I’m almost packed for the flight home tomorrow. I have gone from clothing-deprived (see April 1 “How to get a man shopping” post) to Hawaiian Airlines bag overweight-likely. Laurel too. We’ve acquired a small, in retrospect, too small, extra bag to check into which we’ve crammed the heaviest items that otherwise would go in our suitcases.
The last time we flew home from Maui we not so brilliantly managed to pay overweight charges on both our suitcases, our excessively mellow minds not being able to fathom that if we simply took a few heavy things out of one suitcase and replaced them with a few light things from the other suitcase, we’d only have to pay a single $25 charge rather than two. Hopefully our planning is better this time.
I never expected to have to worry about taking too many clothes home when we left Salem. But my plan to spice up my shopping enthusiasm by purposely bringing just a few shirts, t-shirts, and shorts worked too well. This vacation has turned me into a semi-pro shopper, reserving the full “pro” designation for Laurel, naturally.
This afternoon I even found myself heading off down the road to Kahana on my own, eager to check out a few batik shirts that Laurel had espied earlier and thought I might like. Amazingly, she wanted to stay in our room, feed the birds, and watch the waves. I couldn’t believe that my shopping enthusiasm finally had out-stripped hers. Scary.
Even scarier, because the feeling was so unfamiliar, was how my mood changed soon after I entered Leslie’s Family Funwear. I felt energized, powerful, in charge of my life, joyful. In short, I had become a shopaholic. Temporarily, hopefully. Laurel often has described her own similar shopping feelings, but I never thought that my own endorphins ever would be stimulated into action by walking into a Leslie’s Family Funwear.
I still have some shopping skills to develop, though. T-shirt browsing is my weakest event, mostly due to my excessively compassionate Buddha-nature. I was having a great time looking for just one more extra-large Hawaiian-themed shirt to cram into my suitcase, unfolding with zeal the carefully folded shirts on display, doing my best to refold the rejects into a semblance of their previous pristinely neat appearance.
My best clearly wasn’t good enough, for after five or six T-shirt unfoldings and semi-refoldings I felt the eyes of the matronly Filipina proprietor looking critically upon my un-handiwork from the checkstand near the door. Indeed, I could tell myself that the extra-large row of T-shirts now appeared decidedly more in disarray.
She started to walk slowly in my direction. Shopping guilt overcame me. A shopping pro would have been able to control his emotions. Of course, a shopping pro would have known how to re-fold T-shirts back into their original shape. I wasn’t wildly attracted to any of the shirts I had looked at, but I grabbed one and walked briskly to the checkout counter with my other two batik shirts.
As I paid for my purchases I could see out of the corner of my eye the woman slowly, patiently, resignedly, refolding the T-shirts I had mangled. I felt deep compassion for her. I also thought to myself, “you’re a shopping wimp.” I need to get tougher if I aspire to making it to the pro shopping circuit. Also, I need folding lessons.
Some final photos: