I have spent the last year as locked down as I have been able. Had it been my choice, I would have been locked down completely. But that whole job thing got in the way. Still, I have severely limited my contact with the public, so that when I had to go to the store, I went very early in the morning or very late in the evening when I knew the store would be nearly empty.
Because of my concern for safety, I have not been in Marshalls or TJ Maxx in just over a year. It was hard to admit, but shopping at these stores was not essential. A sad truth.
Today, I am more than two weeks post my second vaccine, and I am also desperately needing some wardrobe additions in anticipation of going back to teaching all of my students in person all of the time. I decided it was time. Today, I would go to Marshalls.
I made a list: new shoes, a new purse, a few pairs of pants, two or three shirts, and two or three sweaters. Knowing how hit or miss things can be at Marshalls, I knew that I would probably not be able to get all the things on my list, but I was still excited. It felt like I was visiting an old friend.
Because I accidentally spent almost $400 at Target, I remind myself to be mindful of what I am spending. I would need to keep a running count of prices as I add each item to my cart.
And then, suddenly, I am through the door and inside of Marshalls.
I go first to the Easter decor section. I know that I had none of these items—wreaths, napkins, stuffed animals, bunny pillows–on my list, but who can resist cute Easter stuff? Finding nothing of great interest, I turn toward the first stop on my planned trip through the store–the shoe section. I try on a few pairs, eye a few more, but I find nothing. That happens a lot, though, because the shoe section at Marshalls can be really hit or miss, so I move on to my second destination: purses. After moving through the purse section twice, I have found nothing. I go through one more time because I’m sure I have missed the perfect purse. But, no. I don’t even find a “good enough” purse. Still purchaseless, I move to the clothing racks. Again after again, I am disappointed. There is not one pair or pants, or one sweater, or even a freaking shirt in this entire store than appeals to me.
And then it occurs to me—I may very well be leaving this store without buying anything. That has never happened before, so I quickly peruse the the clothing section again. Still, I find nothing.
And so, for the first time in my entire life, I walked out of Marshalls without buying anything. I did not even know that was possible.