Random retail ruminations of the valentiney variety
Saturday, February 23, 2019 at 02:44PM

The week preceding Valentine's Day was, for me, fraught with missteps and mishaps and near-misses and -- I am happy and grateful to report -- swift and satisfying resolution of all of the above.

Still. It was mildly harrowing.

Or at least it had the potential to be.

Allow me to elaborate.

It all began (continued?) on the Saturday before Valentine's Day, when TG and I were out and about, doing a fair amount of shopping, because my best buddy at church had a birthday the next day.

I had her gift but I wanted a stick balloon to go with it.

Except, our search for said item at a certain oversized (and overly vexing) retailer which I will not name, was frustratingly fruitless because out of the hundreds of stick balloons available, not one was of the Happy Birthday persuasion.

They were all Valentine's Day balloons and that's not what I needed. 

I mean, I get it: Valentine's Day is five days away and people are shopping for their flowers and cards and chocolates and stuffed animals and what-not, and as a cutesy add-on, a ninety-seven-cent stick balloon fits the bill nicely. 

A cheap thrill, as it were.

But holy smokes, people have birthdays in February too! Leave two or three birthday balloons out for those people.

Nope. None to be found. The landscape had been cleansed of everything resembling a birthday balloon.

So TG and I moved on, and he had the idea of going to Dollar General where they were sure to have birthday-themed stick balloons.

There's one near our house (a DG, that is), and so we went there, and after asking a nice young man wearing a name tag whether we might find any non-Valentine stick balloons on the premises, and being told noooo ... don't think soooo ... we found them with no help from anyone.

They were right over by the greeting cards, which made perfect sense. And there's a minute of my life I wasted asking for help when I didn't need any help. Let that be a lesson.

Having secured my birthday balloon for Joyce's present, I also scored a few Valentine-themed stickers and a small craft project to do with Dagny during the coming love-obsessed week.

Then I decided to go in search of one more item -- a certain kind of cosmetic bag at a certain negligible price -- which I found instantly and was all, wow, look, cool, I'm getting this.

So it was that upon checkout, we had items in two bags (the super-find cosmetic purse going into a plastic bag all its own). Except, when TG was paying I grabbed one bag (the one with a stick balloon sticking out of it and stickers and such stuck down inside it) and walked out.

TG followed me and as we got into the car (actually I first attempted to get into a car that looked just like ours ... not even the same make and model ... but it was dark ... both the night and the cars), TG and I were chatting about something or other.

The Raven was perpendicular to the store, as we'd just backed out of our parking space and were ready to roll, as it were, when in my peripheral vision I noticed a sudden flurry of movement.

Turned out it was the DG cashier, another nice young man, running -- literally sprinting -- towards our car, brandishing my forgotten bag which contained the second half of our order.

I opened the door (I have difficulty finding the right button to push to lower my window, especially in the dark, so I didn't even try) and thanked him profusely and took my second bag, wondering how I could have forgotten that.

The next day, after church, it was decided that TG and I would take Dagny out to lunch and back to our house for a nap. It was a cold, rainy day and she naps better at my house than at home.

Audrey wanted a quiet afternoon to herself and who can blame her?

Brittany and Andrew joined us at one of our favorite places for Italian -- TG and I were both peckish for lasagna and Dagny's order is ALWAYS spaghetti.

I do believe that child would walk into an ice cream parlor and order spaghetti. She'd order spaghetti at Starbucks. She'd ask for spaghetti at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. She'd request a dish of spaghetti at Vinny's Vegan Venue.

With no shame.

When we go over to Andrew and Brittany's for dinner, somebody stops by the store and picks up a microwaveable single-serving of spaghetti. That way we'll be able to have a conversation while Dag is occupied getting the noodles onto her fork and into her mouth.

But at an Italian place? Yeah; spaghetti. And she eats five or six bites, then the rest goes home in a box. But what sacred silence while she manages those half-dozen bites.

That Sunday -- the one before Valentine's Day -- was no different. Except, as the fates would have it, Dagny was wearing a winter-white dress. The Nautica number we got her for Christmas.

My lasagna got cold from the number of times I jumped up to re-drape her with napkins.

When she was finished? Her outfit was decorated with so many orangey spaghetti-sauce spots, I knew I'd have to treat the stains and wash the frock while she was snoozing in my bed that afternoon. There was nothing else for her to wear back to church that evening.

Oh well. I am so blessed to have a bottle of Spray 'n Wash on the shelf in my laundry room. I know how to use it, too: Spray. Wash.

But when we left the restaurant? I was about to board The Raven when our waiter came out wildly waving something white.

The box containing the remainder of Dagny's bisketti.

Because I myself had asked for said box, placed most of the child's entree inside it, and promptly left it on the table.

Great save by the vigilant waitstaff of Papa Gio's. He could've just pitched the box. Saluto.

I should introduce him to the nice kid at DG who ran after me the night before with my left-behind cosmetic bag. They have so much in common.

That afternoon, while Dagny slept, TG watched over her and I went shopping.

I do that maybe one Sunday afternoon a year; it's anything BUT my habit. However, I had a major Kohl's (I go there maybe once a year too) discount, and I wanted to shop for the birthday of one of my kids who likes certain lines of merchandise at Kohl's.

Why on a Sunday, you may ask. Because I was dressed and had already been out and about, and Sunday afternoon is limbo time.

As in, it was something productive to do in a dead two hours without having to get gussied up to go out on a weekday when I'd rather stay home.

So to Kohl's I went, and I wasn't there long at all before I found exactly what I needed. I think I ended up with four things.

Except, when I got home, my bag contained only three things. And a receipt for four things.

I called Kohl's. I asked for the department where I'd been shopping and where I'd actually checked out.

The kind (if ditzy) sales clerk remembered me (it had been all of sixteen minutes), apologized, and assured me that she had my missing purchase. She'd neglected to put it into my bag.

She offered to leave it at Customer Service with some Kohl's Cash included for my trouble, since I'd have to go back after church that night to fetch it.

I was tempted to ask her why she didn't fly out of the store behind me, waving the missing item, and stop me from leaving without it. And whether she'd like to meet the guy from DG and the guy from PG, because they could show her how it's done.

But I didn't.

Is there a moral to this story? No. Except, check before you leave anywhere -- ANYwhere -- to make sure you're taking away everything that's yours.

Speaking of what's mine, TG gave me some beautiful (costume) jewelry for Valentine's Day. Good and gallant and charming man that he is, he let me pick it out.

And since I bought it online, there was no checking out without what I'd he'd paid for.

As a surprise however, TG left the mug pictured at the top of this post, beside the coffee pot on Valentine's Day morning (I get up later than he does), with a romantic card.

Funny Trump-isms aside, if my husband of nearly forty years really thinks I'm a great wife, beautiful and terrific and fantastic, compared to whom all other wives are total disasters?

He's delusional. But that's the kind of romance I like.

And that is all for now.


Happy Saturday

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