Oh, where to begin? Kids grow up so fast. It seems like it was just yesterday I was changing my kids’ diapers, and now my daughter’s ninth birthday was approaching. My wife tasked me with getting up a “Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse” for her from Toys R Us.
I said “No problem.” In retrospect, I should have said “This will be a huge, unpleasant, nightmarish problem that I will never forget.” So, off to shop I went…
I take the big, shopping-cart-accommodating-sized elevator up from the underground parking garage, grab a cart, and head straight for the Barbie section. The place is packed and as I navigate around a corner, I bump into a stroller pushed by a Mom. Her baby immediately wakes and begins screaming. Wow, what a set of pipes this kid has. I apologize and the Mom responds with an icy glare and a curt “Great. Thanks.”
As I grab the Malibu Dreamhouse from the shelf, I can still hear the baby howling. Poor kid. Standing in the mile-long checkout line, the howling grows closer and the Mom gets into the line next to me. People glare at her because of the noise, and then she glares at me. I weakly smile and shrug: “Sorry.”
I finish checking out and wheel toward the elevator, the Mom (now with a quiet baby) right behind me. The door opens and we both get on, just her and me. And the quiet baby. I politely ask which floor and she responds “P2.” I push the button, the elevator descends then...stops. We’re stuck. The Mom stares daggers at me like it was somehow my fault. I push the phone button and tell someone that we’re stuck. They say okay, it will just be a few minutes.
But, guess what? As luck would have it, it was not just “a few minutes.” Now the sleeping banshee reawakens and the elevator echoes with its shrieks. The Mom says he’s hungry but she has no bottles with her so she’ll have to breastfeed him: “Is that going to bother you?” I say no, my wife breastfed so I’m used to it. Out comes a boob and junior starts going to town.
I quickly discover that not looking at your own wife and baby while their beast feeding is one thing, but not looking at a stranger while you’re stuck in an elevator with them is pretty darn uncomfortable. About ten minutes have now passed and I push the button again. The person says someone is on their way and it shouldn’t be long.
By now I’ve realized that I’m claustrophobic, am kind of freaking out, and sweating profusely.I’m contemplating trying to crawl out the hatch but I realize that would be idiotic, if not suicidal. Then the baby does the other thing babies do besides eat – un-eat. The Mom changes him and in the confined space, well, you get the picture. In case you never noticed, there are no diaper disposal bins inside elevators. But man, there should be.
Finally, the elevator jolts back into motion, the door opens and we both wheel out as fast as possible, the Mom grumbling unspeakable profanities at me – but she sure found a way to speak them with ease.
I come home, tell my wife my miserable tale and she asks why didn’t I order it online? She says she sent me a link with a coupon for it. I check my email and sure enough it’s there, but somehow got routed to my junk folder. Great. Just great.
All in all, this is how my little adventure worked out:
Cost of Going Out to Shop:
- Parking: $2.00
- Gas: $3.00
- Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse: $129.99
- Sound of a screaming baby
- Smell of a poopy baby
- Mild anxiety attack induced by claustrophobia
Cost if I Shopped Online:
- Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse: $129.99
- Free Shipping
- Free $10 Gif Card
My daughter better play with that stupid (I mean wonderful) dreamhouse every waking second of her life. Oh, when will I learn? Get it through your head, self – Shop Online Every Time!
Please read more in this series by checking out my whole “This Is Why I Shop Online” litany of horror stories. Next up: “Episode #4: “I’ve Lost All Hope.”