Usually, when waiting to pay, she would glance through the magazine headlines. Today, she didn’t care. The store was buzzing with activity – carts, children, chatter, announcements. A typical day at a supermarket. She laughed. She couldn’t believe that she was in a mall buying a pink bathrobe. She found her whole reaction to the situation ridiculous. She thought she laughed in her head only. But she must have laughed out loud because a guy in front of her glanced back at her with a judging look.
She didn’t blame him for judging her. She was judging herself. After all, it was not normal to go shopping in her situation. It certainly was not what she would expect herself to do. But here she was buying a pink bathrobe. Because every woman should have one.
Wow, never in a million years she thought that after this morning she would just go shopping. But then, didn’t they say that shopping is like a therapy for women? Who did say that? Other women? She had never fancied shopping as a favorite pastime, but here she was buying a pink bathrobe. Because every woman should have one.
Her husband didn’t want her to go. Maybe he just didn’t want to stay home alone. Not after what had just happened this morning. He didn’t want her to go, but he couldn’t quite get himself to stop her. He didn’t know what to tell her. None of them knew what to say.
And there she was, waiting to pay for her pink bathrobe. Every woman should have one, she thought. Pink bathrobe that was girly yet elegant, sexy yet cozy. Every woman should have a pink bathrobe, and now she was going to have hers.
She laughed again, this time just for herself. She couldn’t deal with the stranger judging her again. It was a sad laugh though. In fact, her eyes started to get teary. Oh great, she thought, this will be a treat for the judging dude. Luckily, he didn’t look at her anymore. And thankfully, she didn’t start crying. She cried on and off almost all day, so at least now, at a shopping center, she could keep it together and pretend this is just a regular spontaneous purchase. And she was just a typical woman who finally came to get her pink bathrobe. Because every woman should have one.
That is what she said to her husband when she decided to go to the mall. She didn’t blame him for not understanding. She couldn’t understand herself. He felt they should stay home together and maybe call the family and tell them what they learned that morning.
But she couldn’t tell them yet; she couldn’t even process it herself. So how is she going to find the words? She couldn’t tell anybody yet because she was scared, angry, and sad. And secretly she was hoping that if she didn’t tell, it might not be happening to her; to them. But it was happening to them. And the only way she could cope, at this moment, was to buy a pink bathrobe. It was going to take just enough time to hold it together before she had to pick up the boys from the daycare. And then they couldn’t talk about it anymore because the kids were too small to understand. How would you even say such a thing to a two and a four years old boy?
She hoped her husband didn’t call the family while she was gone. But then, he probably would have to explain where she was and she didn’t think he would want to tell them that she went shopping. That would sound crazy. Was she crazy? Did she go mad after the news they learned this morning? No, she knew what she was doing wasn’t rational, but the situation they were in wasn’t rational either. So, there she was buying her pink bathrobe. Because every woman should have one.
How come she never thought of that? Pink bathrobe equals grace, beauty, femininity and every woman should have one. How come she only knows that now? She should have had one already. Ah well, she was having one now. Almost! God, this cashier was slow. Did she say that out loud? The judging guy looked at her again. Was she crying? Shit, she was crying! She didn’t even realize that tears were coming down her cheeks. Oh, damn it, keep it together!
She looked at her watch, as if knowing what time it is, would transfer her to some different time zone where she didn’t know yet what happened. Oh shit! It was almost time to pick up the boys. Finally, it was her turn to pay. Done! She had a pink bathrobe now. She was a woman! She could face what was to come elegantly and gracefully. And she was going to. It’s time to pick up the boys, go home and call the family. Time to tell them that she was diagnosed with leukemia.