It all began yesterday. As I pulled the car out of the driveway, I noticed that the “tire pressure” light was illuminated. Since it was a cold morning, I went on the assumption that the tires had shrunk (or had they swelled?) and further assumed that the light would go off just as soon as the tires got their groove back. I went about my day, only cursorily checking to see if any of the tires were blatantly flat (they were not) and considering that I might want to bring it into the dealer given the fact that the last time the light came on it was due to a nail in my tire. By the time I had this thought, however, it was moments before I was due to collect Jess from school and take her to an appointment. So, I ignored the light. The damage was done, however…I was worrying about the damned tires.
Well sonofabitch if the light wasn’t on again this morning. It became evident that waiting for the temperature to change and restarting the car (what? it works with computers!) were not going to darken the light, so I decided that I would swing by the dealership and have them take a look.
I drive what is considered to be a luxury car and, as such, the dealership is very fancy. I drove in unannounced and was immediately attended to. When I say attended to, I mean I was escorted out of my car and over to my personal consultant for a quick assessment of the issue. From there, I headed to the waiting room where there is a full kitchen, stocked with breakfast, lunch and dinner items, bottles of water, coffee and juices for every taste. (In fact, I happened to arrive just around noon at which time a bevy of sandwich options were put out for consumption. I didn’t act quickly enough and missed what was truly akin to feeding time at the zoo.) I settled in with my Words With Friends, surrounded by the newest “People Magazine” (which I certainly would have read had I not done so yesterday while at the gym), and today’s “Wall Street Journal” and “New York Times.” It was downright relaxing, actually.
One of the words I played in WWF was “denim.” It was then that I remembered that I was just a block away from Target and that Jess has outgrown all her jeans, and that we could use toilet paper, oh, and milk and that they might even have this year’s bathing suits out for Jess (that is always fun) and, well, I just had to get to Target.
Shortly thereafter, my consultant (Joe? or maybe it was Jim?) came out to tell me that I indeed had another nail in a different tire than last time and that they were in the process of plugging it. We just needed to let them finish and then wash the car (another perk of driving a nice car) and I would be on my way. $21.50 later, I was out the door, headed to Target.
I walked into the store and was assaulted by the display of bikinis and tanks just waiting to be donned poolside. “Good,” I sort of thought to myself, “I can grab a few new suits for Jess.” I worked my way further in to the girl’s department: something I am holding onto tight…Jess is really about to outsize the department, but the leap one must take to segue from “girls” to “juniors” department is a bit too much just yet. (Aside: I count my blessings that I am no longer expected to fit into the little suits that are supposed to pass for swim wear these days.) This year, in a step up from last, they had cute little quick dry shorts complete with compression shorts underneath which peek out, looking adorable. I am quite sure this was not the designer’s intent, but they are pretty much the perfect bathing suit bottom for a transgirl! This might not be so bad.
I moved toward the jeans department (which, arguably, is an easier item than a swim suit) and was a little bit horrified. Most of the jeans (in the girls’ department, let me remind you) were either super skinny, super low-rise, super tight or super ugly (sparkles and jeans are a big fail in my book). I rummaged through the piles and debated which size and which super fit to buy. One size looked just a little too snug but the next size up was twice as large. Crap. This exercise was becoming increasingly stressful and I really needed to find some jeans…what to do? And then, in what might well have been a moment of insanity, I meandered over to the boys’ department: a place I’ve not dared to venture in over a year. I perused their jeans and immediately noted that they looked much more likely to fit Jess’s body than any of the others I had reluctantly dropped in my cart. (Well, duh.) After a deep breath, and some quick soul-searching, I tossed a few pair in the cart with the anxiety that only the parent of a transgender kid can know. She might flip out. Then again, she might not care, and just be happy to have a pair of jeans that fit comfortably. I just don’t know.
As I wiped the thin layer of perspiration that had settled on my upper lip (my sweat spot of choice) I briskly left the clothing area and headed toward the frozen foods to gather a few Key Lime Pies for Harrison. Something for everyone.
I checked out with only one impulse item (a lip gloss) but a fire in my belly. I suddenly felt needy and anxious. I felt the relief of not having to buy a new tire as profoundly as I worried about my jeans decision. I grappled with whether Jess would appreciate the jeans, regardless of who they were made for, or would she interpret my having purchased a pair from the boys’ department as somehow passive aggressive. Was it passive aggressive? Does she know what passive aggressive means? Welcome to my world.
What is a girl to do in this situation? I was stressed, despite having taken care of the two things which needed to be attended to. I even remembered to buy milk, for crying out loud! I was knotted up with the knowledge that I might have managed to create a potentially volatile situation. I was feeling the sweat bead up on my upper lip again. I needed to fix this somehow. So I went shoe shopping.
I didn’t mean to, really. I had good intentions of just heading home and taking care of some things there. But somehow, I wound up trolling the never-ending aisles of DSW which, in and of itself would make me happy, but even more so when I recalled that $10 off coupon burning a hole in my wallet. I could turn this around. And I did.
It is still too cold in these parts to wear them, but soon enough it will be warm and they will come out of hiding. Knowing that they are at the ready gives me peace and strength to deal with whatever reaction Jess will have upon discovering her new jeans. Never underestimate the power of a new pair of shoes.