Friday, February 26, 2010


After three lack luster dates (technically two dates and a no-show), I have never been so happy to run errands. “We should really shop at Wal-Mart,” Jane says. (Posts 41, 14, 12, 9, 8, 7, ) “As a Minnesotan that is blasphemous speak,” I reply. She stands in front of an aisle end cap surveying discounted chocolate. “Yes, but these Target sale prices are the regular Wal-Mart prices,” Jane states. She tosses half priced M&Ms into the cart and we proceed to the registers.

In front of us I notice a family. The wife is desi, the husband is American (white) and the older woman, an Indian auntie, presumably belongs to the wife. I am determining what is familiar about the auntie when American husband says, “We have a full cart and the next line is short.” “Hey thanks,” I reply.

We move to the next aisle and Jane reaches for a magazine. OMFG! I suddenly place the square-headed Auntie with untrusting eyes. She’s one of my mother’s friends! The daughter is older than me and we weren’t friends growing up. I had heard the daughter moved to NYC. But never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d run into anyone I knew via Minnesota in the Bronx Target. And not them. This is embarrassing to tell, but I have found my parents’ richest friends are the cheapest. The family in the neighboring aisle might be one of the worst, rumored to have made their money as slumlords who squeezed the last penny out of poor college students. So I just assumed they were Wal-Mart shoppers!

I glance at Auntie who evidently wants to get mugged because she drips in diamonds. (Sidebar: Auntie should sell her earrings and buy upper lip laser treatments for her daughter. I can see that caterpillar of a moustache from 12 feet away). I also wish I wasn’t wearing nasty sweat pants. Just in case Auntie looks my way, I undo the pony tail and shake my head. Long strands of greasy hair framing my cheeks will certainly disguise me!

Then I develop anxiety, similar to what you experience when you need a loo and can’t find one. Crazed, I throw things on the conveyor belt. As fast as the sales associate can bag, I fill the cart and almost race to the elevator. I look back at Jane who SAUNTERS behind me. I leave the cart for a moment (not recommended in New York) and yank on her arm. Surprisingly this skinny girl with no ass is hard to drag out of Target.

Back at the elevator I look over my shoulder and watch the family go up the escalator. Like an un-diked dam, my panic pours out of me. I wasn’t ready to face the intersection of my past and present, in a Target no less. It is one thing to move to Manhattan to get married, admittance to desi auntie and her married local daughter is another.

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