Aaron -Chapter 9 – Adventures in Shopping

We drove through the tree shaded roads of River Oaks. Most of the houses were about the size of apartment complexes. Gradually, the mansions began to give way to just large houses, then average sized houses. We also began to see a few service stations and other businesses. We were out of River Oaks.

Lisa shopped for herself some, but she seemed to enjoy picking out stuff for me a lot more. During the whole shopping trip, maybe two things didn’t fit. She was also determined that I admit I was having fun. I had to admit it. I was having a ball! I felt a little sorry for boys, with the dull clothing they had to wear. Once, I was in the dressing room trying on a white dress with flowers and hearts for decorations. It was very short, of course, since Lisa had picked it out. I looked into the mirror admiring myself. I promised my reflection, “I would NEVER go back!”

“What’s that?” Lisa was just outside the door.

“I SAID I WOULD NEVER GO BACK!” I didn’t care who heard.

“Now, Amie, you know the doctors are not through with your analysis. You have to go back or they’re gonna send the guys with white coats and butterfly nets!”

I opened the door a little and poked my head out, “Lisa, you’re a nut!”

She just smiled. “Come on out, lemme see that dress on you.”

I stepped out the door; put my left hand on my hip and my right hand behind my neck, “I think we should all just learn to get along. My greatest wish is for world peace. Also, I would like a bowl of ice cream.”

Lisa just rolled her eyes. “Each thing you try on makes you look better than the last, beautiful cousin.”

“Why, thank you! What can I say? It’s my designer genes.”

“Wait, I misspoke. I meant ‘Each thing you try on makes you look better than the next.’”

I thought a second, “Hey, shut up!”

I wasn’t long until we had a basket overflowing. “Lisa, don’t you think this is enough for today?”

Lisa ignored my question. “See that guy in the blue smock? He works here. He has a dressing room key, and he’s been going around opening the dressing rooms that when a woman goes in. He’s acting like he’s checking the rooms for left-behind clothing. He gets him a good look, then says, ‘Oh, excuse me’, and closes the door. Watch, I’m gonna get a dress and make sure he sees me go into one of the rooms. I’ll show you what I mean.” She grabbed one of the dresses I had already tried on and disappeared into the dressing room. I wandered a little ways away and pretended to be shopping. I watched Mr. Blue Smock as he meandered toward the dressing rooms. He went straight to the room where Lisa was and opened the door for a look.

I’ve seen funnier things, but I have to say, Lisa knows how to put on a show. She was clad in only a bra, panties and shoes and she let out a piercing scream that made me jump. Then, I saw the reason she hadn’t taken off her shoes. Mr. Blue Smock tried to close the door, but Lisa had her foot in the door and kept screaming, “Get out of here!!! What’s the matter with you?!! Help!!!” She apparently didn’t care who saw her in her underwear, and she had the attention of everyone in the store. Employees in the mysterious “Employees Only” section came rushing out. Several employees, including the manager, “Michelle R.”, rushed over to the disturbance. He would push on the door, and when he would quit pushing she would actually push it open some, then let him push it back against her foot. This actually made it look like he was trying to open the door. Finally, Lisa allowed the door to close. Mr. Blue Smock seemed unable to move. His face was beet red and he looked like he desperately wanted to disappear. Lisa could be heard in the dressing room, sobbing. I stood with my hands on my hips, enjoying the show. Smock began trying to convince the manager that he was just “checking for left behind clothes or hangers”. She pointed toward the back of the store and Mr. Smock hurried that direction.

Then, the manager rapped lightly on the door and inquired, “Ma’am, are you OK?”

Lisa answered that she was OK, with a sniff and a hint of “distress” in her voice. The manager and Mr. Smock headed for “Employees Only”. I thought to myself, “After this he won’t be going back there, if he can come in the store at all!”

Most of the excitement was over and people began to gradually go back to shopping. I knocked on the door, “OK, Lisa, show’s over.”

“I’m just so…embarrassed,” she sobbed.

“Well, not as embarrassed as the pervert.”

The manager came back. “Is she OK?”

“Yes, ma’am, she’ll be fine. She’s a bit of a drama queen. She’s not much to look at, anyway.”

She looked surprised and she left, probably to go beat the hell out of Mr. Smock.

“Lisa, everyone is gone. You can dry up and come out.”

“Thanks a lot! ‘Not much to look at’, huh? ‘Drama queen’?”

“Yeah, well, it was a good show.”

“Hey! I’m upset. If I had known, I would have worn my pretty underwear with hearts and….”

“Come on, Lisa, let’s check out. I feel like everyone is still looking at me. I think they’re waiting to see the little hellcat.”

Lisa stepped out of the dressing room. “Should I bow or curtsy?”

“Neither! Remember drama class? It will make it impossible for them to ‘suspend their disbelief’! You have to keep up the ruse, now.”
“Amie, they have no disbelief to suspend. They’re all full of sympathy for a poor little girl whose privacy was invaded by a pervert.”
“OK, bask it in while we check out. I’ll call my mom.”

Miss Michelle met us at the checkout. She asked if we wanted to call the police. We assured her that we were fine and didn’t need police. She quietly told the cashier to just bag up our purchases … no charge.

Lisa had completely recovered from her “trauma”. Wow, thank you!”

“OK. Y’all have a good day.”

My mom arrived to find us outside the store with a basket piled high with mostly bags of clothing. Right away, she wanted to know the cost.
“It was free, mom.”

“No…seriously. I just want to know if my bank account is in the hole.”

“It didn’t cost anything, Aunt Kim.”

We had to explain the scene to my mom. She was amused, but she kind of felt sorry for Mr. Smock. She also felt bad about accepting free clothes from a charity, and vowed to make a big donation. My mom is too tender hearted.

“We’ll always call him ‘Mr. Smock.” Lisa made a “Star Trek” salute. “To seek out and explore ladies dressing rooms.”

“Until you run into Lisa,” I had to add.

We headed home to begin the task of sorting, washing, folding and hanging the vast amount of clothing we had been rewarded for Lisa’s acting job. I have to admit, I felt sorry for Mr. Smock, but I soon got over it.

On the way home, Lisa said, “Wow, if today is any indication we’re gonna have a fun summer!”

“That was fun?” my mom inquired.

“Yes, ma’am, it was fun. I’m reconsidering medical school. Acting pays pretty good.”

Mom shook her head.

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