(I already told this tale in Lady Smaggle‘s comments, but it really does bear repeating.)
Husband Mike has been jonesing for a day trip to Duluth for weeks, and I have denied him again and again. Errands! Plans! Gigs! Et cetera! It just hasn’t been possible. So this past Sunday, desperate, he said, “C’mon. Let’s go to Duluth today.”
“I need to return those shoes to the Banana Republic outlet,” I explained.
The previous day, I’d made an outlet mall run, bought a pair of black patent peep-toe flats for $13 after trying on only the right shoe. Got them home and discovered that there were THREE TOTAL SHOES in the box. Two rights and a left. Not only that, but while the two rights fit my right foot perfectly, the one-and-only left was teeeeensy. They had to go back.
“OK,” he said, “then let’s go to St. Cloud. The outlet mall is on the way.”
“Perfect!” I said.
St. Cloud is a smallish college town about an hour north of Mpls where we had spent a really nice afternoon last August as part of our 5th anniversary extravaganza. We’d had a mediocre-but-abundant Mexican meal, then wandered over to the St. Cloud Electric Fetus, where Mike bought several records and DVDs, and I’d bought surprisingly cute clothes for pennies. That was about all we did there, but the memories were fond. So off we went.
This trip wasn’t quite so fun. After some dry, tasteless sub sandwiches at Bo Diddley’s, we headed over to the Fetus. All of the cute, edgy duds had been replaced with patchouli-scented hippie garb and hemp jewelry. I tried to kill some time looking at DVDs, but soon began to whinge. So we popped out of the dim store into the bright, empty street, and decided to walk a block or two into the heart of downtown.
And that’s where we went horribly, horribly wrong.
We walked about a block from the record store, saw a group of angry-looking youths loitering in the town center, and observed that nothing was open. (Even if it had been, we wouldn’t have wanted to go in.) As we began our walk back to the car, we passed a scraggly looking dude of indeterminate age with long, dyed-black hair. He was alternately sipping from and giggling into a Jimmy John’s cup. I denied eye contact, and walked by as quickly as I could, wordlessly urging Mike to do the same. We’d gotten about 10 feet away and I thought the danger was past. But no.
“HEY. Are you guys FRENCH??!?”
“Uh, yeah, we’re French,” Husband Mike said, gamely. “We’re here for the French convention.”
“Wha? You are,” he slurred. “Uh huhuhuhuh. Wooow.”
We continued walking and got another 10 feet away. And then:
Now, this guy was drunk, high, or loony, I realize. But his bizarre-ass comment made me feel utterly out of place in this dormant college burg. And I normally feel right at home in dormant college burgs! To give you some context, Mike was wearing his requisite Quicksilver shirt and a pair of jeans. I had on:
Asian Sunset Flower Clouds Black U-neck Top from Ahpeele
Pink straightleg pants from Gap
So, you know, a little unusual with the pink pants and all. But not crazy-dude-magnet, outlandish, costume-y weird.
“Mike, get me OUT of St. Cloud,” I demanded. “Right now.”
And so he did. He took me right back to France, like a good husband.