Due to my flexible work schedule, I often run errands that are traditionally associated with the matriarch of the family — in other words, the mother/wife/supervisor/figure of maturity and common sense.
Whether I’m shopping for bras or perusing the feminine hygiene aisles at Walmart wearing sunglasses, a full-coverage mask, and a hoodie, I’m frequently complimented by female shoppers and cashiers on what a “good dad” I am, and how lucky my wife and daughters are to have a sucker … I mean, a man like me around.
My most recent foray into the world of domestic retail took place at our local and recently re-opened Bed Bath & Beyond, where I was deployed to purchase new bath linens for our three daughters.
Although I thought their previous towels and washcloths were just getting “broke in good,” my wife assured me that the girls could no longer bathe and dry themselves without risk of strangulation from the holes, snags, and dangling hems — besides the fact that you could see through the material. Who knew girls could be so picky about something used to wipe down their armpits?
I actually enjoy shopping in Bed Bath & Beyond because the store smells so clean and makes me feel like I’m in a giant bathroom — the one place in my house where I can get some privacy from everyone except my daughters’ two doglets, who think that I require their assistance with any activity involving the commode.
Speaking of the commode, after a brief detour through an elaborate display of Poo-Pourri toilet sprays, the fun ended when I finally reached the towel section. The variety of colors, thread counts and bun coverage was staggering, and I didn’t see anything that resembled the once light-bluish towel-like thingies the girls had been using and that presumably matched their bathroom décor.
I first had to choose from among ambiguously blue colors like Glacier, Cornflower, Fog, Seafoam and Cloud. It was like looking at some newfangled box of crayons invented by a sadistic environmentalist.
Then I had to decide on an appropriate size of towel that would allow my daughters to envelop themselves like giant burritos (while shrieking) on the off-chance that I need to enter my own guest bathroom to fetch my nail clippers that someone had probably been using recently on a dog. The towels ranged in size from large enough to clean industrial mining equipment to roughly the dimensions of a Cheez-It.
I finally settled on acceptably soft, medium-sized towels in an almost-recognizable color called Denim Blue, which I was confident would be exactly the wrong thing.
One consolation of this shopping trip was that I came armed with an arsenal of coupons. My daughters always roll their eyes and say, “Ok, Boomer!” when I reach into the glove compartment and pull out my trusty gallon-sized Ziploc baggie bulging with mostly expired coupons.
What they fail to realize is that these coupons allow me to imagine that I’m getting a great deal on boring, ancillary stuff like food and toiletries so that I can justify purchasing their life essentials like earbuds and UGG slippers. And Bed Bath & Beyond happily accepts multiple coupons for each transaction, expired or not, per company policy — or maybe they just feel sorry for me.
When I arrived home, I was surprised that my wife and daughters approved of my purchases. The only problem was that I was short about a dozen towels and washcloths — since apparently three teenage girls use enough bath linens on a daily basis to run their own limo-detailing service. This meant I had to make another trip to Bed Bath & Beyond, which was actually fine with me.
I still had enough expired coupons for the additional towels and washcloths, and while I was at it, I could grab the dogs and me a six-pack of Poo-Pourri.
— Jase Graves is an award-winning humor columnist whose columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times in Louisiana, and the Kilgore News Herald and Longview News-Journal in Texas. Contact him at email@example.com or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.