A summer sale was held at the lake.
No. Not a sale.
A blow out.
I only intended to buy one thing.
But it wasn't my fault that they had the cutest, cutest pair of Quicksilver board shorts for Alex.
Or the cutest, cutest Roxy bathing suit for Payton.
And other stuff. So much other stuff.
"Don't do it," my sister in law said, looking at the price tag for the board shorts, size 3. "Let's just get out of here while we still can."
But it was too late.
"Save yourself. It's too late for me."
Already I was recalling his current swimwear with disdain. I had bought it at Superstore! It was cute enough, but it looked kind of babyish with little orange shark fins on it. This one was so much nicer, with a blue and gray plaid print. So sophisticated looking.
I couldn't- wouldn't- dress him in that drab, substandard swimwear. Not for another day. Not when I had such a vastly superior product in my hand.
And for 40% off, no less.
In the end, I saved sixty dollars on my purchases, which is pretty awesome.
"But how much did you SPEND?" Geoff wants to know, cutting me off practically in midsentence when I was telling him of my purchases.
"It's not the point," I told him. "The savings speak for themselves. The sixty dollars I saved is practically money in the bank."
He hates it when I say that. "But it's not money in the bank!"
"I know that," I tell him. "Hence the use of the word 'practically'"
He just sighs.
If I have to tell him how much I spent on any given item, I use the sixty-thirty rule, which is as follows:
If it's over a hundred, just say sixty.
If it's less than a hundred, just say thirty.
And if it's under thirty- you don't- technically speaking- have to tell him anything at all.
Because at that price, they're practically giving it away.
This seems to keep him happy. And I know that there is a certain, slight, deceptive quality to it, but I think that Geoff actually does prefer it this way. I think we have a certain, unspoken, agreement that if I spent too much money on shit we don't need (which is virtually everything in his books) that it's better for everyone if he doesn't know all of the details.
Except the kids always rat me out. Alex will walk into the house with a new toy and tell Geoff "My mommy buyed this for me," in a slightly taunting quality. Geoff just looks at me pointedly. "Yes," he says to Alex. "Mommy buys you everything, doesn't she? She just can't say no to you. But she can sure say no to Daddy." And then another, longer pointed look.
Anyways, needless to say, we made it to the lake safe and sound.
And it was pretty good. Other than an apparent mouse infestation.
"Is it dead?" I asked my mom the day before we departed to stay with them at Candle Lake, referring to the mouse she had told me about the previous week.
"Oh, yes," she assured me. "Dead. Very dead."
So I proceeded with my plans. Make no mistake. If I had known that the mouse was alive, I would have called the whole thing off. I don't do mice. I can't do mice. Like, not at all. I can't even watch Exterminator shows where they portray mice.
So we were at the lake and things were rolling fine. We were at the beach, watching the kids play in the water, and we were on our second beer. "Did you have a late night last night?" I asked my brother, innocously.
"Ya. Kind of. Dad and I were up half the night exterminating."
My blood went cold.
"What?" I asked, looking at my mom, stricken, and then at my brother and back to my mom again. My mom shot my brother a look.
"Just kidding," he said, shaking his head. "No. There's no mice. That was- a bad joke."
"If there's a mouse in that house you guys HAVE to tell me. I seriously need to know."
They continued to look at each other, both of them hesitating.
At that point I could tell that, obviously, there was a motherfucking mouse in that house. Their hesitation told me everything I needed to know, even there was a part of me that didn't really want to know. Ignorance is bliss, sometimes, and I think this was definately one of those times.
"Well, there's not a mouse, per se. More like- mice. Plural. We caught the one- but now we think he has brothers. There have been- sightings."
I wanted to cry.
I wanted to die.
I wanted to throw myself into the water, weight my pockets down rocks, and not come out again.
Except the water looked pretty cold, the tide rough and white capped.
But I did it. I stayed in that mouse house. And it wasn't half bad.
I hope you had a good weekend, as well.
And I will post those pictures of Alex in his board shorts soon, and you will see what I mean.
I had virtually no choice in the matter.