I was secretly glad the shop ladies were arguing.
Not because I’m one of those freaks who likes to watch conflict; in fact, I usually go out of my way to avoid it. But today we were in a cute store with piles of kid clothes and toys, the kind of store known in our family as the “batshit-crazy-maker.”
Fern likes stores, you see. And catalogs and Internet shops, too, but those are easier to sidestep.
“Daddy, I really like this $90 leather-fringed sweater that would make me look like a preschool ho!”
My devil-may-care response: “OK, fold down the page.”
Can’t do that in a store, though. I usually just avoid them, but we really need new rain boots for tomorrow’s promised downpour. (We’re putting Fern’s current pair on craigslist with the caption “Podiatrist’s Dream.”)
So when the two salespeople started sniping at each other (“I don’t want you going into my bin!”) I was secretly relieved. (“That’s not going to happen!”) You could feel that kind of tension that said we were only moments away from some serious roller-derby action. (“You totally messed up my stack!”)
For her part, Fern (who’s way more sensitive than me) lost all interest in badgering me for the dollhouse curtains she’d been eyeing and started hiding behind my leg. We would have just left, but, well, you know.
Storm’s a-comin’, and there’s no way I’m leaving that place without rain boots.
So in order to check out, I interrupted the catfight like the tight-assed grownup I’ve apparently become. (I actually said “Maybe you could finish your conversation later?” I’m sooo middle-aged.)
And, significantly, Fern left the store quickly, without a word of protest.
Maybe I should arrange an uncomfortable fight amongst salespeople at every shop we patronize.