Stories from the field of battle are often so laden; heavy with raw emotion, alive with adrenaline and urgency, and momentous as turning points in history itself. So today, I brace myself as I blog about my experience: I went Christmas shopping this afternoon.
I knew it would be busy, and my shark-like circling around the parking lot looking for a space in the same time zone confirmed it. Drive, look, turn, oooh, are they going to their car?, try to follow, find out someone else has seen it first, look to see tail lights and think oh! at last! only to realize they're arriving, not leaving.
My first stop was a store that will remain nameless except to call it "A store with a ludicrously large amount of toys and a backwards R in the name". I am so very glad of one thing: I went in with a good attitude and came out with it intact. I found the whole thing more amusing than frustrating. Nobody yet had the look of raw panic that's more likely to come in a few weeks' time, but the place was just plain crowded. And whoever designed the stores really must have a chat with the people who designed the shopping carts. Either one's to narrow, or the other's too wide. Passing someone coming the opposite way required precision driving, and signal lights wouldn't have been out of place.
I found a few good candidates for the girlies, then decided to look for one thing from A's list, just to get an idea of pricing and such. She'd seen a thing called "D-Rex", a remote-controlled dinosaur, advertised on TV and it quickly made its way to the top of her list. So, dutifully, I looked in the section called the "Imaginarium" where there were other dino-ish things. No luck. Seeing a slightly frazzled-looking clerk there, I nicely asked if she knew where one was to be found. Did I know the company? No, sorry. Hmm, maybe in here (this while I tried to weave my too-wide cart through the too-narrow aisles), or in here. Nope. Sorry!
I continued through the store, thinking, maybe in with the boyish toys. Peeking down each aisle didn't find it, so I saw another employee and repeated my question. "Oh, I heard someone say we had that!" (insert surge of hopefulness here). "It's over in the Imaginarium section".
Oh, ok. Maybe I missed it. Back I went, past crying kids and frustrated parents, weaving around more Hannah Montana junk than I could shake a stick at. Did I mention that the two departments are on opposite sides of this very large store?
Tried the Imaginarium section again - maybe I'd missed it the first time. Oh, good - two employees to ask. Did they know where the elusive dinosaur might be found? "Oh, it would definitely be with the boys' toys."
I thanked them for their help, turned, and walked out to the checkout. I laughed the whole way.
Never did find the thing.
But I just googled it, and it goes for $150, so I won't have to search for it again, either. Mission accomplished!