Jun 6, 2011

Somethin' Bad's Goin' Down At The Maxx.

We have a joke in my family. And by "family" I mean, me and the Attorney General. And by "joke" I mean, he laughs - I do not.

Here's the joke: Give Melissa five minutes in a Lifeway Christian Bookstore or a Marshalls and she'll be in the bathroom before you can go "Look! This shirt was originally $40!"

There's just something about those places that have an effect on me.
A big effect.
A big, bad effect.

Yesterday we didn't so much go to a Marshall's as we did a TJ Maxx. Have you ever been to those two stores? They are exactly the same. Marshall's is like the older, classier sister and TJ Maxx is like the younger, slightly prettier but not quite as demure, young sister. And Ross is like their white trash cousin that their momma made them put in their wedding.

Now that we understand each other...

Yesterday the AG dropped me off at TJ Maxx while he went to park. I walked in. I grabbed a buggy. I walked to the sunglasses. And within 3 minutes I was sprinting - SPRINTING, I TELL YOU - to the restrooms. There was not one single modicum of class or self-respect in that sprint. It's a full out, supporting my body weight on the buggy, sweat beads forming, kind of run. At one point I touched an Asian woman on the shoulder and said "Bathroom! Where is the bathroom?" To which she replied, "I no work here."


Finally, I found them. By the men's section - because nothing says "Hey bro, look at that sexy thing over there pushing her cart with her boobs and wiping her sweat from her upper lip at the same time" - like a woman in an IBS emergency.

I made it to the restrooms without a moment to spare. And thankfully, there was one lady in there who was finishing up washing her hands and drying them. "Oh good, she can't be in here long," I thought. Wrong!

For the sweet love of bread, what is taking this woman so long? I wonder what there is left to do? Her hands are clean, they were dry. Her hair was a 1/2 hour and a good hairbrush away from being reparable. So what is this woman doing?

I sit in the stall. Quietly. I wait.

But I got no more time. Time is not always our friend. Sometimes it marches on. Sometimes it stampedes. This was more of a stampeded than a march. So I did the only thing I could think to do, besides, I didn't know her and as I always tell myself, "Melissa, you'll never see that person again for the rest of your life." So I mustered up the courage and with sweat pouring down my face I bellered, "LEAVE!"

And she left.

And then...a bunch of stuff happened and none of it was pretty and none of it should be repeated for fear that it might land me in some IBS experimental testing - for it was not normal and almost otherworldly.

And I'm not being dramatic.

And now I'm going to "cut to the chase" as the folks say and jump past the part where I pulled myself together and wiped my brow and made my way out of the bathroom. And I'm going to skip over the part where I found the AG shopping without a care in the world. And I'm going to forgo telling you how it hit me - again! - within minutes and how the last words I heard the AG saying as I fled down the Men's Active aisle was, "Will this shrink if you dry it?"

And I'm going to go right to the part where this time when I entered the bathroom there was another lady in there. But she was in the stall. And apparently - apparently - something bad was goin' down with her too. Poor lady. You know she wanted to tell me to "LEAVE" but she was wise enough to know she might bump into me again in the housewares aisle.

So there we were.
Just the two of us.
In a two stall bathroom.

Her with her black patton pumps and navy slacks and me with my Irritable Bowel syndrome and my need for complete privacy.

The silence between us would have been deafening had it not been for the fact that nothing, and I do mean n-o-t-h-i-n-g, about her restroom experience was silent. She was apparently from the old school of thought that says, "If you feel it - then feel it. All of it. Deeply. Loudly. Let it out. It's good for the soul." Because she did. And I wondered if I was being punked. Might this be Eddie Murphy sitting next to me making some of his inane bodily sounds? Had I walked in on Tyler Perry doing something as Madea?

But I hadn't. I knew I hadn't. She was as real as I was. And truth be told, she didn't want to be in the stall next to me any more than I wanted to be in the one beside her. But we were two strangers......in a terrible bind. Two strangers.....one with a penchant for poor retail bowel performance and one who had apparently overeaten Chinese that day. But we were there nonetheless. And had the moment not been one of the most awkward of my entire life I would deem it silly. But it wasn't silly, it was real. She was real. She was really hurting. And so was I. And she was, in a manner of speaking, screaming out for help. And so was I. Only I wasn't. I was mortified. I was also quiet. She wasn't; for pete's sake, at one point I thought there were two of her in there. Are you getting the picture here?

A few minutes later I left that bathroom.

