Our local Walmart is a store where customers habitually shop in their pajamas. I admit, that I have judged this as a fashion faux pas, thinking jammies (especially those with Ninja Turtles and Spongebob) don’t belong in public. After I had to parade around Walmart in a bathing suit, I would gladly trade a two-piece for PJ’s, preferably a one-piece zippered fleece number with built in feet.
*In a previous post, I blogged about the perks of trying on bathing suits at home. There is a private relief to doing so behind your own locked bedroom door. Yet after that blog, I was tempted to pick up some sale rack swimwear at the Super Walmart. I ran in there one morning for dog food and paper towels and ended up spying super cute mix-and-match swimwear. I picked out ten price-slashed pieces. I actually had an extra hour to kill before I picked up my daughter who was nearby, and although I don’t like fitting rooms, I requested one.
A sweet, but conscientious fitting room attendant named Mary waited on me. It was 8:00 am, and I was her only customer. She counted my items and said I could only take in six. “Feel free to hang the rest outside your door, dear.” Good idea. I parked my shopping cart by Mary’s desk, and she unlocked the single room for me.
Just two of the pieces worked out so far. I needed to get out of the much too skimpy black bikini I had on: the top had a zipper down the front and the bottoms were mesh with tasteless hip cutouts. Who knew it would look like stripper attire? I follow the rule to “Please leave undergarments on while trying on swimwear” so my pink cotton briefs sticking out would not land me a pole dancing job (not that I was looking for one).
I had four more items to try, so I opened the door, peeked out, gladly saw no one around, and reached out to hang the unwanted items on the return rack. I didn’t want Mary putting the perfect fits back, so I took an extra step to my shopping cart, tossing in the keepers. Then I heard the most uninviting Walmart sound ever. BANG! My dressing room door slammed shut with me outside of it. I jiggled the knob to no avail. I even knocked, as if someone were in there to answer and let me in. The door, flagged with four more pieces of swimwear that I couldn’t take in the first time, was locked.
I wanted to be back in that cramped cubicle of a room more than anything. There wasn’t even space for a bench in there, not that I ever use one. Really who sits down while trying on clothes? Anyhow, I was in a black freaking bathing suit that looked like lingerie. Don’t forget my granny panties hanging out. Where in the Hello-Welcome-to-Walmart was Mary? My fitting room attendant was AWOL.
What could I do but walk to her hangared-strewn desk, spotlighted by fluorescent lights, and ring the handheld bell? That’s right, a little bell you’d be assigned to ring during the kindergarten Christmas pageant.
I shook it. “Tinkle tinkle.” Who was going to hear that? I did it again with more force. “Tinkle.” Uhh? “Tinkle!” No one was coming to help. “Hello? I need someone,” I announced in a fake voice, praying someone I did NOT know would come to the rescue. I could imagine my high school student, a nice boy who worked produce, suddenly tossing me some full-sized watermelons to cover up already. This was a bad scene for me, and I could tell how awful things looked in the trifold of full length mirrors outside the dressing room. Put me on that runway, push me off, and knock me out, please! Just be sure to cover me up on that stretcher.
Finally, a female employee, not a student of mine, came out of the Walmart woods and said, “Can I help you?”
“Yes! Look at me. Well, don’t look at me. I need to get back into my dressing room.”
“I don’t have the key. Mary does.”
“Well, I’ve been ringing the bell of Miss Mary, and she is missing.”
“Stay here, and I’ll go find her.”
As if I had anywhere to go. I wish I would have picked up some new beach towels before coming to this department. All I had to hide behind was a nineteen pound bag of dog food, and I wasn’t bending over to get that. I considered opening the paper towels and wrapping myself up like a mummy, but then Mary returned to her desk, little bell, and my personal Walmart hell.
“Mary! I need you,” I pleaded.
“Ok, dear. Do you want me to find that in a different color or size?” Mary asked.
“Mary, look at me. I’m stuck out here in this black bikini. Please unlock the door.”
“Oh dear. You got locked out? Let me get the key.” Mary opened the door and said, “I’m sorry about that. Let me go find that zipper top in a better color for you.”
“Nah, the zipper isn’t my style.” Mary asked if I needed anything else, and although I could have used an extra large spirited pool drink with a decorative umbrella toothpick skewing some pineapple, I doubted Mary had that behind her desk.
“No thanks, Mary.”
What a relief to change back into my clothes. I ran to the grocery side of the store to pick up some mixers and a pineapple to make my own afternoon delight to sip on while I would chill by the pool in my new lemon printed swimsuit.
“Hi, Mrs. Lucas,” my hard working student greeted. “Are you having a good summer?”
“Oh I sure I am. Everyday is a good day. When life hands you lemons, find the zest and add some more fruit. What do you think of these pineapples here?”
He remarked, “They’re delightful. My mother just bought one.”
“Do you think this one is good enough for Spongebob to live in under the sea?”
“Haha! Spongebob Squarepants. I like his outfit.” And I walked away with the cartoon theme song stuck in my head.
*There’s a better way to try on swimwear. In case you missed my recent post, here is the link: The Attempted Art of Picking and Sticking yourself into Bathing Suits