I can never return to the Mount Vernon Marshalls. That’s how dumb my Dumbest Thing I Ever Did is. It’s a damn shame too, because my stupidity prevented me from buying the one thing I went to Marshalls to buy.
It all started because I want to make cold brew. I watched a solid seven YouTube tutorials—I knew the steps, I just needed to buy the supplies.
Because I’m a cheap piece of shit, I didn’t buy a strainer (gotta get the grains out of the coffee) at Walmart because it was $3! I honestly thought I could get a cheaper one at Marshalls. That’s the kind of person I am. My friends and I bopped down Coshocton in a red Volkswagen Beetle, expecting nothing more than a quick stop. It wasn’t supposed to be a big part of our Saturday.
I didn’t go straight to the kitchenware section at Marshalls because I’m a monster, so by the time I made it over there I was carrying a 3-pack of socks and a cardigan. I was on my way to the kitchen section when I was distracted by the only aisle Marshalls genuinely needs: the candle aisle.
I start sniffing those puppies like a madman. Lavender vanilla? Neroli musk? Winter? The selection is genuinely insane. I decide to get one, justifying it by calling it a reward for taking all of my midterms, as if I wasn’t going to take them if there wasn’t a gift at the end of the road. I pick one out—she’s prosecco pear scented and she’s perfect.
We’re not done at Marshalls, because no one is ever truly done at Marshalls. The candle has been added to the hodgepodge of junk I am now holding in my arms. Still got the cardigan, the socks, I’ve added a pair of pajama pants, and now the candle is somewhere in the bundle.
That’s when I see the strainer. “Strainer!” I think. “I need a strainer. They have a strainer!” I’m bending down to grab it off of its hook when my candle tumbles from my arms and crashes to the floor.
It SHATTERS. Right next to the Christmas decorations that definitely shouldn’t be out yet. I’m embarrassed, but at this point in the day I am emotionally stable enough to find a worker, inform her of the broken glass, and offer to pay for the candle I murdered. She tells me not to worry about it, problem solved.
I still want a candle though. The one I picked out was on Clearance for $5.50 so I resign myself to the fact that I will never have (and definitely don’t deserve) that candle.
But guess what? Yeah baby, there’s another one! A $5.50 prosecco pear candle with my name on it. I pick it up, vowing to treat her better than how I treated my last candle during our short time together.
The candle breaking distracted me from getting a strainer, so my friends and I decide to grab our last items and leave within the next five minutes. I decide against the strainer because it was cheaper at Walmart (obviously) and decide to wander around. I run into a friend in the snack aisle and we spend our last few minutes at Marshalls lamenting on how much cheaper food is here than at the Market.
I wish I could tell you how the second drop happened. All I remember is looking at something ridiculous, like coffee syrups, when I shifted my weight and felt the candle slip. Again, it tumbled to the ground and the shatter was deafening.
I’m stunned, to the point where my friend has to find a worker and inform her of the broken glass because I can’t bear to do it. At this point I’m ready to break my phone, drop everything, and drive to the coast. But, I gotta pay for my stuff first.
I’m beelining to the register when I see what has to be the last iteration of that candle on the lowest shelf of a display. In a moment of pure adrenaline, I snatch it up, buy it, and get the hell out of the store.
Later, in the car on the way back to campus, a friend told me that she made eye contact with a Marshalls employee after the second shatter. The worker heard the noise, closed her eyes, slowly put down the items she was carrying, and solemnly walked towards the crash. We agreed to never speak of it again (except for clicks on thekenyonthrill.com).
Don’t be like me. Just buy Febreeze.