DIY Shopping

by Leela Kapoor, age 12
DIY Shopping Leela is an avid 12 year old writer and reader who is based in New York City. She sees the world very differently than most and wants to share that with the world.

“My armpits were getting really sweaty, like that time I met Justin Bieber and he hugged me and then he made a gross face because I was really sweaty. Don’t worry. I’m still a Belieber.”


Shopping List

1. milk   x

2. cookies  x

3. pony       x

4. paint    x

5. pillow    x

6. unicorn   x

7. book    x

8. camera    x

9. a grape (one singular grape)   x

10. spinning wheel  x

This morning, my personal shopper quit. She said I bought too much stuff and she just couldn’t take it anymore.

I was like, “It’s your job though.” Then she hung up. Now I have to buy everything on the shopping list for tonight’s gala. The first thing on the list is milk. I forget why I needed milk. Oh! I remember because cows and horses are related, I read that in an article. Cows make milk, and so… horses must drink milk, which means ponies must drink milk, and a pony is on my list. 

“I’m so smart,” I said to myself. So I got into an Uber and headed to the grocery store. I went to the dairy fridge and saw so many brands of milk, so I took one of each. Organic Valley, Horizon, Borden, coconut milk, almond milk. I looked at the list and saw cookies after milk. So I went to the snack aisle. Again, too many brands of cookies. I felt overwhelmed. I finally understood The Bachelorette. The cookies were all the guys. I actually know the girl on The Bachelorette right now and she told me what it’s like. This is obviously more stressful though. So I took out my phone and searched up best cookie brand. Nice! was the best one but Fairway doesn’t have it. I kept going down the list and nothing was here, finally I resorted to the last brand on the list, Chips Ahoy. They didn’t even have the original one. They only had chewy. I tossed the chewy cookies into my cart and moved on. I looked through the list and saw that the only thing left that I could get at Fairway involved shoplifting and the risk of jail. I needed a single… grape. I unsuspiciously moonwalked to the fruit aisle, trying not to attract any attention to myself. I began looking at grapes, trying to find the least bruised one. I needed the perfect grape. I discreetly searched the grape packages. 

“Finally!” I shouted out loud. Instead of having one of my many head voices say it for me in my head. Some old people looked at me, 

“Sorry, sorry,” I whispered. I tucked the grape into my pocket while being very sly. I took my cart to the register. I started taking out all the milks, 16 in total. Then I took out the crinkly Chips Ahoy bag. I began to sweat when the lady started to speak. 

“Would you like a cooler bag for an extra four dollars for all your… milk? Or would you like a normal bag for an extra fifty cents or would you like a plastic bag for no extra charge?” 

“C-cooler um bag,” I stuttered. My armpits were getting really sweaty, like that time I met Justin Bieber and he hugged me and then he made a gross face because I was really sweaty. Don’t worry. I’m still a Belieber. She started scanning everything and putting everything in a cooler bag. I handed her my credit card and she slid the card into the machine. Finally it was over. She handed the card back to me and I took the bag. I speed walked to the security alarm and took a deep breath. I stepped across and the beeps began. Beep. Beep. Beep. I stood in place as guards surrounded me. They had mini scanners in their hands and they cornered me. My only exit was the door. I backed up as they closed in on me. Then the automatic doors opened for a cute old lady. That was my exit! I was free. I ran backwards and then spun around so I was running facing forward. I ran to some bushes and called an Uber. After four minutes of waiting, I saw the car stop in front of the grocery store. The guards were busy searching behind cars in the parking lot, so I took a rushed breath and sprinted to the Uber. I opened the car door, breathing heavily and tried acting very calm, “Hi, Danny?”  I said with a breathless voice.

“Yes, Alisha?”

“Yup.” 

The car began moving and we headed to Home Depot. I said goodbye to Danny and entered the wonderful world of Home Depot. The first thing I saw were toilet seats. Then pipes came into view and then finally big buckets of paint. Why did I have to be so vague on the shopping list? Then it hit me… because I was mean to all my assistants. Maybe that’s why she quit. Rude. I set my shopping bags down and looked through the paint. Pink, blue, orange, red, magenta, maroon, brown, black, grey. I decided to get the grey paint because it’s a neutral color and the gala is called The Grey Life. Everyone has to wear grey so all the decorations pop out. I put the grey paint bucket in the cart and put my shopping bags in there too. I went to the comfort section of home depot. The next thing on the list were pillows. I had a specific pillow in mind despite the vagueness of the list. SmartHome Bedding Super Plush Pillow. It’s my favorite pillow of all time. 

