The Shopping Trip

With Andra and Tori

Journal Entry for December 19, 2011

We started out the day with high hopes. We only had a few gifts left to
purchase and if all had gone as planned we wouldn't need another trip tomorrow,
but such was not the case. Our first stop was the local postal store to buy
stamps to mail our Christmas cards. The line was short, the wait no more than
three minutes. We quickly put the stamps on our cards and were out of there in
less than ten minutes. The traffic was light and we were making good time to
our next destination. I knew exactly where to go as I had looked the store up
online before we left. Unfortunately either the map was wrong or the store had
moved. We drove through three strip malls looking for the shop with no luck.
Fortunately we have a plan B and C for this particular person, so we wrote off
that 20 minutes and that gift and moved on to our next store.

Traffic is now getting worse, but we are nearly at our next destination, so with
a short detour around the traffic we manage to get into the lot. We even
managed to find a parking space three from the top of the row. Could this be
any better? As we are walking up to the front door we notice many people
leaving the store and are then told by a passing former shopper that the
electricity has gone out and everyone was asked to leave. That's when we
finally notice that in fact the entire strip mall has lost power. And then I
put two and two together and realize why the traffic is so bad. So, strike
two. Still no gifts, no plan B for the items needed at this store and my
shopping companion, the love of my life, is getting cranky. Have I mentioned
before that she does not like to shop and that Christmas shopping, in
particular, rates right up there with tooth extraction for her?

Back in the car we now spend about 20 minutes getting through two traffic lights
as we try to make our way to the freeway. Had I been alone it wouldn't have
been so bad, but my love has never been one for traffic (either) and if you
combine that with the Christmas shopping then you will understand why my only
defense was to turn up the cheery Christmas carols on the radio. However that
distraction only worked until we heard our third rendition of Frosty The
Snowman. In her defense even I cannot understand why the station only plays
maybe 10 songs. Oh they have about 10 versions of each of them, but you can see
the problem. Frosty is Frosty, no matter who sings it or how they attempt to
dress it up.

The good news is that once we are out of the traffic, it is just a short drive
to our next store. Target. You can get anything in the world in Target except
for a parking space in the same state and the item we went to find. Yes, this
was Plan B for our failed first expedition. First we thought logically. It's a
model of a dinosaur and needs to be painted once assembled, so let's go to the
models. No. Alright, let's go to the entire huge section of toys. No. We
walk the entire toy section together. No. Separately. No. Then we ask a nice
young store associate for help. First he takes us to where it should be – no.
Then to another area – you guessed it, no. He apologizes and abandons me and my
now seriously scowling partner. At this point even I'm becoming discouraged but
can't show it because That would just feed the mood of my less than happy
companion. Smile and think. Ok, think harder. Ah! Coloring books, find them
and maybe we'll get lucky, after all there will be crayons, paints and just
maybe – YES, the last dinosaur model paint kit. I hand it to the love of my
life, scan the list of other items we need which we easily find (finally God has
decided to go play shopping tricks on some other unsuspecting person) and head
to checkout.

One more store and then we can go home. We are somewhat more fortunate in our
parking at this store. I realized if I squinted really hard I could make out
the building in the distance, which meant we were still in the same time zone as
the people inside shopping. I tell my companion to get a cart and then have to
caution her not to give me that look, that we cannot possibly carry all the
items in our hands. This should be fast even with all the other shoppers and
their carts. I knew without a doubt we would find all the needed items in this
store. First item, something my mother-in-law has wanted for a long time. Now
it's nothing frivolous or that she couldn't go and get herself, the problem is,
she never will. She's been asking for them from everyone. The famed silicone
oven mitt. But no, no easy choice this. There are four different makers of
said oven mitt and no less than eight colors to choose from.

While I am debating the virtues of a blue mitt over a red mitt in brand A of the
oven mitt, my partner has discovered that brand B looks like a sock puppet,
places it on her hand and proceeds to have the sock puppet tell me she is
bored. I remind her in my calmest voice that there are overhead security
cameras and to please remove the oven mitt from her hand and put it back where
she found it. Big mistake because now she knows I don't think it is funny and
this is the perfect way to get back at me for making her go shopping. She is
having fun and waves at the camera telling me this is probably the most fun the
security staff have had all day. The sock puppet then proceeds to try to
convince me to buy it over my choice and begins to tout all its virtues. I ask
her to please stop. I finally warn her that if she does not put the oven mitt
back I'll leave her there talking to herself with am sock puppet, er...oven mitt
on her hand. That seems to work. I am able to make my choice from brand A, in
peace, and settle on the blue one. I turn around in time to see the sock puppet
mocking me. Yes, this is going to be a long day. I leave her standing there
with an oven mitt on her hand. However, her normal good mood has returned and
for that I was grateful. With a minimum of difficulty we do manage to find all
the needed gifts from this store. Head to checkout and our luck seems to be
holding, because we are able to walk straight to a register. How cool is that!

Now, what does a poor brat do with a top that wont behave? Had that been me
acting up on this shopping trip, by the time I had the sock puppet on my hand, I
would have received a stern warning from Andra about the spanking I could expect
to receive when we got home and that further when she was finished, we could
test out the oven mitt to see if it was in fact good up to 500 degrees. Life is
so unfair.


PS - I dare not tell Andra, but I just found out someone had already purchased
the model dinosaur kit and since they ordered theirs online, it is only fair
that we return ours. I think I'll go alone. Thank goodness for Plan C.

PPS - guess what I found at the toy store? Yep, the item from Plan A. I know
this probably all falls under that top rule of lying by omission, but I think
I'll keep this to myself too.

The Christmas Song

Here is my contribution to the Tea Room Challenge. I hope you enjoy.

This is sung to the tune of Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire (The Christmas Song). 


The Christmas Song
(aka A Brat Carol)

My butt's roasting like an open fire, 
Tears are dripping down my nose, 
Pleas sung louder and higher, 
Pushing off using my toes. 

Everybody knows a paddle applied staccato 
Will help to make my bottom bright. 
My loving top with his eyes all a-glow, 
Will make it hard for me to sleep tonight. 

I know that more is on the way; 
He gave me extra to ensure that I obey
With every other swat he is going to try, 
To see if he can really make me fly. 

And so I'm offering this simple phrase, 
To brats from one to ninety-two, 
Although it's been said many times, many ways, 
Don't disobey if you know what's good for youuuuuuu