• 61°

April Jeppson: COVID-19 couldn’t stop this girls’ weekend

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson


This past weekend I had the joy of spending some time with my best friend. This trip was supposed to happen two months ago, but due to a worldwide pandemic, we had to wait. Very impatiently, we waited. While we waited for the day when the bans were lifted, we talked about how we needed to extend our trip. We missed each other so much that we mentally planned a three-day trip to Vegas and a weeklong trip to Mexico. We knew that 30 hours was not enough time to hang out, catch up and fill our cups.

Alas. Just like we never seem to relocate our trip to Des Moines, we also didn’t extend our trip or relocate it to some place with palm trees and a pool. We were so over it, that again, it didn’t matter where we landed, we just needed to see each other.

Due to the current state of our nation, our trip was a bit different. Keep in mind that Iowa has been open since the middle of May, so they are about a month ahead of us in the reopening game. Our first shopping location required us to wear masks. Due to the size of the small shop, I felt that it was a good call on their part.

During our pedicures, we were also required to wear masks. I did not mind this one bit. Often when I get my nails done, the technician wears a mask anyway, so the fact that now I had to pull mine up seemed natural. We had to make a reservation for our favorite restaurant, but that really wasn’t bad either. Honestly, the beginning of our trip felt pretty close to any other time we’d gotten together.

Then we ran over to Target but they were closed. They changed their hours, and I’ll be honest, I was a little bummed that I had to wait till the next day on that one, but I got over it. Back at the hotel, the pool was closed and the normal breakfast buffet was replaced with a bagged breakfast that consisted of an apple, bottle of water and a granola bar. Obviously, I missed the biscuits and gravy, but I figured my waistline could use the reprieve.

I finally got to go into Target (I was probably too excited). Due to Herbergers and Shopko closing, I haven’t really been clothes shopping in a while. I needed a few items, namely a new swimsuit and some new bras. I had my cart overflowing with things I was excited to try on. Then my girlfriend informs me that the dressing rooms are closed. What? Sadly I put 90% of the items in my cart back, because I don’t know about you, but I need to try clothes on before I buy them.

We hit up another store and grabbed lunch. Both stops felt fairly normal again. The COVID anger that the Target trip caused was almost out of my memory. Then we went over to Old Navy to see if they had anything worth purchasing. Prepared to try on nothing, I was also prepared to simply buy the one men’s T-shirt that had prompted the stop. Whoa and behold their dressing rooms were open! Whoo hooo! I tried on way more than I needed and purchased way more than I should have, but doggone it felt good. We needed to use the bathroom quick before we left. Nope. Bathrooms were blocked off and for employees only. Insert major eye roll and major crossed legs as we scurried off to Ulta.

Ulta is like the Gander Mountain for make-up and hair stuff. So as a recovering cosmetologist, I thoroughly enjoy my time spent there. Also was looking forward to hitting up their bathrooms. As we walk up to the doors, there’s a sign that says please text this number for drive-up deliveries. Their doors are locked and this whole stop was a dead-end.

Just like an oasis in the desert, we see a Michaels (the Gander Mountain of crafts). Please, sweet baby Jesus, have a public bathroom that we can use. Out of the eight years that my friend and I have been meeting up for these trips, I don’t know if we’ve ever gone into a Michaels. I like the store, but when you only have a day to get everything in, it just never made the list. Great news. They had a bathroom we could use and about $50 worth of fun stuff that apparently I needed.

All and all our trip was a roaring success. I laughed so hard I cried. I also laughed so hard I almost drowned on my sip of diet Pepsi. I hadn’t seen my best friend since last fall, and I tell you what. COVID has taken more out of me than I care to admit. It doesn’t matter where Dusty and I spend the weekend, it’ll be awesome because we get to see each other. I can also say that you can even take away our changing rooms and play hide and seek with our bathrooms, and we’ll still have a blast.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.