After Bird and T got up, we were looking over our six-inch stack of bills - that's no exaggeration, I measured them, and even without all the inserts, offers, and extraneous stuff, it was a six-inch pile - and trying to decide who got the two dollars and twelve cents we had left before next payday. On a lark, I checked the bank account. Perhaps the money fairies visited?
Oh, glorious day, they placed a beautiful egg in our rather sad little nest!!
OK, not really, but our tax refund did finally get kicked through the system and came to rest right where we wanted it - our anemic bank account. So far, a good day, yes?
Well, in the spirit of conspicuous consumerism and doing our part for the economy, we decided to do something today that wasn't in our original plans. We decided to go shopping.
Well, after we paid some bills, of course - I am not a complete irresponsible moron.
Fast forward a few happy minutes doing the online bill-pay thing, because we are nothing if not into instant gratification around here. This is where things got a little hairy.
You see, Bird wanted to play with his GeoTrax trains. Lord and Lady above, he loves those dang things. He had his heart set on building an enormous, top-floor-of-the-house-consuming track system with multiple levels, ramps, bridges, guard rails, buildings, and a thriving economy, and a presidential race that could heat to boiling at any moment. So when I told him we were going out to run errands, his Majesty didn't approve. He strenuously disapproved, in fact. Loudly. At great length. This set the tone for the rest of our day.
First, the furniture store, to get the poor boy a bed. He has a bed, but it's a little...well...the worse for wear. It seems the evil genius, when three, figured out that he could pull out the nifty drawers in the base of the my-parents-are-cheap-bastards-and-won't-spring-for-decent-furniture-so-they-bought-this-POS-bed-at-the-Evil-Empire bed made of particle board and use them to stand in for added height, thereby causing the glorified cardboard bottoms to fall through, the sides to cave in, and general mayhem to follow. Now there are gaping holes in the base of the bed. Also, the corners are sharp enough to slice through a tin can and then cut paper thin tomato slices with no dulling! So the kid needs a new bed. T tried to show him the one we were looking at online, but it wasn't there any more, and Bird decided he wanted the one with pink and purple flowers instead. Oy. I don't care, but T takes it personally when our son suddenly wants to be a girl.
As we were negotiating the
We did get out the door and loaded into the car, even made it into the furniture store without too much trouble, but...well... We found the bed, he loved it, we bought it. No, not really. You didn't think it would be that easy, did you?? No. No, it wasn't. You see, we live a credit card free life. We do have a debit card, but it has a limit. Remember we paid bills earlier? Uh-oh. Before we left the house, I called the credit union, went to our local branch and wrote the little "May I please spend our money?" note, and was told "No problem, go, be free." At the furniture store, it seems that the bank didn't actually mean what they said. Sigh. I had to call them, ask the sales lady if I could fax something, faxed it, waited, tried the card, nothing, called the bank, had to fax something else, went through the whole song and dance again, all while Bird was trying out every couch, recliner, sofa, ottoman, bed, chair, table, bench, desk, light fixture and lint ball in the place, with T in tow trying to minimize the collateral damage of a rogue five-year-old. I think I had the easy bit, truth be told.
We did it, though. Getting Bird back into the car was a bit like nailing Jell-o to the wall. Go on, try it, I'll just sit here and file down the fingernail I sliced off earlier.
See? Not so easy, is it?
On to Lowe's, where we browsed through the refrigerators, pricing them. I must say, I was shocked that the dang things cost as much as a used car these days. Who knew? Not really enchanted with anything there, we left, but not before we had to retrieve Bird from the lawn-tractor section where he was making goo-goo eyes at a John Deere, two-timing it with the Husqvarna, and triple -timing them both with the Troybilt. By the way? His feet almost touched the pedals so sometime next year he'll be opening his own lawn service company to support us, or at least his gummi-worm habit.
We had to stop for lunch because I needed sustenance and the Nathan's hot dog stand looked so lost and forlorn without us that we had to take pity and stop for hot dogs, fries, and shakes. Really, it was necessary.
