I’ve returned from a blissful sojourn in Newcastle. I saw many wonderful things. Gorgeous beaches, funky bars, delicious produce, lovely friends …
But my most-visited destination was Kmart Waratah, which isn’t the least bit gorgeous, funky, delicious or lovely.
That didn’t stop me flicking the indicator downwards and turned left off Turton Road multiple times, driving into the sprawling outdoor carpark and walking through those automatic doors.
I’ve become quite familiar with Kmart Waratah’s layout. Especially the women’s sleepwear department, where I agonised over pyjamas for my prison friend. A quick twirl was taken in the sparse toy department to appease the bored Sprogs. The route to the toy department took us past a display of $15 giant teddy bears. Sprog 2 has been angling for a giant teddy bear since Coles sold them last Christmas. I’ve been fobbing her off with the excuse that a giant teddy bear wouldn’t fit in our freezer (where soft toys must regularly reside to kill the dust mites and curb Sprog 2′s rampant eczema).
But Sprog 2′s puppy dog eyes and desperate pleading had worn me down, so I decided to make Nonna the author of the evil purchase. That way she could cop the deaths stares from Husband. I texted Mum telling her Kmart was selling $15 giant teddies and Sprog 2 would love one for Chrissie. Then I exited the store to continue my Prison Jammies quest.
A few minutes and several kilometres later, Nonna texted back instructing me to buy the teddy and present it to Sprog 2 immediately. Nonna loves any excuse to spoil the Sprogs. We were en-route to Kotara Westfield, so I thought I’d just pop into the Kmart there and procure one. Except Kmart Kotara only ran to medium-sized teddies. No cigar. Teddy needed to be Sprog 2-sized.
Sprog 2 was deeply traumatised to come thisclose to a giant teddy and miss out (my fault for releasing too much information). She demanded we return to Kmart Waratah post haste. But it was getting late and Sprog 1 and I were a bit over trawling Kmarts so I said no. Sprog 2 was finally appeased with the assurance we’d return to Waratah Kmart tomorrow to get one. And, after intense badgering over the next 12 hours, we did.
Pop was not amused when Giant Teddy arrived at the local pub for lunch the next day, expecting his own seat at the table. But Pop had to suck it up.
When Sprog 1 spied Sprog 2′s Giant Teddy her eyes went all misty. It reminded me that while she may be giraffe-sized, she’s still a little kid at heart. Nonna saw the moochy look on Sprog 1′s face, noted the forlorn way she was stroking the paw of her sister’s new prized possession, and pressed me to return to Waratah Kmart to buy Sprog 1 her very own $15 giant teddy.
I’d been planning on going to Country Road and re-trying-on a black shirty thing that covered a multitude of sins. On my first changeroom visit I’d dismissed it as unflattering, but perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps it just needed the perfect pair of leopard-print Cotton On leggings underneath.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to return to Country Road AND Kmart Waratah because I was taking a trip down memory lane to The Gunfighter’s Rest for a spot of Deja Vu and Dingo Danglers. I agonised briefly before choosing Kmart Waratah. I am surprisingly selfless sometimes. As I walked through those automatic doors once more, I thought: “If I’m here, I’m going to make the most of it.”
The Sprogs’ hairdresser was all evangelical on our last visit about Kmart jeans being tested by Today Tonight or A Current Affair or some similiarly reliable source and found to be the cheapest, most flattering and longest wearing. So I did a bit of fingering of the merchandise. (My first-ever fingering of Kmart merchandise not in the children’s section.) I was particularly taken with some coloured skinny jeans in the latest fetching shades of green and red and pink and orange and blue.
Not many were left between the sizes of 8 and 22 … Obviously picked over by the masses and the massives …
I had it in the back of my mind that the Kmart-style emporiums of this world ran to vanity sizing, ie a size 10 swamping the average size 14. So I plucked a few of the remaining size 12s off the racks and swanned off to the changerooms.
And vanity went straight out the window/curtain when I couldn’t even squeeze them over my thighs. I was tempted to walk away and pretend it never happened. But I needed some new clothes for my new job. Might as well be cheap and enormous. So I returned to the racks and scrounged around for a few extravagantly larger sizes, took a deep breath, tossed a giant teddy over my shoulder and went to the self-serve check-out to avoid additional embarrassment.
I handed the giant teddy to a delighted Sprog 1 and reported back to my Mum on my plus-sized purchases. Mum insisted on a fashion show, pronounced the jeans a lovely fit and handed me a box of Reducta appetite suppressant … (ok, that only happened after I expressed interest an ad for cactus-based diet pills during House Husbands while we watched TV convivially in bed together).
I woke the next morning with a steely resolve, pronouncing October alcohol and carbohydrate free. Commencing October 2. There were still burgers and fries to be consumed at the divine Merewether Surfhouse on October 1. (Fabulous view below.)
… And the arduous drive home to Sydney with a symphony of whining from the backseat would require a few glasses of semillon to recover.
But today I’m lining up the multi-vitamins, the St John’s Wort and the Reducta stuff on the kitchen benchtop. I’m rejecting toast and embracing eggs for brekkie. I’m sticking to salad for lunch, meat and veg for dinner. No wine, no tokay, no gnocchi.
It’s Octsober meets Nocarber. And I’m serious about it this time. I shouldn’t get so hung up on numbers, but those freakin’ Kmart ones shocked me into action.
PS Mum’s right. The jeans are a great fit. I’m quite taken with them. Same price as the giant teddies, too. Bargain. (I’m not including a picture of them so you won’t guess I’m wearing $15 jeans next time you see me. You’ll think they’re Country Road, seriously.)