but Jeremy’s excited by it.

“I’m not buying anything from there,” I warned him.

“I know,” he replied, still cheerfully. “I’m just looking for exercise games.”

We bantered briefly about his elliptical then I saw the man in the check out line. He turned slightly when Jeremy walked past then he completed his turn and stood there, back to the cash register, staring at Jeremy. I’m not talking a brief occasional glance or a couple of double takes… I’m talking full on, absolutely blatant staring. His face was expressionless; his eyes didn’t leave Jeremy once.

I don’t know how long the man stared. It was probably only about half a minute to a minute long but it felt like forever. I had no idea what to do. Jeremy was oblivious, happily rummaging through the games rack. I ended up doing nothing, I just put the box of purple dye on the counter and waited my turn. Eventually the man noticed me beside him, realized I was with Jeremy, and abruptly swiveled around just in time for the cashier to take his order.

Holy hell people can be creepy sometimes.