L and I went to TJ Maxx this evening. She needs a few more things for college, and… it doesn’t take much to convince me to run to TJ Maxx.
“I’m going to invite you NOT to look at the clothes this time.” I said to her, remembering her stuffed closet and her current state of packing for college.
She agreed, and we started walking our usual route.
I ignored the fuzzy socks, laughed at the leather pants, and stopped at the mugs.
A year ago (or maybe a lifetime. . . ) the kids and I went to TJ Maxx to pick out a mug for someone who I thought was a friend. She was starting a new teaching job, and we got her a cute mug, some pens, a pencil case and some Mickey Mouse hand sanitizer. (2020: The year hand sanitizer became an official school supply.)
I delivered her gift to her house about a month before I found out she was no friend of mine. No. Friend. Of. Mine.
Nowadays, I stand at the mugs and I make what can only be called the cringe-laugh face of the betrayed. All these months later, when I pass the mugs on display, I stop and remember. I remember walking to her gate, congratulating her on her job, trying to be a good person. I remember all the lies that I didn’t know were lies.
Tonight after I made my cringe-laugh face of the betrayed, I looked at the mugs. I got momentarily distracted by one that felt perfect in my hands. It said “Hope.”
I wondered what mug I would get her now. I scanned the display, but unfortunately Rae Dunn doesn’t make enough snarky mugs.
This was the best I could do:
What? It’s Halloween season!