I went to Northpark, which is one of the more upscale malls here in Dallas, looking for carmine. For those of you who don't know what carmine is, it's a red paste used with Chinese stamps. I had the stamp, but I needed carmine.

I went to every stationary, pen, and craft store in the mall asking about carmine. The only person who knew what I was talking about was the guy at the Mont Blanc store and he was very polite. For the most part, everyone was very polite.

While I was there I thought, "There's jewelry stores here. I'll do a little shopping around and get some price comparisons." My husband, Phil, tends to eat through metal rather quickly. He can tarnish fine silver in a day, pits 18-karat gold, and will chew the plating off just about anything. I don't know what causes it; I hope it's not cancerous-I sleep with the man.

Now, at the time, I was dressed in tee shirt, jeans, red high-tops, and a lab coat. None the less, everyone was very polite and helpful and here is our card ma'am if you ever care to call us back. I had a great time and saw a lot of nice designs and was for the most part a pleased and satisfied customer. I came to a snob mall dressed like a freak looking for something no-one knew existed and everyone treated me like another warm body with money and style. I loved it.

Then I went to Neiman's.

I admit, it was my own fault. The folks at Lord and Taylor had a slight edge, but it was nothing compared to the viscous laceration I was about to receive from the bitches in Neiman Marcus. I stood on the second floor for two or three minutes, focusing on the forehead of the woman behind the counter. After the second, "excuse me," she realized the kooky lady in the lab-coat wanted something and responded with... and I regret I cannot do the voice in print for it is priceless.... "Yes, can I help you?"

I explained that, yes, I was looking for wedding bands and would like to see what they had in platinum. Her response was.... I'll post a wav some day--the voice is classic.... "You want fine jewelry. That's on the third floor."

On the third floor, in fine jewelry, I met another bitch--only this one was male. I'm not a homophobe but there are some men out there who are there for revenge. Someone hurt them pretty damn bad and they're going to make all of us pay. A woman like myself is a prime target for straight-hate because I don't fuck with my hair or face for hours on end and I don't wear designer clothes (so I must have something against gays, I guess, right?). I wake up, I comb my hair, and I get dressed. Sometimes I don't even comb my hair. My husband spends more time with his hair and clothes that I do. (I was voted an "honorary guy" buy our friends because I don't have to think twice before knowing which way the bolt turns to loosen it.)

Anyway, this time I had to wait five minutes and it took three or four excuse-me's before he realized that yes, I, the lady in the lab-coat, the only person in fine jewelry at the time, wanted some help.

I explained I needed to look at something in 24 karat gold or platinum. He pulled out the gold rings and while I was handling one I said, "My husband eats through metal pretty quickly; I should probably look at some of the platinum."

"Your husband? You're married already?"

(At this point allow me to say that Texas needs to lighten up on same-sex marriages just so we can prevent scenes like this from ever happening again. I hate jealousy, and I really hate it when it bites me in the ass.)

"Yeah, well. We got a little caught up with other things and didn't have the ceremony. But the paper-work's..."

"You haven't had your ceremony? What were you so busy with you couldn't have your ceremony?"

At this moment I was possessed. I don't know who I was channeling but they said:

"Well, we had to make sure the project was Y2K compliant and then the guys down in New Zealand told us the user interface was too cumbersome, so we had to scrap it and re-code from scratch."

It didn't phase him a bit. He just continued on with, "And you think he's going to eat through 24 karat gold? What did you marry, the Toxic Avenger?"

At first I was shocked this guy knew what the Toxic Avenger was--then it sank in what he had just said to me. I couldn't believe it. I decided to set the ring down and tell him flat out, "You lost a sale, fuck-head." With that I would turn on my heel and walk out.

I was not so lucky.

You see, when I say I was possessed, I mean I was possessed. I was channel surfing hard-core and even though I had a course of action I was dead determined to take, my body (or whoever was in it at the time) decided they were going to do something else.

Also, please remember at this time I was holding a 24-karat gold ring in the fine jewelry department of Neiman Marcus. This tiny slip of pretty had a price tag on it four digits deep. I was holding it-nay, rolling it in my fingers when he insulted myself and mate. All I wanted to do was put the damn thing down so I could walk out.

But instead I flicked it at him. I flicked it the way a frat-boy flicks a penny at a cat and I scored a hundred points because I bounced that puppy right between his eyes.

"Fuck you. I make 70K a year. I don't have to take this shit from a toy poodle like you."

And I walked out. I think the ring ended up on the floor-I'm almost sure about it because it bounced off his head and off the glass. It landed on his side of the counter and that's when I stopped caring.

I walked out of the mall and around the outside in the rain; I was afraid mall security was looking for "the lady in the lab-coat who assaulted someone in Neiman's with a 24 karat gold ring". I sat in the car a smoked.

When I went to pick Phil up from the track I asked him, "Am I a bad person?"

"Who'd you kill?" he asked.

I told him the story about the rings and the mess it became and how I had wanted it to be a surprise. I asked if he could stand being married to such a bitchy scene-maker like me.

He said yes; he kissed me.

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