I started a new job this week. It’s called Taking My Mother to Every Department Store Before Friday Because No Stores Will Be Open on Good Friday.
My mother said that we should stop into Wal-Mart quickly but then it turned into an $400 baby bonaza, complete with her making me choose which kind of sanitary napkins I want post-partum. I didn’t even think this was a choice. According to her, I’ll need to “protect” myself for about a month post-partum. I’ve been living without my period now since August, and I like the change. Though I vaguely remember reading this on babycenter.com, I agreed and insisted that if we’re going to do it, we should do it all the way. “I want the largest kotex you can find.” I explained with a “name in lights” sweeping hand gesture. “The largest, Mother. And I don’t want anything with a frou-frou name like Serenity. I need something solid like Fort Knox. Do they sell Fort Knox?�
She pointed to my cell phone and said, “Call Bobbie!”
My mother has this habit that whenever I tell her something funny, I must repeat it immediately to a family member and remember it so when she pokes me and says, “Tell fan the story about the Chinese restaurant!” I don’t have to scour my brain through the file I’ve entitled, “What in the holy hell is my mother talking about.” I must also repeat my anecdote or remark with the same gusto and enthusiasm that originally generated laughter. I’m used to this, though. When I was younger, my mom was so impressed with my British accent that she made me record the answering machine message in a stupid, faux, “Ello! We’re not heeeah raight nohhhw,” leaving me to run like Pavlov’s dog to answer the phone before it picked up and humiliated me.
I lost steam somewhere in the infant section when my mom dashed about the aisles and flashed packages of baby wipes (Tangent: Why do they make them with Shea butter? What, is my son going to model? Lube up?) and disposable nipple pads. I found an empty shelf and plopped my fat pregnant self down while my mother loaded up the cart. I was resigned to just sit there until I gave birth in the infant section of Wal-Mart, somewhere between the baby bumpers and baby monitors. Didn�t Natalie Portman make a movie about giving birth in Wal-Mart? I could make the news.