Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The 90 Minutes I Will Never Get Back...

Me and my wife have been poking around for a new stroller with bigger wheels to make walks a little easier and found ourselves at "Once Upon A Child", which is a "gently used" children's store. They sell toys, book, clothes, etc., that they have purchased used from folks who have no need of them. The quality of the merchandise is very good, and since my kids grow out of clothes monthly, I like the discount. They also sell brand new merchandise, and we were able to find the stroller we wanted for less than other retailers carrying the same thing, not to mention the owner gave us a 10% off coupon. Nice. Needless to say, I was pleased. Mama got her new jogging stroller and I got to be cheap about it, yes!

Then everything changed...

Mrs. Bullfrog mentioned there was a crafts store around the corner and she wanted to stop in to buy a "few things" to make Christmas decorations. The original plan was for Mama and our daughter to take time together to do this bit of shopping and The Boy and I would go to the park or something. But, here we were, so I conceded.

I have not often ventured into a store like this one, so I don't know if it could be considered "typical", but it had what I have to assume is all a person would need to "make stuff": Baskets, seasonal empty wreaths, cinnamon pine cones, paint, fabric, aisles of ribbon, you get the point. Not to mention I was 1 of maybe 3 guys in the place, which was crawling with women picking over merchandise planning their next project. Of the 3 of "us", 1 was actually carrying a basket and looked pretty happy, while the "other one" and I had been brought by our wives and were making the best of it.

I poked around some and goofed around with my son, trying to keep him from getting squirmy, such is his way when he gets tired of riding around in a shopping cart for too long.

From time to time, wifey would ask questions about this or that "thingamabob" or if I liked a particular gold ribbon more than the next for hanging pine cones on our tree. What she got back was a barely coherent, "Dunno" and/or a shrug of the shoulders. It's not that I really do have an opinion about the gold ribbon and do not want to emasculate myself by sharing, it's really that I have NO OPINION about it. She understands, and doesn't give me grief about it, 1 of the many things I love about my wife.

Then she found some clothy, ribbon-type stuff that needed to be measured and cut by the service department. So she went to the counter and took a number, which put us about 3 people back from the head of the line. I busied myself looking at a computerized sewing machine which was doing some custom embroidery on a blanket or something. It was unattended, so I was intrigued, and my son stopped squirming and asking to be released from the confines of the cart. Bonus.

It was at that point that I got a surprise: The Mrs. handed me her number "60" and asked me to wait and get 2 yards of the ribbon... stuff... I really don't know what it is! It isn't ribbon, but it is long and on a spindle thing... never mind.

I didn't know what to say. I just stared blankly at her while I envisioned what I would look like standing in a crafts store with my son holding a number and a spindle full of "what's-it" asking for "2 yards".

Mama didn't have time to wait for me to think it over, so she handed me everything and said, "I'll be back." and scurried off with our daughter.

So I am standing there in what can only be considered complete disinterest. There is not 1 single thing about this store that I am interested in exploring or purchasing. I made small talk with an older woman who had come to check on the automated embroidery machine after she mentioned she had a grandson about my son's age, which she overestimated at 3. Happens all the time: my son is 50th percentile according to the doctor, but people consistently think he is older.

Anyway, my number was up (I don't think I have ever used that in a literal sense before) and I asked for the lady to cut me off 2 yards and went on my way to find the rest of my family. I found it comforting to be near my wife in such a place as this as I believed it provided an answer to anyone who might ask themselves, "What is he doing in here?"

We spent a little more time looking for the right beads, sequins, felt, and other goodies Mama needed to complete her Christmas decorating plans. After about an hour and a half, we were leaving and I have to be honest, I was exhausted and have vowed never to return to such a place as it holds nothing for me.

That said, the decorations are turning out quite nicely and the kids are having a blast helping out. Thank God for women.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Lazy Blogging...

I decided to take a week off before the end of the year, and accidentally scheduled it right after the 4 day Thanksgiving weekend. A stroke of genius, as now I have eleven days away from work (aside from compulsively checking my work email, don't tell the Mrs.!).

So far it has been really relaxing, and although I anticipated having more time to blog than usual, I have found that I only even get online once or twice a day for a few minutes. So I have been checking the blog roll and stopping by, not commenting much. I guess you could call it "Lazy Blogging".

I have been spending most time outdoors with the family as this time of year is ideal for it in the desert valley where we live: cold mornings and afternoons rising to about 70 degrees with very clear blue skies! We had my wife's father over for a couple days, which was a blessing. My son really bonded with "Gampa", a very cool thing to see!

I have been cooking a bit and will probably finally get my BBQ rib recipe up on my recipe blog shortly. I also made some killer bratwurst this week, so I will probably scribble that down as well.

By the way, the picture I chose may imply that I am doing some fishing while on sabbatical. I WISH!