Tonight was my last shopping outing. I made a commitment to head out for one final shopping trip and then let the chips (or rather the gift cards) fall where they may. This is primarily because I am bound and determined that this season will be done the way that it is supposed to be done...enjoyed. Funny how when you have that mindset...either the universe cooperates and you feel great...or it laughs in your face.
Amazing how you can sit at work and figure out where all you need to go at 5:00...until it actually is 5:00 and you can no longer remember whose name you drew on Thanksgiving. You realize that you have failed to get the two things you really need...tissue paper and Nyquil...over the weekend...so you end up at the dreaded mecca of all things horrific about Christmas...
I parked in the garden center parking lot and trotted right in. So far...so good. There was one cart there...and the reason that it was still there immediately became evident. As it squeaked through the store and kept winding its way through the too narrow aisles like a two year old on a sugar high...taking off in random directions without provocation and against my will...I held on and tried to ignore the fact that every so often the cart would knock something off of a shelf or end cap. I picked up most of them...and nothing broke that I could hear...so I suppose it was all good.
I turned into the aisle and found the tissue paper almost immediately. This gave me the false impression that all would go smoothly in spite of the cart and its insistence in crashing into or at least toward any precariously stacked display. I've had strong willed shopping carts before...but this one was the mother of ALL strong willed shopping carts. Because I am rarely one to back down from a direct challenge, and because I was too lazy to walk the football field length of ths store to try for another one, I just kept fighting it. I went down my mental list and dropped a couple more items into the cart. Then I made a swing through the grocery section...nearly knocking over a lady and her twins with the cart...now christened the S.S. Linda Blair as I was convinced it was possessed.
Unable to force myself to pay $3.49 for a gallon of milk when I can get it for $2.39 at Costco, I settled for one package of Blue Bonnet - Brian's favorite - and moved on. Remembering that I needed to get the Nyquil to soothe Big Dave's hacking that has gone on for about two weeks now...I dropped the nasty green Nyquil package in the cart (got a 20% free package for the same price...yay me!) and then purchased the cherry flavored one for myself. To buy these, I had to get in line in the pharmacy as I was determined to use my medical spending account credit card. And who did I end up behind? Yep...the lady with the twins. She smiled uncomfortably at me and then broke in line in front of me. Heifer.
Anyway, I ended up with a couple of other items in the cart and then braved the Electronics section. It is a section that I find intimidating because there are alarms on most of the items, and everything that I've ever wanted was either out of stock, or behind glass and the salesperson was busy helping someone asking more questions than Alex Trebec. I found that the two items I was indeed looking for were not to be found...and I was actually advised to try Best Buy.
I will not shop at Best Buy until someone greets me at the door saying "Merry Christmas" and lets me use my $10 off of a $100 purchase on electronics. As the chances that this organization - who according to www.biggovernment.com - put a happy holidays greeting to Muslims (Eid al-Adha...whatever THAT is) - in their Thanksgiving greeting but who choke on the word Christmas will do such is about the same as me joining Heidi Klum on the runway at the Victoria's Secret showcase thing I will not be watching this week.
I ended up checking out with little trauma or drama...and got the bags to the car in pretty much record time. I then headed to Books-A-Million and cleared out their clearance book section because I am low on reading material and I found the cutest book that I've wanted to buy anyway...on sale. I almost bought Celia Rivenbark's "Quit Dressing Your 6 Year Old Like a Skank" but put it back because I've already ordered it on amazon.com for $4 from some discount bookseller in Atlanta.
Shopping is traumatic in that you spend large quantities of money at one time on items that you are not truly sure will be well received. I still don't know if what made it into the cart will actually be something anyone is interested in opening on Christmas morning. But hopefully, amid all of the excitement and the sugar high from the Sister Schubert's rolls that I traditionally serve because I am too lazy to cook a proper meal...all will be well.