Yesterday, I loaded Son in to a rental car (Husbandly One needed our car, here at home) and drove three hours to the closest Mountain Equipment Co-op. You need to understand that, for those of use who have spent ANY time in the Canadian Rockies, MEC is like Mecca, we all worship at its' outdoor altar. My quest? A backpack to get me through three weeks in Spain.
Immediately upon entering, the lovely Martha became my guide. For over an hour, she showed me different backpacks, loaded them with 20 lbs of weight, and then adjusted different straps to ensure the best possible fit.
They all hurt. She gave me eight or nine options, and Every. Single. One. HURT. Omigod, they hurt soooo bad, I thought from my research on the Interwebs that the weight should fall on my hips (the way you would carry a baby on your hip) but they ALL seemed to be pushing on my lower back. But because they all did that to me, I thought I was the one with the unrealistic expectations, maybe I just needed to pick the one that hurt the LEAST and live to learn with the pain.
So I picked the backpack that hurt the least, and walked around the store for five minutes. And I realized that, not only could I not carry this all day? I couldn't carry it around the BLOCK. And omigod, the pain in my back, the pain, the PAIN.
Guys, I can never explain to you how I felt. I am such a failure that I can't even stand the pain of SHOPPING? I suck, I am a sham, I am such a low low low LOSER.
My StepDad then said, "Forget it, I'll take you to a different store." Which turned out to be this totally obscure indepentent store on a busy street, crammed in to this teeny tiny space. And I thought, "Yeah, NO."
My sales associate there, Dave, met me when I hit him with the following statement: " I have just spent the last hour in the most humiliating, dis-spiriting shopping experince of my life at MEC. I had a great person helping me, but apparently my body shape is not within their realm. PLEASE HELP ME."
(And, gentle reader, please note: am 5'3" and weigh 130 lbs. I am NORMAL.)
This angel direct from the Almighty asked my permission, and then put his hands in my shoulders. He asked permission again, and then put his hands on my hips. And without asking permission (ha ha) he then ran his hands from my hips to under my arms. "Yeah, I have the pack for you."
FIRST pack I tried on fit me like a glove. I was almost orgasmic over how good it felt, after my torture at MEC. I was literally giddy: "It fits! Weight is on my hips! I love it! Leave me and the bag alone together now..."
But Dave, my newly beloved Dave, was all, "Pshwaw, I know you're happy, but I need you to try a few other ones to make sure, for real."
And I was all, "I will make love to you here, now, for real. Pshwaw."
Long story short (and the whole story actually doesn't involve me bumping uglies with some 24 year old stranger) I bought a fantastic backpack. It's like it was custom built for me. And everytime I look at it? I want to cry, I love it so much.