"Do you want to use your handicap parking permit?" Bill asked.
"No," I answered, "It will feel like cheating when I haven't had any problems with walking for about a week now. There are probably old people who actually need the spaces."
So, he pulled into the very farthest parking spot from the doors. "At least it's in the shade," he said. We walked in, and began the search for the few necessities we were looking for, as we also started filling our cart with all kinds of things we didn't need. Christmas dresses for the girls. Three new books that were part of three different series we had been reading. New jeans without holes for Bill, jeans he knew would fit because he almost always buys his jeans from the tables at Costco, not the Kirkland brand. Those are just weird looking. We had wandered to the area full of toys for Christmas time. They usually bring out all the Christmas stuff and toys in September.
"Bill, I am getting kind of worn out," I told him. "We might have to hurry with all our shopping if we still want to go to Target and get Preston a birthday present."
About a minute or two later, he looked at my slow walking and asked, "Do you want me to go get you a wheelchair?"
I looked at him, aghast. "No way. I can walk just fine. I am just a little tired." How dare he insinuate that I need a wheelchair!
"Are you sure? I can just go grab one from the front."
And be in this super crowded store where I always see someone I know while I ride in one of those stupid wheelchairs with the giant orange flags? No thank you! "I'll be fine, just maybe a little slow," I told him, pretty sure that I was convincing him that I was super strong.
About two minutes later, when I realized that my legs had stopped working altogether, I realized that I would have to actually admit to Bill that I wasn't that interested in the hello kitty airplane I had stopped next to and that I needed some help. "Um, Bill? I think I need a wheelchair..."
At least we parked in the shade...
We finished our shopping trip, making a big spectacle of ourselves with four kids, a cart, and a flagged wheelchair. We only saw one family that we know. We paid, and then Bill took three of the kids and the stuff out to the car. Avery and I made our way over to the entrance to return the wheelchair.
The guy who checks the cards as people come in asked, "Do you need help getting out to your car?"
Another employee came up at the same time and chimed in, "It really is no problem to take you out to your car."
I smiled. "My husband will pull the car up and pick me up."
"We can get you right to your car door if you want," guy number two said.
"I will be just fine," I said, as I slowly got up. I turned around and walked away. I realized, when each step only got me an inch or two farther away from them...at an excruciatingly slow pace, how stupid I must have looked in saying that I didn't need help when it was painfully obvious that I was not competent in the art of walking. Eventually, Bill picked us up, and we drove away.
"I forgot! We need to get some things for Carter's Halloween costume. Can we just stop at Joann's?" I asked.
"They don't have wheelchairs there," Bill reminded me.
"Oh, right. Can you just go in there and get the things I need?"
"Hey, Mel, can you grab my wallet?"
"Sure," I answered. "What do you need me to get?"
"Can you just pull out my man card? I don't think I deserve to have it anymore after shopping in a fabric store..."
One more store later, one Cafe Rio run, and two hours later, we made it home. It was a long time to sit in the car with Preston. I think I deserve some chocolate cake. Bill probably deserves some cheesecake or apple fritters after doing all that shopping. It's kind of weird that he likes apple fritters more than chocolate cake.