Reports of Suspicious Behavior in the Home Goods Section

Recently, I heard H&M was having a sale so I “popped in”. I like the one on 48th and 5th. Not only is it huge with super high ceilings, it also has five floors including one with Home Goods. I tell people it is the only one in the country with Home Goods but I don’t know if that is true. I went straight to the sale stuff on the third floor. It was super crowded and I had to reach over people to grab a t shirt off the rack. It was retro looking with an orange and white mod design. It was also a half shirt in size Small, a tough look for me to pull off but I carried it around as “maybe” purchase. Then my eye caught something purple. A deep eye catching purple. I hip checked a 13 year old out of the way and grabbed it and went right to the size label. It was a LARGE. It was a purple dress and it was large and, oh joy oh rapture, it was 20 bucks on sale. I threw the orange halter over my shoulder. Just kidding. I put it back on the wrong rack and headed to the checkout line. There was no reason to look further. This was it. I wasn’t going to do any better.
I got in the checkout line and went to take out my wallet. I pride myself as being one of those people who are PREPARED when they get to the register. There is nothing worse than watching somebody who has been in line for ten minutes get up to the register and stand there and watch the cashier scan 7 items, announce the amount due and THEN they start looking for their wallet. That shit drives me nuts! Get your fragging wallet out. Any who, turns out, I don’t even have my wallet! I left it in my nice bag. I had $3.75 on me. This purple dress was not going to be there tomorrow. One person had already asked me “Where did you find that?” I said “Right over there, but I think I got the last one” I had no idea if I had got the last one but it was fun to say.
I stepped out of line. I knew what I had to do. I didn’t spend my formative years bargain shopping with my mother for nothing. I knew what had to be done and I was prepared to do it. I had to hide it.
I took the escalator up two more floors to the 5th and final floor, the Home Goods section. Not many people ventured to the 5th floor. I pretended to be interested in a pillow while I scoped out the place. I needed to find the best hiding place possible without looking like I was looking for a hiding place. A salesperson asked if I was looking for something special. If they only knew.
I smiled and said I was just browsing. If I had a dollar for every time I said that. Then I saw it. A whole display of laundry bags. I walked normal speed to the display. There were about 20 laundry bags on a hook. I placed the purple dress in the last laundry bag. Nobody was going to buy all 20 laundry bags and if they did, it’d look like they were trying to steal the purple dress but it wasn’t enough for them to get arrested for.
I felt mildly suspicious. I mean, I felt like I looked mildly suspicious. I came to the Home Goods department with a dress and now I am leaving without one. I kept calm, cool and collected as I rode the 4 escalators down. I got a block away and went to call my mother to tell her that, despite her unconditional love, her daughter was spending her time in New York hiding twenty dollar dresses so nobody could buy them before her.
Low and behold, my phone was not in my bag. I start emptying my bag on a public bench. I patted down my coat. I started to panic. Could I have accidentally put my phone in the bag with the purple dress? I mean I had a lot of adrenaline pumping. It is possible.
I walked back to the store. I was noticeably more anxious returning to the scene of the hidden sale item.
I was picturing the staff gathered around the laundry bag looking at pictures on my cell phone, trying to piece together what had happened. Was this a stolen phone? Was it evidence from a crime scene? Why was it wrapped in the last large purple dress?
I got to the Home Goods section. I skipped the whole “I’m just browsing” charade and went right to the bag.
I reached in and felt the dress. I groped around and found the phone. I headed toward the escalator.
To calm myself down, I called people to tell them the about the situation I had created that, in turn, caused me to worry about its uncertain outcome.
One person said “You should ALWAYS have at LEAST twenty dollars on you!”
Another friend said it was the weirdest thing I had ever done. We’ve only known each other a few years.
I told my mother the story and she said “Don’t you already have a purple dress?”
I never went back to buy the dress and, honestly, there hasn’t been a day that I’ve thought “I wish I had that purple dress”
Someday I’ll see somebody wearing that simple yet striking purple dress and I’ll have to ask “did you find that in a laundry bag on the 5th floor of H&M? I think that’s mine!”
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand-up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle.
twitter @theotherkendra

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