I lost my dryer sheets in the Wal-mart parking lot.
At least, I think they’re there. Alone on the cold dark asphalt. Ghastly orange under the sodium street lamps. Cryin’ for their mama.
I’m sorry, dryer sheets. I really wanted you here with me. You were the reason I made a detour on the way home from my writers’ group, even though I was tired and my eyes were all baggy, like bags; you know, with bags. Not big bags, but carry-on luggage bags.
I don’t normally shop at 9:45 on a weeknight but that’s how badly I wanted you.
My clothes have been so clingy lately. Needy. I felt I couldn’t breathe. I had to do something and you were there, in the soap department, calling my name.
“Hey you! Ya, you, the one with the static cling.”
So it wasn’t exactly my name.
Nevertheless, I felt your pull.
Ignoring the vows I made to the environment to hang my laundry on the clothesline, breaking every rule that was good and just, I rushed (OK, so I waddled) into the big blue behemoth and slid a cold hard debit card on the counter to buy my wicked wares.
And here’s the thing about Wally World. There’s a reason folks call it the Hundred Dollar Store. You don’t just come out of there with dryer sheets; you come out with a cart full of crap. I mean, really, did I need Post’s new cereal or was it just all alluring in its ancient grains box in the centre aisle?
At least Scrawl-Mart isn’t as expensive as Costco. We call that the Three Hundred Dollar Store.
I noticed, when I was pushing my shopping cart through the parking lot, that one of the bags was slipping through the cracks of the top section of the cart – you know, the place you stick your offspring when they’re still at the sippy-cup stage. Don’t try to stick your 14-year-old in the cart. Believe me, I’ve tried.
Unconcerned, I stuffed the bag back in the cart.
See? That’s where I made my Big Mistake.
If I had of been more conscientious, I might have noticed you falling on the ground. Trust me, the same thing has happened with my kid. Luckily everything is fine with him now except that he talks funny and his hair is blue.
But I didn’t notice.
I’M. SO. SORRY.
You probably fell out then and there, and then watched, with a Mountain Valley Fresh Scented tear in your eye, as I callously drove away. Who knows, maybe I even backed over you first.
I hate to admit this, but I didn’t even notice you were missing until the next morning when I went to put a load of laundry in the dryer. (Yes, I know, I’m evil. I hope David Suzuki isn’t reading this.)
I searched the house. I searched the vehicle. I looked around the yard outside.
Pain clouded my heart as I realized you were probably sitting in the Wal-mart parking lot, flattened, covered in dew. Or, worse, you were picked up by some hardened buxom beauty with bleached blonde hair and a cig hanging out of her lips, stretchy polyester pants and a moustache. Oh, wait, that’s me, sans the buxom and the smokes.
It’s like we were never meant to be, dryer sheets.
I hope we can still be friends.
I guess I’m not ready for a relationship after all.
No, there’s nobody else. It’s just me, a clothesline and a basket full of wet underwear.