By Emily Lundy
“Shop until I drop” no longer has jest. No more big stores, oversize clubs, super-duper sports magnums for me unless a cot, pillow , orange juice and crackers await in the middle of the store within a small tent. My shopping blood rages still, but it quickly is used for energy in the front part of the oversize plants of merchandise for today.
If I get to the back of one of these circus tents, I see an item of possibility and place it into the basket; I won’t go back that far again. If I’m seen again in the giant stores of America, I know the red carts are for me, injury, handicap or not. I’ll ride one and create doubt. When I chauffeured my mother of the age 80 to 90, she would not ride on anything as “people will think I’m an old lady.” At a much younger age, I will ride one; I’m old and worn out.
In the time span mentioned above, I would drive Mother to Dallas, Tyler, and all towns around us. She could get out and shop in six or seven, then forget something and go back. This Woman of Iron could out shop most younger women 3 to 1. Her beloved grandchildren stood ready with excuses, anything, to keep from going on one of these mega trips. “I can’t work all day and do that on Saturday,” whined one.
I could and kept my cool, even if only one item was purchased. The only time anger built up was the day a dollar store and scooper doopers were on sale for $1, noticed after we were in the cool car, ready for home. I went in, made the buy, and got behind the wheel again. Mother examined the scooper, decided she didn’t need it, and said, “Return it.” I saw red and other colors. I had waited in line to buy Mr. Scoop and now would wait in line again to get the dollar back. Once in the car, I handed the bill to Mother but said, “Mama, why didn’t I just buy it for you as a gift? She said quietly,”I guess I didn’t need it.” This is probably why she always had the money she needed.
I won’t be shopping at Mama’s age even if most doctors, gurus, lecturers on disease, think all daughters take after their mothers. Not exactly true. Since no one wants to hear about my triple bypass surgery, the need passed down by my paternal side, I feel the need to reiterate. I chose a specialist after angina pain went from my arm to my neck, jaw, teeth and ear. For four years I had stress nuclear tests, blood analyzing, took medication, and was told my blood work was fine. Then in 2005 I demanded another stress test of the long kind. One day later the phone was ringing in my home with this doctor telling me to get back to the clinic fast.
Once there, he said, “How soon can you go to a Dallas hospital for a stent. Your aorta is ready to pop.”
I said, “Now or tomorrow.” The next day I was prepped for the stent which once applied, ruptured my aorta, caused a heart attack, thirty seconds loss of oxygen, surgery, and two days “out of it.” I had never hurt so bad all over and don’t ever remember being so ill. One night I vomited all over my hook-ups shutting down the center for monitoring all heart patients. Archaic equipment came out and worked until the other went back into action. Someone said this surgery was not “major” anymore. If it still done the same way, with the sawing to separate central bone to get to the heart, I don’t know what major is. There are worse surgeries like the transplants, but I will never forget the heart surgery which my surgeon said wasn’t as bad the second time. I asked how he really knew.
Back when I tried to be a supermom, I would teach all day, drive to Town East, go to Joske’s basement and buy what someone needed for some important something. I was home in an hour preparing a meal. This might account for my depletion of “get up and go” now.
So, the “they” who created zoo-sized establishments for shopping aren’t all to blame for my dropping, but presently I have no heart problems or so my new specialist tells me. When I shop I must not be under pressure which is difficult with hubby napping in the car. At five years my senior, this man can still outlast me. Men are wonderful and probably design the mall-size stores. Incidentally mall shopping is gone for me. Too many choices, confusion, and walking.
And I guess I didn’t purchase enough from the catalogues which come no more. My name hasn’t made the mail-order list again for some reason, but I’ll find one and make an order, paying in advance. That should work.
Truthfully, I’ll drive or ride by the enormous American shopping stores remembering the life when I shopped and didn’t drop.