Friday, September 18, 2009

Cheap Thrill

I have a wicked headache that I haven't been able to chase off all day. It was in everyone's best interest that I cancel this afternoon's playdate. I had to break the bad news to my first grader when I picked her up from school, and she responded with the open-mouth cry, inspiring my three year old to fall to the ground with a shrill whine, "Me baby!"

I feebly offered to take them out for ice cream cones on the way home and knew that Rite-Aid was my best option, having $7 in my purse and $19 in the bank. The $1.29 single cones were on sale for 99 cents. (In my day, Rite-Aid was called Thrifty and cones were something like 20 cents, but the kids weren't very entertained with my golden childhood memories - too bad they'll be hearing them for another 50 years.)

When we arrived at the ice cream counter, there was another family in front of us. The little girl walked up to my older daughter, holding her face about an inch away from hers and asking, "Is that your little sister?" My daughter ignored her, instead pushing her way through the family so she could press her nose against the glass in search of the prettiest flavor. I do admire the carefree social habits of five year olds.

After we got our ice cream cones, we ended up following the other family to the new Halloween display. The kids tore through the costumes, trying to decide what to be this year. I grabbed the sexy devil costume with fishnets out of my older daughter's hands . . . no, not that. What do you think about the ladybug? "But Mom!" The other family distracted us by startling each other with a bloody, cut-off arm. After about 15 minutes of playing Halloween with the other family, my girls and I headed to the Thanksgiving section.

I have a fascination with Thanksgiving decorations . . . the gaudier the better. This is probably because I inherited a box of Thanksgiving decorations from my grandmother. I have paper fold-out turkeys that are more than fifty years old, I kid you not. When my grandmother first gave them to me, I thought . . . these will never be seen in my living space. But after being permanently tweaked by pregnancy hormones, I not only look forward to getting the box down every year, I add to the collection. If I would have purchased anything today, it would have been the fake rooster with real feathers. My daughters and I took turns wearing the rooster, so that the feathers stuck out of our hair.

From there we found the toy section, where things got a little heated. I had to explain what window shopping is about 20 times (or in this case aisle shopping). The girls added a bunch of stuff to their imaginary Christmas lists. My older daughter wanted the doll as tall as herself. I asked her why and she explained, "It would make me feel like I had company over." My younger daughter wanted a pink plastic intercom system but that was before we got to the outdoor section.

In the clearance section of the outdoor section, we found a large, light frisbee designed to look like the cross-section of an orange. It was actually really fun to throw so we spent a few minutes playing frisbee down the aisle. Strangely, this made my older daughter uncomfortable (what's up with the sudden social awareness?). The frisbee and a little pink outdoor chair were added to the Christmas lists.

As we walked to the car, I realized we had spent an entire hour at the store and my head felt a little better. Well worth the $2.97.


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