Let’s get it on the record that I’m not much of a shopper. I shop when I have to, and if things are going well, I maybe even enjoy it, but I never do it purely for pleasure. I like it in small doses and preferably at Mom ‘n Pop stores. Malls and huge department stores give me a headache with their hard floors and over-stimulating expanse of unbridled commercialism and swarming shoppers. I can do miles of outdoor trail walking, but shop-walking kills me.
My dynamo of a boyfriend, on the other hand, seems to enjoy shopping and is always looking for a good deal. Last evening, I innocently accompanied him on a trip to Harbor Freight, coupons in hand, to pick up a jack and maybe a new overhead car tarp. That was fine. He found the jack right away. Then on to the tarps. Seems he’d forgotten to measure his old one so we speculated, had the stock guy check in the back for a missing size, then finally decided on one that should do the job. A couple items later and a long wait in the check-out line and we were on our way. Not home as I’d assumed. To Sam’s Club…
My energy was starting to wane, but I’m a trouper and Sam’s Club, despite its miles of concrete floors and holiday shoppers, wasn’t going to get me down. After forty-five minutes up and down the aisles, trying to keep up with Mr. Dynamo, my tote bag grew heavier, and I grew weaker. I found myself sliding my feet along the floor instead of walking. But I kept my wilting spirits up. We were almost done.
Or so I thought.
It seems there was a little unmentioned trip to Wal-Mart on the way home. “Just to pick up some frozen fish,” he promised. I dragged my weary body and my 50 pound tote bag into the store with him, snagging a cart to prop me and my tote bag up. “Just the fish” turned into a search for firewood starter, a “thing” for the kitchen sink, and oh yeah, he could use a new spatula. After extensive debate over the merits of this spatula versus that, one was chosen. The firewood-starter deliberation was worthy of the soul-searching required for a marriage proposal. After doing some mental math, one brand was finally selected and tossed into the cart. We passed through the bird feeder aisle and several were inspected, considered and dismissed. And then, “Since we’re so close to the garden shop, let’s look for a Christmas cactus.”
While he looked at the Christmas cacti, I found a big sack of fertilizer to sit down on, starting to get punch drunk and unsuccessfully resisting the urge to giggle. I was getting hungry and needed a Reese’s peanut butter cup to brace me up. But, naturally, they were at the other end of the store by the registers.
Finally, after miles and miles of stop ‘n go shopping, we were finished! I bravely resisted the peanut butter cup, we checked out, and headed home. For real this time.
And wouldn’t you know it, after unloading all the bags, we discovered that somehow the winning spatula got lost in the shuffle! BUT the car tarp was a perfect fit.