I’ll never be able to go back there

I can never go back to (mid-scale department store) home department.


It’s all my mother’s fault.

I wanted to purchase a wedding gift for my brother Davey Crockett, who is marrying Glinda the Good Witch in Kentucky this week. I wanted something unusual enough they didn’t already have six, but useful enough they would need it regularly.

I thought it would be simple. I didn’t count on Grandmama. It was a fatal mistake. I thought it’d be OK if she browsed, but as the kids say, you just can’t set a wild Grandmama loose without any oversight. Ever. Even with the best intentions.

A salesperson approached me. Would I like some help? Yes, I would. So she showed me some pots and pans, extolling their nonstick virtues.

Grandmama leapt out from behind a display of coffee pots.

“I found T-Fal,” she announced.

The salesperson mentioned the pots we were looking at were nonstick and scratch resistant. I appreciate scratch resistance, living in a household where the Long Suffering Husband (bless his heart) regularly cooks, yet doesn’t seem to understand you don’t use metal utensils in nonstick cookware.

“I found T-Fal,” Grandmama repeated.

She looked at the $200 price tag and her eyes promptly fell right out of her head.

“Not that,” she said. “I found T-Fal.”

The salesperson tried to get a word in edgewise.

“I found T-Fal,” Grandmama said.

“But this stuff is scratch resistant,” I said.

“Glinda knows better than to use metal utensils,” Grandmama sniffed.

“What about Davey?” I asked.

“Glinda knows better.”

The salesperson came to the conclusion we were looking at the T-Fal come hell or high water, because she began edging that way.

“She’s trying to sell you the expensive stuff because she gets a commission,” Grandmama said.

The salesperson was three feet away. Grandmama wasn’t exactly quiet. I prayed for a hole to open up in the floor and swallow me – or better yet, my mother. I could have died. I didn’t, unfortunately.

“I don’t get – ” the beleaguered salesperson attempted.

“I found T-Fal,” Grandmama said.

So we looked at the T-Fal. I didn’t like it. At that point, I probably wouldn’t have liked it if was fully automated and cooked dinner all by itself.

I wandered, looking for a wedding gift with all the desperation of a dehydration victim looking for an oasis in a desert.

“This is nice,” the salesperson tried.

It was a ceramic-coated cast iron Dutch oven. Grandmama poked it.

“Glinda made us bean soup the last time we visited and could have used something like this,” she said. “I think she’d like this.”

The heavens opened and an angelic choir began to sing.

The entire time we spent picking one out, I was plotting my swift escape to avoid any more potential Grandmama-induced embarrassment.

As we were leaving, I noticed the bottom of the box had come open.

“Where the (redacted) is my pot?” I asked.

Who was holding the door open for us – and probably hoping we’d leave her store as soon as possible – but the salesperson from earlier. Proving that no amount of craziness would keep her from doing her duty, she helped us with the box (cookware still safely within).

As we walked away, I asked, “did I just say (redacted)?”

“Loudly,” said Grandmama.

So I can’t go back.

And it’s my mother’s fault.

(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at swallace@pafocus.com)