I searched through the shelves and shelves of pillows but there was no sign of my SmartHome Bedding Super Plush Pillows. I resorted to an average pillow with some pink on it. I placed it in the cart and headed to the cash register. The scrawny man scanned the stuff and I went through the boring paying process. I ordered another Uber and checked the list for what was left. I needed a book and a camera. We were heading to Barnes and Noble. We got there and I entered the store. I was slow because of all the bags I was carrying but I pushed through. I took out my phone and took a selfie on the gram. Took a photo of all the bags and put it on my story, #thestruggleisreal.

I was going to get 50 Shades of Grey. A classic, definitely my favorite book of all time. It also went with the theme, just an added bonus. I found it in the romance section. I plopped it in the cart and then I went to the other section of the shop. It was called… other. I looked for one of those pretty polaroid cameras. Thankfully I found a bright pink one. It will really pop. I put it in there. Paid. You know the drill. Except, the sweet old lady who was in Fairway was in the romance section. I saw her when I was leaving and so I hid behind a tall man on the escalator. I ran up with all my strength and suddenly I smelled Shake Shack. The delicious smell of milkshakes and burgers and fries filled my nostrils. My head voices started talking. “Go eat it.”

“No, you have a gala to plan.”

“It smells good. Go. Eat. The. Goddamn. Burger.” 

“No! No! No! No!”

“I shouldn’t. But it tastes so good,” I said. 

“I can’t!!!”

Imagine a lady with a bunch of bags filled with random stuff talking to herself. Now you get it. People started moving away from me. 

I took out my phone once again and called another Uber. The dropoff location was the Apple store on fifth. It was near the horse carriages all the tourists love. The guy dropped me off and I walked across the street to the carriages. I went up to the first guy. He looked like Jack from Mary Poppins. 

“Is your horse for sale?” 

“No.”

“Can you make it for sale?”

“No.”

“Do any of these people have ponies?”

“Yes. All the small ones.”

“All the small people or all the small horse looking ponies?”

“You pick.”

“What?”

“Go away.”

I went to the next guy, “Is this a pony?”

“Yup.”

“Can I have it?” 

“No.”

“You’re just like the last guy.”

“Are you calling me a potato?”

“What? No.”

“All Grumpy Joe eats are potatoes.”

“Is your pony for sale?”

“Maybe.”

“How much is it?”

“An apology from you.”

“I’m sorry. Ok, can I have the pony now?”

“Make it sincere.”

“I’m so so sorry for calling you a maybe potato.”

“She’s all yours.”

I took the pony’s leash and climbed onto it. “78th and 3rd,” I said. The horse was still. “Move!” I screamed at the horse. People started looking at me. “Can someone help me move this pony?!”

Fast forward to when I finally got the pony to move. I dropped all the stuff at home. The last two things on my list were a spinning wheel and a unicorn. 

“How the heck do I get a unicorn?” I asked myself. I called an Uber and said hi. I took out my trusty mini bat and whacked him in the head. I only knocked him out for a little bit. 

“Sorry.” I mumbled. 

I got out of the car and took out my phone, dialing the number of my trusty car mechanic. I called him over and watched him remove bolts and lift up the car to get the tire. He had another appointment so he rushed off not noticing the Uber driver I had laid on the floor of the car. I got the tire out and left the car in the middle of the empty road. I rolled the tire back to my apartment. Jeff the doorman looked suspicious of the tire but I acted very normal. I said nothing and we made eye contact until the elevator door closed. Like I said, very normal. I hot glued the tire to my pottery wheel. There you go. A DIY spinning wheel.  

The last thing on the list was a unicorn. A majestic, elegant, unicorn. I know! I’ll just go to one of those witch stores. I called a Lyft because Uber isn’t letting me log in. 

The driver came, and he said, “So, you’re one of those people who believe in witches.”

“Nah man, I just need a unicorn.”

“Oh, yeah that makes it normal.”

The rest of the drive was quiet. We finally reached the witch store. I walked into the store and heard the bell ring.

“Hello?” I said, trying to make my voice heard. 

“Whatcha want?” An older woman came into view dressed in leggings and an orange off the shoulder shirt like she just came from an 80’s disco. 

“I need a unicorn.”

She went to the back of the shop. She came back with a stuffed unicorn in her hand. “50 bucks.”

“It’s fake.”

“Since when were unicorns a thing?” 

“Well, I need one.” 

“Go put a horn on a horse.” 

“When have you seen a brown unicorn?”

“Paint it.”

“Good idea.”

I left the shop and went home. When the time was right at the Gala, I would go to the bathroom, dump some paint on the pony, and stick the unicorn horn headband I wore for Halloween last year. 

The shopping list was done. I took a breath of relief. My phone dinged and I checked my phone. The contractor called in sick.


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