The legal profession, their associates and their support groups, or at least those whom are our clients, did not return to work on Friday, after Thanksgiving Thursday. Dana made his customary trip to the office, but was home within a couple of hours.
Having spent most of the day in the kitchen on Thursday, and despite the brief interlude at Joe's, I was starting to feel a little 'stir crazy', and although I had no need to take advantage of specific sales, I was in need of specific groceries. The additional items that had been purchased to make the Thanksgiving Dinner a feast that could have fed the entire original Thanksgiving party, were mostly 'add-ons'.
Dana accompanied me to Costco. Although not quite the 'kid in the candy store', he was quite fascinated by all the snack items offered, and more fascinated at my ability to 'map out' the offering stands. My internal 'GPS' was working overtime and I led him around the track, with precision, without repitition, to each scrumptious repast. We were fed enough tidbits to give us the energy to shop for the essentials. We did deviate off the beaten track, slightly, and looked at items other than those of an edible nature, but I did not need a new camera, Dana had no interest in the sweatshirts, and I was not in the market for a new 'best friend', despite the gleam that was produced from the diamond counter! We mused at the electronics, commented on how slender the television sets had become, then paid for our produce and left the warehouse. We arrived home to a tremendous welcome from the puppy, and prepared two plates of 'leftovers' to be consumed whilst watching football.
By four o'clock, I was started to feel slightly restless, and drove to the mall, to see if there were any offers that needed to be redeemed. Parking was not a problem, and I walked into the large complex with a spring in my step. The shoe shop was not too crowded, but neither eye was caught by anything magnificent. However, the clothes shop opposite was very busy, and the children that were being shopped for, did not seem to appreciate their parents' good intentions. Tantrums were mere showers compared to the tempests that raged. I avoided tripping over several toddlers, who had sat themselves on the ground, refusing to move. Their parents appeared to be oblivious to their having 'lost' a child, but perhaps like in the animal kingdom, a mother recognises her child's bleat and if it can no longer be heard, that is when she comes back in search. The bleating was enough to eject me from the store and I made my way to the department store that usually has a 'too good to miss' opportunity in the footwear category. I was disappointed! I had intended visiting a couple more stores, but the spring in my step that was evident when I entered, had turned into a winter crawl, and I left the complex dragging a very weary attitude behind me!
Saturday morning started early. Dana and the dog left for the office, as the mail needed to be checked, and the weekend maintenance had to be completed. I was happily going about my business, with plans to leave for the airport at around 10am. I telephoned my mum and was attempting to start my computer to see if there were any last minute delays, when I received a message stating that my daughter had not seen her car in the 'cell phone' lot! They were on the runway; where was I? The plane had landed twenty minutes earlier than scheduled. As the final leg of their trip was from Atlanta, I had not predicted such a tremendous tailwind. Perhaps it was caused by the tempest from the Georgia malls! After a quick shower, a quick check of the temperature to assess my attire, and a quick exit from the house, (fully appropriately clothed,) I drove Samantha's car to the airport. Despite their early arrival, and my late departure by the time they had collected their bags, and stepped out of the building, I had entered the perimeter of the airport, and their wait was minimal. After quick hugs, I took up residence in the back seat and Samantha took the wheel, with Edward by her side and we drove to the outlet mall.
Perhaps it was the fact that my children are house hunting, and their priorities have altered, or perhaps it is because there is nothing new and of consequence on the market at this time, but the outing was not very long. We departed with few bags. The ladies in my favourite dress shop were, again, disappointed at my shopping without my 'dashing' husband, but happy to relieve me of a modest amount of dollars. The 'babywear' shop relieved me of slightly more and I left before any real damage could be done to my financial status! We departing having, once again, avoided tripping up over small screaming heaps, which had appeared in each shop we entered.
The unscheduled stop at the pet shop was not successful. I am not sure as to what was the intended purchase, but my meandering took me to an aisle in which I was sorry I was stranded. Although behind glass, those legless serpents are still quite intimidating, and I stood frozen to the spot. Samantha came to rescue me, but unfortunately spotted the giant arachnid that was in the tank beneath the python, and we edged our way to the back of the shop, so that we could then run down the opposite side and escape through the front door, leaving a confused Edward behind!
