No–not my Wii-search, thank gods…
Let me start from the beginning. Six years ago today, my buddy and I embarked on a bizarre quest. We both hate shopping. Neither of us regard it as a sport. Neither of us are ‘girlie girls’ who go shopping for the helluva it and a cool sale on lipgloss. We are both working mothers, with a sarcastic sense of humor and no fear of the F-Word. At the time, we both shared a debilitating Starbucks addiction, which I have since kicked (with a little help from my spastic sigmoid) but which I indulge in on Black Friday, with my buddy, in celebration of our anniversary.
This is the day we shop.
I can’t explain it–neither of us are actually the type. But six years running, the black of the morning after Thanksgiving has found us, bundled up and cuddling our eggnog lattes and elbowing our way into the crowds. I remember the year I’d had the Cave Troll–he was about two weeks old when we did this, and at twelve o’clock (after six hours) I was nearly in tears because I was exhausted and hormonal and my boobs were as big as Volkswagons, but still, we soldiered on. In fact, every year has had it’s quests, it’s ‘must have toys’ it’s, ‘oh, that’s hella cute’ purchases, and it’s ‘I’m such a total weenie’ moments, and this year was no exception–let me hit the highlights for you all, so that you might understand:
6:00 am–she arrives and pries me from the Cave Troll’s gnarled fingers in my shirt. He’s afraid one day I’ll walk away and never return–go figure.
6:30 am–we take one look at the Starbucks line in my neighborhood and head for a different shopping venue than we usually use, in order to take advantage of something called ‘Bad Ass Coffee’. Bad Ass Coffee has closed down. We find another Starbucks.
7:00–we walk into the entrance of Toys R Us and walk smack dab into the back of the line which wraps around the store. For the next hour and a half, we lose our minds in kinder-spoiling mecca. I’ve blocked it out. I don’t usually remember everything I’ve bought for them until it’s time to wrap.
9:00–on my way to the register, the pretty young thing talking into the news camera looks at my basket and says, “That’s a LOT of presents!’ I grunt, ‘Four kids’. She looks busy, so I don’t elaborate that most of what’s in my basket is for the younger two. It’s still a matter of shame–I see no reason to alert the media.
9:15–still running on coffee and enthusiasm, we head from the first level of purgatory to the 5th–Target. I traditionally sort of lose it in Target–not necessarily my mind, but my focus. I do know that on more than one occassion my friend caught me standing in the middle of an aisle, gazing mindlessly off into space and knitting. I seem to recall buying a lot of clothes for Big T–but that’s okay. Underwear was on his list.
10:30–barely escape Target with our lives, and I foolishly think we’re home free. It is then that the true Wii-search begins. Three Game-Stops and one Radio Shack later, we have our schtick down. We walk into a place and ask the greeter if he wants a good laugh. By this time, they’re looking pretty haggard, so they’re game, right? Then she asks for a Wii and I ask for Guitar Hero III, and by golly, we have spread some freakin’ Christmas cheer. We retreat to the sound of hearty guffaws.
11:00–We try to go to lunch at a place called Kinders. Kinders is out of business. After the ‘Bad Ass Coffee’ thing, I suspect my friend of deliberately sabotaging businesses in order to make this day weird. Anyway, over a lunch at Wendy’s, she comes up with A. A plan to invade Costco looking for the elusive Wii, and B. The term Wii-search, which totally cracks us up. I go to use the bathroom, get caught in a daydream about the next book, walk out of the women’s bathroom and turn straight into the men’s room. When my friend–who has seen the whole thing– asks me “What in the fuck are you doing, dude?” I reply, with dignity, “I’m turning left.”
11:30–We go into Costco. The plan is, I hold her place in the customer service line while she runs around the store to see if it’s worth it to run the customer service rigamorale to go shopping cardless if they have the Wii. The catch is, the customer service line is so short, I end up giving my spot to six different people while I’m waiting for her to come back with the news that no, they have no Wii. They are, in fact, Wii-less.
12:15–I have no idea where we are, but I do know that I’ve spent an unlikely amount of money at the Sport’s Chalet for clothes for Crazy Friend Wendy. Besides my buddy, Wendy is the only other person I know skinny enough to get clothes at a place called ‘Sport’s Chalet’. Anyway, my buddy is she’s talking about the fact that she needs to stop at Staples because she has been forced to Scrapbook in order to consolidate her family memories. If you knew this person you’d recognize that asking her to craft in any shape of the monster is like asking Monk to jump in a kid’s ball pit after a clue. It’s highly distasteful, but because she finds it necessary, she’s going to do a stellar job. So she’s talking about how it’s too bad she doesn’t know where Staples is when I thump the window with my finger and say “It’s right there.” She almost stops traffic screeching to a halt to see if I’m right.
1:00–I am in, of all places, a kitchen supply store. I forget what she bought there. I blocked it out. The entire place screamed to the world that I am unfit as a parent, a wife, and a chef. I prefer to forget this episode.
1:30–We’re at her parents house (this is the friend who has just lost BOTH her parents, sadly enough) but she’s hiding her kids’ presents in the vacant house as well as waiting for a friend of hers to come get some of her parents’ old furniture. We stand quietly and watch as her friend’s brother screws with the ratchet strap that’s holding the furniture in the truck. Both of us express relief that we will be nowhere near that truck as it takes off.
1:45–We’re at our friend’s house (the one who just got married) collecting her mail. My friend has to call up the bride because this is harder than we thought, and while she’s talking to the bride, she asks if the bride’s other buddy still works at Sam’s Club. It seems that the Wii-search has not died the death I had assumed it had.
2:00–She drops me off at home. I hide our packages in the minivan. I still don’t know what we’re going to do with them. I assume they will find a temporary home in the garage–but it’s going to take some doing.
3:00–She calls up and insists that Big T wakes me up from my much needed nap. Her exact words, “Wake up, you weiner–the Wii-search is complete. And you left trash in my car.”
Until next year, Amen.