Fortified with our nutritious meal, we made our way south to investigate our next necessary purchase - a functioning TiVo (ours is lingering in a half-dead daze). Bird took advantage of the ride to
Have you ever been to Fry's? It's an electronics wonderland! We love that store. We can spend hours there, just wandering around drooling. We found the TiVo, but after a lengthy discussion with the very helpful salesman we decided not to buy the TiVo. Please don't ask me for details...my head was spinning with all the technical jargon flying around - I had to duck one phrase that looked like it was headed right for my eye! Bird was disinterested, so he and I wandered off and entertained ourselves with the varying views of Ice Age available on the never-ending television displays until T staggered back to us with the news that the TiVo era was over, for satellite viewers. Shot through the heart. Oh, well...why not wander over to the appliances and...say, what's this? Is it...is it...a Phillips Ambilight television on sale for...for...how much??? Argh, snared!! There's no escape, save yourselves!!!
It followed us to the appliance area and sat brooding in the corner, menacing anyone who mentioned not buying it (namely, me). It didn't matter, though because once among the appliances, I was smitten.
I didn't mean for it to happen. Mostly, I figured I would be fishing Bird out of the freezers, dryers, dishwashers, and varying appliance cavities into which he crawled seeking...I don't know what, honestly, while half-heartedly perusing prices and thinking they were all out of my league. Instead, I saw it. From across the room, my eyes were drawn to a handsome, strong fellow with a come-hither shine and wearing a tiny little price that just screamed "Take me!! Take me now!!!" I tried to resist. "You're not right for me, you're too big, too polished, too refined for me." I wandered over to another, tried to love it, but I couldn't. Even though I knew this love was all wrong, that I could never reconcile it with the rest of my appliance family of black and (ugh) almond, I couldn't deny the love I had for this steely beauty. Oh, my. The others would welcome this newcomer, wouldn't they? They'd learn to love him as I did, right? I opened one door, then another, trembling at the sight of so much emptiness waiting for me to fill it with...ahem. I found my fridge. Yes I did. If the dishwasher and stove don't like it, they can be replaced next year; the fridge has stainless kin just waiting to pile into my kitchen and delight me.
During this extravaganza, this showcase of the ultimate American pastime of spend, spend, spend, Bird was bored. Bored, bored, bored. Fry's may be a wonderland for the grownups, but it's a colossal yawn for a little guy. He started running hither and thither, but not yon. Not yet. He was saving yon for a total meltdown, which thankfully never quite came. We were close, though. So while the bored, active, inquisitive little evil genius was finding ways to amuse himself, T was trying to avert complete disaster and I was mooning over my new love. Sigh. So dreamy. Luckily we were there during a slow patch and the sales people were kind, patient, and understanding, even when I had to examine several units (refrigerators, you pervs!!) to compare features, call my mum a dozen times to ask her advice, and waffle several times before finally conceding the obvious - that I couldn't live without the one who first caught my eye. Bored child finally settled into one of the "fun chairs", the floor sample massage chairs. He loves those things. Not as much as his GeoTrax, but they'll do in a pinch.
The television was not pleased to learn that one of them would have to wait until tomorrow to be claimed as our very own. I relented and told T the television could come home first, and they did a little dance in the aisle while I whispered reassurances to my new love that we would be united in only a day - for I shall return tomorrow and complete our arrangements to have the dashing fellow brought to me on Sunday. Ahh, bliss.
The journey homeward was pleasant - T and I each replete with our purchase choices, minds occupied with plans for our new additions. T has to clean off the entertainment center and I must empty the current cooler-of-foodstuffs. Mum told me I have to clean the floor underneath, but why? There's going to be a fridge on top of it! Kidding!! It'll be the one time I clean that patch of floor, truth be told - I am not the move-the-fridge-to-clean type, unless something actually spills under there. Leave the Serendusti in peace, I say.
Now that I've thrilled you with my tales of thriftless living, I am spent (ha!) and am off to bed, perchance to dream of a certain stainless steel, magnet friendly new amour...
Oh, and the roast turned out fine.