As the regular readers of this blog know, my mother-in-law is staying with us for the winter and it’s been just one big, long Happy Hour on the back porch, in the car, in the mall, in the kitchen, everywhere.

I’ve not done this much shopping ever. I’m almost starting to like shopping. We leave the house in the late morning and shop until late afternoon and I end up coming home with a bunch of stuff that I don’t need, but which was a terrific bargain and it turns out, it looks great in my closet.

So far, I’ve added the following things to my possessions:

☁ A pair of long shorts in sage green with tiny stripes
☁ A set of salt and pepper shakers that look like mushrooms
☁ A black and tan sweater in swirly designs
☁ Another pair of black sandals
☁ Two yoga outfits
☁ Vodka
☁ A heart condition and diabetes from skipping meals and living on Starbucks coffee all day because I’m too immersed in shopping to stop to eat

On the third day of this mega-shoppapalooza, I discovered Bealls, which everyone in Florida upon reading that is going to say, “Oh PHHHHSHSHSH! You just discovered Bealls? I can’t believe you had never been to Bealls!” Yes, it’s true, I had never been to Bealls. They are all over south Florida. We have three of them in Jupiter alone, including an outlet store version. Here in south Florida they pronounce the store Bells, so being a native and pretty good at faking it, that’s how I pronounce it, as in: “Oh, of course I shop at Bells! PHHHHSHSHSH! Who doesn’t?”

I happened to go to Bealls on Tuesday, which is one of the Senior Citizen Days, only because my mother-in-law said, “We have to go on Tuesday, so I can get my 15 percent discount.” Well, you’re not going to believe this, but I got a Senior Citizen discount, too, and not because I cheated and put my stuff on her bill. At Bealls, you can get the senior discount at 50.

I was so excited, I was hoping they would card me. To my slight disappointment, the check-out woman didn’t even blink when I said, “Um, I’m 50, so can I get the Senior Citizen discount?” It was right on the sign - “50 and older get the Senior Citizen discount.” She just said, “Sure,” and in one keystroke of the cash register, I got a lot older, my knees got red, I sprouted some moles in unsightly places, and my lower back started to hurt. There were some other physical symptoms, but I’ll spare you.

I felt guilty for not buying a snap coat and comfortable shoes; a Cathy Daniels cotton shirt and big underwear. Is it fair or even legal to buy a thong and still get a senior discount?

My discount was only a few dollars, but still . . .

I’m not sure if I’m excited and proud or ashamed and remorseful. It was an emotional day, for sure.

I think we’re almost shopped out. We may be both running out of money, and I think the beach and a yoga class is calling our names. I won’t get any discounts there, but i can wear some of my new cool clothes.

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