My intention is not necessarily to embarrass my son-in-law, although sometimes, (and I did not reduce to a screaming heap on the floor,) my childlike temperament overtakes. I had been chatting quite happily to a store associate, at a warehouse that was not Costco (but shares part of my daughter's first name) as he was rather interested in my native land. As I walked back along the ailse to join my party, I noticed some gift cards. Taking one from the stand, I offered it to Edward, and then suggested that I should perhaps stand and hand them out. The look of initial horror left his face, as Edward realised that I was merely joking, although he failed to see the humour that his wife and I shared. I started to giggle, and am sorry to say, could not stop. Howling, as I tend to do when no one else finds it funny, I let the tantrum play out and finally regained composure. I am sure that each time he offers to take his mother-in-law on a shopping spree, he vows, 'Never again'!
The electronic store held no interest for me, so I walked across the car park to the adjoining strip centre and entered the Dollar Tree. With everything at a dollar the bargains were no different to any other time of year, but I was in need of some olive oil and there are very few places that can beat their prices, if indeed, any! They did not have any cooking oil, but as usual, the clientele were very polite and jolly. It was the 'pick me up' needed to continue with the day, and I strolled to another store and browsed. The boots were, unfortunately, not in my size but another store may have what I was looking for. With a few quick taps on her computerised wand, the assistant informed me of my options. She offered to call the 'sister' stores to reserve the item for me, but I declined. Having found the navy boots, I was having second thoughts on the price. Although in the sale, they were still far more than my usual footwear budget, and the purchase would have been more of a whim, than that of necessity. I strolled around a little longer, before heading back across the wilderness to the large building housing all things computerised.
Our final stop was at our honeymoon destination. When Dana and I 'registered' our marriage at the courthouse, several years ago, we headed out to buy some much needed supplies at 'Frys', the large electronic store on the north side of town. I am sure I have 'posted' about my having had a rather nasty cold, and him having deposited me in the café with a cup of coffee, and my subsequent effort to find him. When I did so, being so full of cold, I looked like I had been crying, and when asked if everything was okay by an unsuspecting salesman (and I truly apologise) I said that we had been married for less than half an hour, and he had already 'dumped' me. I then dubbed the store as our 'Honeymoon destination'. Samantha and Edward followed the same route, after 'registering' their marriage, and 'honeymooned' in Fry's, although he did not leave her in the café! I was in desperate need of liquid refreshment, and while they headed to the aisle that houses all the wires and things that make computers work, I went in search of a hot beverage. "A good choice", I was told by the young man who was to make my drink. I explained to him, and his two female co-workers, that I felt like my mother, needing a 'nice cup of tea' mid afternoon. It appeared that they were glad of the additional company, especially one with an accent and we chatted for a few minutes before I departed into the obstacle course, which was littered with small, screaming bundles, all of whom were very tired, very distressed, and very loud! I did buy a cable for my phone, and a bag of sweets, as a reward, for the two very well behaved children who had been my chauffeurs for the day!
After being reunited with their dog, the kids left my house, and I relayed the day's events to my husband. Uninteresting as it was compared to the football matches that were being played, he feigned enthusiasm very well, and I kept my stories to a minimum! We then met Samantha and Edward for dinner.
A good nights sleep, without an animal jumping on and off the bed, was a pure delight. No growling, barking, whimpering or any other such animal sounds were heard, and Dana settled down for the night without mentioning that he missed his four legged friend! I was just happy to have a pillow and a modicum of mattress!
Bargains were presumably found by many. Shelves had been cleared by the end of the weekend, and I assume all the excess screaming bundles that had appeared all over the retail floor spaces were collected, and taken back to their respective homes. However, all did not settle back to normality, as Christmas is around the corner, and the stores are still offering 'deals and steals'. With two weekends left before the big day, retail outlets are not going to be quiet! Despite shopping online being a very popular alternative, sometimes a 'browse' is the only way!
My shopping trips have not yet been completed, as I have a few 'orders' from across the pond. Of course, despite their only being two weekends left to shop, another way of looking at it is that there are still two weekends to shop! Mayhem and madness are sure to be on the agenda, although normally they are just headed ..... another story!