You haven’t really lived until you’ve experienced a shopping trip with Trini. What started out as a quiet day planned by myself, turned out to be a day of havoc and craziness.
I heard the phone ringing but wasn’t sure if it was the Good Humor Man or my alarm clock; neither exist in my waking life. As I struggled into consciousness, I looked at the time on my TV–it was 5 am.
Who the hell is this, I hear myself ask. I quickly grab the phone, almost afraid that I would hear that someone just passed away.
‘Hello?’ I say cautiously.
‘Vallie, woman, did I wake you?’
‘Trini, that you?’
‘Do you know anoda Trini?’ she says.
‘Trini, it’s 5 o’clock. You better have a good reason for waking me,’ I snap.
‘Vallie, girl. I have to go to the mall,’ she says.
‘And you felt the need to call me at 5 am to tell me this?’
Trini’s laugh makes the phone vibrate.
‘Oh, Vallie, you so funny. I need you girl.’
I now am fully awake and sitting up. ‘Need me for what?’ I fearfully ask.
‘Girl, I saw me some sheets and a blendarrr,’ she says.
‘And you need me for what? To make you a smoothie?’
She laughs. ‘Vallie, I need you for support. You can’t let Trini spend all her money,’ she says.
The boyfriend is now awake.
‘Is that who I think it is at 5 in the morning?’ he whispers groggily.
I cover the receiver and answer him. ‘Yes,’ I whisper.
‘Okay, Trin. What time do you want to venture out?’
‘Right now girl. Get your butt up woman,’ she says loudly.
‘Trin, it’s a little after 5. None of the stores are open yet,’ I say to her.
‘Yes, they are open early today–at 6. Gettup,’ she demands.
I take a deep breath and let out a deliberate sigh. ‘Okay. Pick me up in thirty minutes. Gotta hop in the shower.’
‘Turdy minutes?’ she yells. ‘You better hurry, girl. We need to get there.’
‘Okay. Twenty, but that’s as far as I go.’
An hour later, we pulled into the mall’s parking lot, and surprisingly enough, there were cars everywhere. I turned to her.
‘I didn’t know the mall was open this early,’ I said through a loud yawn.
She ignores me.
‘My friend works in Macy’s. He said to come the back way.’
The back way, I think questioningly.
We get out of the car and quickly walk to the back of Macy’s. Through the glass door we see her friend. She bangs on the door, causing her 15 bangle bracelets to clank loudly. He comes and opens the door.
‘Woman, you made it,’ he says.
‘Trini always makes it,’ she teases.
‘And good morning to you,’ he says exposing teeth the size of chicklets.
Trini sticks her index finger in his face.
‘Now don’t you be get-ting ideas about Vallie. She gotta man.’
‘She can use me as a spare,’ he answers.
They laugh loudly as if I’m not there–it makes me wonder if I am.
Trini turns to me. ‘Okay Vallie, do not let me buy anyting more than the sheets and blendarrr. Okay?’
‘Yes sir, Trini sir.’
She gives me a strange look. ‘Vallie, you weird, girl.’
We head into the bedding section; Trini starts jumping up and down.
‘Oh, Vallie, lookie here. Soooo many tings to pick. I don’t know where to begin,’ she says.
‘Well, Trini, start from the beginning. It’s a very good place to start.’
She pulls her head back and laughs. ‘Vallie, you need to get some sleep,’ she says.
‘Ah, hellooooo? I’d be sleeping if you didn’t wake me,’ I say back.
She laughs hysterically. ‘You can sleep later,’ she says.
Gosh, make up your mind, woman.
Well, Trini starts going from one section to another and I’m following her like a puppy on a leash. She has gathered several sheet sets and now has over $500.00 worth of sheets in her hand. From several feet away, I can see that she was about to pick up another set–a purple stripped cotton.
‘Oh no you don’t,’ I hollar out.
She gives me the evil eye. ‘Vallie, deeze are so beautiful. I have to have dem.’
I head towards her. ‘Step away from the sheets!’ I tell her.
‘But Vallie, I won’t buy any more after dis. Promise.’
‘Trin, you have seven sheet sets. They’re isn’t one under $75.00. You can’t do this. You still need to get the blender,’ I say.
She stares down at the purple stripped sheet set, and then lifts her head.
‘You are right. Okay. I’m put-ting dem back.’
‘Good. I’ll wait right here,’ I tell her.
As Trini heads back to where she got the purple sheet set, something catches my attention and I walk over to look at it. Several minutes later, I turn to look for Trini.
Where is she, I mumble under my breath.
I head over to one section and she’s not there. I go towards the Ralph Lauren section, she’s not there, either. Where the hell is she, I say to myself.
‘Trin?’ I yell in a whispery way.
