On Tuesday at 8 am I got a text from my friend Juliet who lives in Slingerland NY. It read: Missoni. Target. 9am. Juliet is up on Target’s designer line: before Juliet, I didn’t know a designer line existed there. I had a 10:45 appointment so I thought I’d go after and peruse the aisles of The Hudson Valley Mall’s Target store.
I had yet to know of the zany zigzag stripes of Missoni, knew nothing of the shower curtains, towels or children’s line, had no idea about the bold colors on the clutches, socks and throw pillows. I pulled in around 11:30 and parked next to Kaja, an employee of mine who was just getting out of her car with her sister. They had glazed over looks in their eyes. “Are you here for the Missoni?” She asked, “Yes.” I replied. I was here for the Missoni; it was starting to sink in.
I could feel the competition begin; I heard the starting gun. I know this store like the back of my hand. I walked in and took a sharp left landing at the corner of the women’s section. Empty. Literally a few straggling pieces left in xxl and petite.
Shit, it’s gone, all the stripes I didn’t even know existed a few hours ago, that I now need, are gone. Besides Kaja and her sister, there were a few other women there checking their watches and mumbling, “ Where is it all? It’s only 11:30, I knew I should’ve taken the kids and come before school,” arms hung low at their sides in a dejected pose. Some women pretended that they also didn’t know Missoni existed but I could see the look, the look of sheer and utter disappointment.
I allowed myself four seconds of regret before I hatched another plan. I sped over to the children’s department thinking I could squeeze myself into an extra large girls’ something, anything. On the way there I passed the last two pairs of lonely Missoni socks that I grabbed and chucked in the cart without slowing down. Arriving in the young girls section I saw that I wasn’t alone. There was a gaggle of grown women holding a small child’s sweater or shirt up to their bosom and thinking to themselves, out loud I might add, “I could fit this.”
I then nonchalantly scoped out the leggings. Ah, yes, perfect. One pair was hot pink and spaced dyed and the other a beautiful brown ribbed number with three perfectly placed stripes at the bottom of each leg like only Missoni can do. The last two pairs of extra large. I dropped them into my cart like I’d just found the golden ticket. In my mind I WAS Charlie. I hummed along to the tune, feeling like I was digesting a Thanksgiving turkey. I was full and happy. Completely satiated. In the checkout line I saw a few women who had two full shopping carts of Missoni goods. Two. Full. My bubble of pride deflated slightly.
The line gave me time to pause and think about the craze I had just taken part in. It was an urge so deep that I stooped as low as shopping in the children’s section, not for my son or my granddaughter but for myself. I was as disgusted with myself as I was happy.
The next day as I slipped my bare legs into those happy little cotton leggings, I thanked my friend Juliet for including me in the madness that is Missoni.
PS: I was at Target today, and called Nina as I was standing in front of the paltry remains of all the Missoni items. I told her I was holding a shower curtain in my hand at that moment. "SHUT THE FRONT DOOR," she said in typical Nina fashion. "Do you want it?" "No." We laughed, deciding we actually thought it was rather ugly. After I told her what else could be hers, she did instruct me to bring her one thing. She's about to go on a very long trip, and now thank gawd she'll do it in style.