Did You Get Gift Receipts?

Something I’ve vowed I would never do, I went ahead and did. What did I vow never to do and go ahead and do it, you ask?

It’s quite simple. I called Orkin, the pest control people. When they refused to help, I went on Angie’s list and started calling the pest control experts one after the other. Some were rude to me. Others laughed at me. And, others told me they were going to report me to one agency or the other. I really didn’t do anything. All I wanted to do was to get rid of La Flor for a couple of hours.  I’ve come to like La Flor. I won’t tell her that. And, I ask you to keep my confidence. If I did, she would want a bigger role in this blog.

I thought it would be a good idea to let her take my credit card and go shopping. What could it hurt? I have no idea what this is going to cost. But the peace of mind I’ve achieved over the past two hours has been worth every cent. What was I thinking?

“Ray, Ray. I’m back. Did you miss me?”

All of a sudden, my stomach hurt. My heart is pounding. My right eyelid is sending signals across the cosmos. I take a lesson from the U.S. Navy Seals and breath deeply to a count of four. Or, was it five? Maybe three? It’s not helping.

I said, “How many bags do you have? Do I see one from Saks Fifth Avenue?  Nordstrom’s?  What are you doing with the bags from Victoria Secrets? This is a family blog.”

“Do I ask you where you go shopping? Do I ask you what you buy?” La Flor is clutching her bags close to her body.

“Yes, to both questions. Did you consider Target? Old Navy? Gap? BTW, I don’t want your bags. Relax, por favor.”

“No. No. And, No. And, I didn’t consider the big W if you know what I mean. See, this is the difference between you and me. When you go shopping, you go to H-E-B and buy groceries – boring. When I go shopping, I go out to have fun and spend, spend, spend. Besides, everything I bought is a necessary expense for La Flor, PI.”

“Did you get gift receipts, La Flor PI?”

“Why? I’m not giving anything away.”

“I’m talking about returning everything.”

“No can do, Ray.”

“Did you go shopping by yourself?”

“Duuh!  Beautiful, tough, and edgy girls never go shopping alone. If Jack were with me, I’d let him carry my bags. You’ll also notice lunch at La Cuisine Upscale on your credit card.”

“Get over Jack Reacher. He’s beyond your reach. Pretty good, right? I never heard of it.”

“The restaurant? It’s the overrated, overpriced French restaurant with the snobby wait staff. And, never enough food to fill you up. But the wine is excellent.”

“You couldn’t go to a barbecue joint? Whataburger? In-N-Out Burger? Subway? Tony’s pizza?”

“When girls go shopping, Ray. They don’t do those kinds of places. The only time I do those restaurants is when you take me for doing a good job. I can’t wait to renegotiate my contract.”

“What contract?”

“The one my agent is going to send to you.”

“How did this happen? I created you?

“Save it for another blog post. You’re already over your head in this one.”

“I think you’re carrying the tough and edgy parts of your persona a bit too far. What is the tab on my credit card?”

“I never keep track of that kind of thing.”

“You’re making my heart race, La Flor.”

“It’s only money, don’t be so tight.”

I’m online checking out my credit card. La Flor you spent . . .”

La Flor is a good teacher. Oh, she goes overboard now and then. But she’s right, it’s only money. Money is a useful thing, and it has its place. When it rules our lives, it becomes destructive. People love me, money doesn’t love me. People lift me up when I’m feeling down, money doesn’t. People inspire me that tomorrow will be better than today, money doesn’t. Thank you, La Flor, for prying my fingers loose, a little bit.

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