I am never going shopping with my parents again.
First of all, mattress shopping in Sudan makes no sense. Who goes to buy a mattress at 8 o’clock at night? People asking for trouble, that’s who.
So my dad insists we go buy a mattress for my new bed at that hour, justifying it by saying, “we have to go to the supermarket anyway”.
Famous last words.
We get to the place where all the furniture stores are, or as i like to refer to it, Furniture Row. The same dragged out, doom-y dreadful feel of death row, without the actual sweet respite of death. Loveseats that would fit 8 couples comfortably, beds that can be seen from space, closets that could easily hold Narnia and Mordor, and every piece more colorful, tassled, and glittered than the one before. And to top it off, it looked like they sent a group of children armed with Bedazzlers to add “extra flair” to the furniture. In case you don’t know what a Bedazzler is, enlighten yourself by clicking the link below:
Of course we end up assaulting our eyes and senses for nothing because none of them had the right sized mattress, so now it’s time to go to the supermarket.
This is more difficult than it sounds, as apparently in Sudan it is impossible for one supermarket to have everything you need. Not even that, it is impossible for a supermarket chain to have the same products at every store.
We drive over, and when we arrive:
Mom: Noo~ I didn’t mean this one, I meant the other one.
Dad: What’s wrong with this one?
Mom: They don’t have the detergent I like.
This piece of information, of course, doesn’t stop us from aaaall getting out of the car and going in the supermarket, even though we just established that they didn’t have the very thing we left the house to buy. Allow me to address this a little further, as it will be quite pertinent to the rest of our story. Some members of my family (I will refrain from naming them so as to protect their identity) are incapable of entering a supermarket on their own. As a result, we engage in a 20 minute argument about who is going to go with her into the store. At first, Dad was designated, but he deftly deflected the request to me. In the end, we were all forced to go in, much to my spiteful delight.
Ten minutes later, we’re still roaming the incredibly narrow, incredibly crowded aisles. Mom is reading every label in sight; Dad is nowhere to be found; and i’m looking at this:
Placed in the center of the middle shelf of a three shelf whitening cream display, so you know it had to be good: Executive White Supreme Tone Repair Creme. With, among other magical things, Caviar Complex. Bold enough to get your attention, but subtle enough not to be considered flagrantly offensive.
Oh wait, yes it is.
We finally get to the right branch, where we again engage in a 20 minute debate on “who’s going in with Mom”. Dad decides to take one for the team and gets out the car, but Mom isn’t having it. I am too hungry and too tired to argue, so I exit the vehicle, closing and locking the door behind me…………. at which point I discover that the keys are still in the ignition.
The keys…. are still in the ignition.
I am enveloped in an inner cloud of vile cursewords; my father is yelling at me from the driver’s side of the car; and Mom is basking in the karmic glow of spite with a wide-toothed smile and an evil snicker.
Dad hails a cab and rushes home to get the spare car keys, while Mom and I go buy the magical detergent that caused this whole mess.
Five minutes later, my phone rings:
Dad: Ask your mom if she locked our room.
Me: Mom, please tell me you didn’t lock your room.
Mom: <guilty face> Allaaaaah~ (oh my God)
Me: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
The keys to their room are snuggly safe in Mom’s purse. With us. At the supermarket.
More inner cursing.
Me: Wait! I know where the spare room keys are!
Dad: Okay, I’ll call you when I get home.
Thirty or so minutes later:
Dad: Ask your mom if she’s ever had trouble with these spare house keys.
Me: Mom, please tell me your spare keys work.
Mom: <guilty face> ……… I…….
I am near tears.
We have been in the supermarket for 40 minutes. We bought the magical detergent, went outside, where we realized it was way too cold to wait, came back in the supermarket and aimlessly roamed the aisles, at which point the security guards started giving us “the look”, which at first confused me till I realized that we had effectively reached what a friend called “Pursuit of Happyness status”, looking like a homeless family using the supermarket for warmth and shelter.
Once aware of this, I did everything in my power to look as non-homeless as possible, which included walking purposefully up and down the aisles as if I was searching for a particular item, and pretending to be deeply engrossed in the different brands of powdered milk available.
Eventually, Dad came back, with no spare keys, I called a friend who came and broke into our car (with no damage!) and our crisis was solved.
Needless to say, we rode home in complete humiliated silence, peppered only with the occasional growls of my starving tummy.