Occasionally, when a toasty winter sun shines through the windows of a warm home, a housefly is hatched. Disoriented, it buzzes from room to room in a show of triumph or taunt. Landing with a BZZZT; taking off with a hum; landing again with a Bzzt! It rests only on the ceiling where its life is protected from a swat that would bring an early end. Its existence may be short, but it is very, very good.
Shopping with my five daughters is like shopping with a jubilant winter housefly. Giddy at the opportunity to have sister time, they leave their parked cars and their concerns of husbands and children. As they flutter their figurative wings, their quintet of voices hum with a shopping strategy. Inside they use one cart and lap each department.
In the five sets of eyes, there is one who sees clothes. Garments talk to her. She laughs with them. She slips them on over her own clothes. Bzzzt! Her eyes wide with laughter and with a wiggle, she models. Bored husbands take notice; irritated wives pretend not to notice.
The housefly has an inaccurate sense of smell. It has a backup second nose. Bzzzt! One daughter holds and sniffs each of five sample fragrance sticks. Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope and absolutely not. Then, mystified, asks her sisters, "What If I don't like any of them, but I like all of them together?"
Silence. Five sets of eyes concentrate on the inner circle of the store. This time every nook will be scrutinized and new displays will be discovered. Bzzzt! Ostensibly she is choosing decorations for her new home. However, she has found a pillow pig. Each squeeze and “oink” sets her into a wave of giggles that turn to tears and helpless laughter.
The financial sister mentions the Dave Ramsey plan. This restores adult composure. She continues, “I saw something but it isn't in the budget. Wait! Our month just rolled over.”
The reasonable one, the one who wins all arguments, places an item in the cart. BZZZZT! The sisters protest, “Can't you get it cheaper online?” She responds piously, “ I shop local. I support Hutchinson.”
The Ramsey follower confesses.”I have been over the allowance for months. I support Hutchinson too and therefore will purchase what I really shouldn't.” Bzzt!
The hum subsides, Bzzt! Eyes focus on the cart. For all the humming and buzzing, there is little to go through the checkout line. As a consolation for the pillow pig, the reasonable one is purchasing a simple home décor piece. She shrugs, “It's just a little house-warming gift.” Then she splurges on an over-sized pretzel to be shared five ways.
As the housefly seeks light so too do my daughters seek the light of their families. Savoring the treat and their sister time, they fade into the parking lot. A blurt of laughter a question of what should have been bought. Then with a flit of the wings, they are gone. Bzzt!
Jeanie Suter is a mother and grandmother in Hutchinson.