Friday, March 14, 2008

Going Shopping with Mil

I don’t much like to shop. I never really have. When I brave the stores I usually know exactly what I want, go straight to that aisle, pick it up and head for the register. Not that shopping with a friend can’t be amusing, but in general I don’t enjoy shopping. I don’t like shopping for food. I don’t like shopping for clothes. I hate shopping for presents that the person who will be receiving it probably doesn’t really want but which you are obligated to buy anyway. OK so that is a whole ‘nother rant that I will maybe save for next December.

My mother-in-law lives in my basement. When she first came here she didn’t have a car, having just moved from the Hawaiian Islands. She didn’t know her way around either. She loves to shop. She not only loves to shop, she loves to take things back to the store a few days later. I knew that her side of the family had made discount (read that junk) shopping into an art form but I didn’t really have any idea what I was in for that first time I brought her to town to get her driver’s license so that she’d be able to register her brand new used car (silly state laws).

So I pull around to her apartment on the down hill side of my house and open the car door for her like a good little chivalrous daughter-in-law. She is carrying a Walmart bag with a plastic storage container with a broken top. Surely I won’t mind stopping by Walmart while we’re out so she can return it. It clearly wasn’t made well. Fine.

We do the DOT thing (couldn’t actually get her license that day because of some paperwork issue) and head towards Walmart but she mentions that she wants to look at wild bird feeders. Fine, no problem. We stop by Lowes cause I know the wild bird feeder aisle is real close to the front door and I know she walks slightly faster than the South American Three Toed Sloth climbs. Oh! Let’s look at showers. (We don’t yet have the shower installed in her apartment at this point.) Reasonable request. Fine, we head for the back of the store. She stands in front of the showers just looking. While we stood there looking at showers, somewhere in South America a sloth picked and ate a four course meal. While we are in the back of the store we stop to look at toaster ovens. She had one in Hawaii that was perfect. She could even bake little cakes and pies in it. She looks over the selection; rejects them all since she really wants one exactly like the one she left behind. We finally head for the wild bird feeder aisle where we repeat the stand and stare routine. I point out a style I particularly like, it being squirrel proof and all and she stares unblinking. She is perhaps memorizing the pattern of rivets holding together the metal shelves? I point out a few more nice ones. I point out a cheap one. I point out some that hang directly on the window glass. I suggest that she can have mine (I can always buy new ones). We finally leave.

OK so who doesn’t love Walmart? Well, besides me. She returns her broken plastic container and mentions that Walmart would have wild bird feeders. Yes it would but… OK so they are far far away from the customer service desk, practically on another planet. No problem, we can walk there. Fine. While we walked across the store and stood in the wild bird feeder aisle, I am sure our South American Three Toed friend found a wife, consummated his relationship and then took a long nap. I pointed out several nice choices, squirrel proof, cheap, suction cups, big, little. Gahhhhhhhhhhh! I again offer her mine. (I can always buy more some day when she isn’t with me.) While we’re in Walmart we should look at toaster ovens. *sigh* OK Fine. They have a really nice one with a rotisserie attachment and two racks and the front glass curves out to give it a touch more space inside. I go to another aisle and find a cake pan, open an unopened toaster oven box, dig out the toaster oven since naturally the one she was interested in wasn’t on display. I demonstrate how nicely the cake pan fits in the toaster oven. She decides the cake would burn on the sides and she really wants one exactly like the one she left behind. Just like mine. OK so I have nothing against new appliances. I buy the new toaster oven. She can have my old one. Eventually I got her out of the store.

Did I mention, I don’t much like to shop?


NS said...

I feel your pain. This brought back some really bad memories for me. I'm vowing to move to S.A. and find myself a sloth to hang with rather than go through this again.

Wamblings said...

No one should have to go shopping with anyone on my husband's side of the family. If a judge were to sentence a criminal to a shopping trip with any one of them, the defendant's lawyer would appeal it to a higher court on grounds of cruel and unusual punishment.

Fortunately we eventually got her driver's license sorted, and car registration, and now this 89 year old drives herself everywhere. (and you only thought the streets of Cleveland were safe - well except for when I'm writing poetry while driving of course) I know the gal at the returns desk at Walmart must consider Mil a major source of job security.

Anyway, when you are ordering those plane tickets, get me a one way. Last I knew, sloths don't shop and they don't do returns.

jennifer said...

I am rudely laughing at your pain! Oh Wamblings. That is just too much. You should be sainted. Saint Wamblings, patron saint of the young caring for elderly parents.

My shepherd's hook that I put out Thursday is now bent from the squirrel that jumped on the bird feeder. No surprise that I own a warped bird feeder. No surprise at all.

Have a great weekend. I am going to stroll around and see what else you posted.


Wamblings said...

LOL. What would be the use of having a humor blog if you didn't make people laugh.

I am wondering what you feed those squirrels. *imagines 80 pound squirrel dropping from tree branch to shepherd's hook*

jennifer said...

More laughter! You should see our dog chase those squirrels - they just look so plump and juicy!

I read a poem on a site today and I liked what it said. It was interesting. If you are curious, look at my blogroll and find Kimmie, she is the author. I am not an expert on poetry but her thoughts were nice.


Nineran said...

I love to buy things, but hate spending money. But I don't like it if I'm supposed to tag along when someone else shops. I can feel your pain.

Edna Lee said...

I, too, share your hatred for shopping, but admire your ability to keep your mother-in-law in the basement. What's your secret?

Wamblings said...

Jen, I went over and checked out Kimmie's poem. Thanks for pointing me that way.

Nineran, Tagging along on someone else's shopping trip is horribly painful. The worst (next to Mil, or her daughters) is my daughter shopping for shoes. I swore to myself I'd NEVER do that again.

Edna, LOL, One morning Mil came traipsing up the steps before I'd gotten around to getting dressed. At the time we had no kids at home so I was lounging around stark naked. She has waited to be invited up every since. wicked grin