I walked out.
I leaned against my buggy.
I wiped the sweat from my forehead and took a few slow, deep breaths.
I gained my composure and began looking for the AG who was no doubt looking at more golf shirts, and I saw a young mother with her sweet little 2 year old headed into that bathroom and felt the overwhelming urge to warn her......"LEAVE!" But why take away a story from her? Who's to say she's not at her house right this very minute writing a blog, too?

And who's to say next time it won't be about me? The poor woman in the stall next door. Though if I'm wearing black patton pumps and navy slacks I may be deserving of all that's coming at me.

The End.


Connie said...

Oh dear Lord, I sure needed that laugh this morning. Melissa you sure have a way with words...just keepin' it real.

Kim L said...

Oh, Melissa....I'm so glad you're back! I can so relate to the department store bathroom run!

katy said...

I am rolling!!!!! You are so NOT old enough to be my mother, but that could be her story as well. Love it! LOL

Andrea said...

I feel your pain, yet laugh from my belly at the same time. Love your story-telling abilities :) Have a wonderful Monday!

The Comptons said...

o.m.g. i know i looked like a complete and utter idiot reading this blog and smiling, trying not to laugh at the computer screen while getting stares...

oh. and I love Target. but the same thing happens to me at Target and Hallmark...the good news-targets bathroom is right when you walk in...bad news-hallmark has no bathroom so i feel your pain...literally!

Sarah Victoria said...

always happens to me in Lifeway too!

Michelle G. said...

Melissa, So good to see you at the birthday party this weekend! I told you that my favorite blog was "somethin' going down at the Changs" was the funniest, but now you've topped it. I'm laughing outloud at work with tears rolling down my cheeks, surprised no one has come to check on me! Love it! Keep it real-that's why I love U!:)

Tabby said...

I am cracking up!!! Luke keeps asking what I am laughing at...didn't even try to explain. Thanks for sharing...your IBS never dissapoints!

MissJess112387 said...

I read your blog for hours yesterday and laugh hysterically from one blog to the next...This one again has provided a wonderful laugh....I usually have to go numba 1 urgently at Wal-mart and somehow everytime the front bathroom is closed for cleaning..I swear...it is like they know I'm coming...so then we go to the back and try not to get confused on the way between the old layout of walmart and the new one and whether I'm in lufkin walmart or nac...and pray we don't wet any of walmart...however they 've gotten rid of some my much loved items...so they'd probably deserve their floor to be wet:)

Shonya said...

Oh mercy! I am so glad I'm a SAHM and not someone trying to read this at work because I am CRYING from laughing so hard! I don't know how you do it, but your way with words just takes a person there, whether we want to be there or not! ;)

Miss Jenn said...

You weren't at a Toys R Us in MO were you?? Oh wait, that was me!! LOL HILARIOUS!

Mrs. Thomas said...

I totally understand about TJ Max, something about that place just has to make you go!!! I am crying I was laughing so hard, you are so honest and funny and it is appreciated!!!! PS. love the analogy between Marshalls, TJ Max and Ross....LOVE YOUR BLOG!

Andi said...

Oh my gosh! You hit the TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Ross descriptions on the button!

And you are so funny! Sorry to laugh at your misery...But that's funny. I don't care who ya are!

Givinya De Elba said...

So glad to hear from you again Melissa, sorry it had to be after somethin' bad went down somewhere. We don't have TJ Maxx, Marshall's and Ross here in Aus, but I feel like I know them.

Tennesseebelle said...

Hey there my Love...that was me in the pumps and navy pants...KIDDING!!! Oh how I have missed you!
Lots of Love from Tennessee! <3

The Nichols Fam said...

Um yeah, I don't know you but I need to. THIS IS THE MOST REAL, MOST FUNNY post I've ever read. It's only truly funny to those that have experienced the sweaty, desperation of IBS in various retail stores. Mine is always at Mardel (like Lifeway but on Creatin (sp?) I should have just said steroids!). Thank you for making me cry+laugh=claugh.

Andrea Frederick said...

I have giggled, laughed til I cried, and retold this post for 2 days!

Stretch Marks Creams Reviews said...

I loved this. Just passed it on to my friends, who have in turn passed it onto their friends.

Candice said...

Sooooo glad you are back!!

Michele said...

Will you be my best friend? Seriously.

Michelle said...

Oh wow. You, lady, are hysterical. SERIOUSLY.

Did you really say leave????

I love the Ross analogy...and it's RIGHT ON.

New follower. Thanks.

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