‘Trini?’ I call out again.
This freakin’ woman, I start to mumble loudly.
I am now walking all around the store and head over to the escalator. I take out my cell phone and call her. I get her voice mail . . .
Trini say, Put da lime in da coconut and mix it t’all up.
I close my phone. Now I’m pissed. I can’t find her, and I’m thinking of calling my boyfriend to come and get me.
I’m about to dial my house when I hear a commotion. I look up to see what it is. It’s Trini and another woman. I quickly head over.
‘I will snap you in half,’ Trini says to the other woman.
The other woman throws her stuff on the floor. ‘Who you gonna snap, you island bitch?’ she says back.
Oh Lord, I have to stop this. ‘Trini, don’t do it,’ I yell frantically.
She doesn’t look at me. ‘Vallie, leave me alone. Nobody talks to Trini like dis.’
I get up to her. The other woman is ready to kick some ass.
‘Ladies, come on. What’s the problem, here?’ I say.
The other woman speaks. ‘This bitch took my sheets. It was the last set. I placed it down for a minute and she came from behind and took it.’
I bulged my eyes at Trini. ‘Trini, I thought you were putting the purple sheets back?’
‘I did. But I saw deeze, and day were just sit-ting alone so I took dem.’
‘I’ll settle this right now,’ I say.
‘Trini, give the lady the sheets.’
‘I won’t,’ she snaps.
‘Trini, you brought me with you for a reason. Give this lady her sheets.’
The lady responds. ‘Listen to your friend. Obviously she’s the only one with a mind.’
Trini now looks like a deranged bull. She’s ready to go for the lady’s throat.
I grab the sheet set out of Trini’s hands and give it to the lady. ‘Here. Trini, let’s go or I’m leaving,’ I say.
She shifts her gaze at me. ‘Okay Vallie. I do it for you.’
After I settle that little mess, I tell Trini that I have to use the ladies room.
‘I’m going to the bathroom. Where will you be?’ I say.
‘I’m goin’ to go to the blendarr section. Meet me der,’ she says.
Well, I was only gone for ten minutes. One would think that another could be left alone for ten minutes. But I was wrong. As I approached the small appliance section, I hear people laughing. Trini has several blenders in her grasp–two in her arms and one under her arm, and she’s looking for electrical outlets. Her massive bag of sheets is sitting on the floor with her coat and purse.
‘Trini, where you going with those blenders?’ I yell loudly.
‘I’m going to plug dem in,’ she answers.
‘Where?’ I ask, not totally surprised.
‘Over here, by the restaurant. Vallie, watch my tings,’ she says.
Yeah, right. I am not leaving you alone for a minute.
I quickly get her things, and I run over to the restaurant area in Macy’s. There’s a fruit cart near the breakfast bar. Trini is filling the blender with fruit. Holy crap.
‘Trini, what the hell are you doing?’ I frantically whisper.
Trini had strawberries and melon in the blender and is looking for an electrical outlet. The waitress comes over. ‘Ladies, can I ask what you’re doing?’ she says.
Trini answers her. ‘I’m buying a blendarr, and I need to see which is better,’ she says very innocently.
The waitress stares at her like she’s insane. ‘You can’t take this fruit. And you can’t test out the blenders in the store.’
Trini was already near an outlet and plugged in the blender. She was all excited. ‘Vallie, lookie here. Dis is niiiice, girl. I like dis one,’ she says.
The waitress is now on the phone with security. And they find us. After a few minutes of trying to get out of another jam, Trini buys the blender and we leave.
We are now in the mall. Trini turns to me. ‘You know Vallie. I don’t tink I told you dis, but I really miss home. I miss the warm, balmy breezes, and I miss da water.’
With this, we pass the big fountain outside of Macy’s, and it’s filled with coins, and it’s filled with water. And I get this gut feeling, and I turn to look at Trini. She’s staring into the water.
‘I would love to walk in dis water, right now,’ she says.
I feel my eyes come out of their sockets.
‘No. Don’t do it. Please don’t do it,’ I beg.
She laughs. ‘Vallie, you gotta live, woman. You gotta live.’
Before I knew it, she had her bags on the floor, her coat off, her shoes off, and was climbing in the fountain. People are stopping and staring, and pointing at the crazy lady in the fountain.
I had to think fast.
‘Now come on, Trini,’ I say as if she is 4 years old. ‘I have to get you back to the home. If we don’t get back they won’t give you ice-cream after your dinner tonight.’
‘Dis feels so niiice, Vallie. Come on in,’ she says. She’s giggling like a little kid.
Security comes over. ‘Ma’am, are you the caretaker for this woman?’
I cock my head. Did he just call me ma’am?
I mean really, people. Why me?