I comb the racks and find a cute patterned dress. Great. Have to find the accessories now. Shoes. Check. Sweater. Check. Tights. Check. Good job I know my way around that store. I hurry to an available cashier. He takes his time at the checkout. Do you know if you buy one sweater, you can get two for free?
No. I say. It’s OK. I don’t have time to look for two more sweaters.
You sure? This promotion is only on today. You could get two more sweaters and not pay any more.
I can’t think that fast. I tell him. I’m—uh–on a bit of a timeline.
He proceeds to try to convince me to buy two more sweaters. And takes all the time in the world to ring up my purchases.
Whatever. Just ring it up already. I sigh. I glance at my watch. 6h40. Good job I asked for the 7h20 movie.
I grab my purchases and dash out of the store. What do I do with my face and hair. UGH. Miss Frumpy. Doesn’t matter that I’d found a cute little dress in record time.
I decide to go into the Safeway beside Mervyn’s. There’s got to be something I can use there. I buy a travel pack of PONDS face wipes, some deodorant, hair gel, and a brush. BACK TO MY CAR!
What do I do now? It’s almost 7h00 and I don’t have time to change anywhere. I get in the passenger side and start pulling off the frumpy clothes. Quick freshen up with the PONDS face pack. Pull the tags off the new clothes and wriggle. It’s not easy to change in the passenger seat of a Honda Civic…in a parking lot…in the dark.
All the while—I am getting more and more anxious. I briefly consider calling from a pay phone or borrowing somebody’s cell just to cancel. I’m NOT READY TO MEET YOUR FRIENDS. I want to say. I’m NOT READY FOR THIS. It’s a lot of pressure—AND I’m trying to get presentable…in the passenger seat of my car…in a parking lot…in the dark. I start to hyperventilate.
I take a deep breath. I take a few more. This is as good as it’s going to get, I think. I finish pulling up the tights and put on the new shoes.
I try to do something with my hair—I brush it out and add a few dollops of gel to the sides.
I have no idea how I look. I’ve just changed into a brand-new outfit in the front passenger seat of my car. There is no full-length mirror in the front passenger seat of my car.
I take a few more deep breaths.
I get out of the passenger side and walk around to the driver’s side.