Thursday, January 22, 2009

MIssion Accomplished!

So this is late. My apologies to the two people who looked for a new blog today and didn't find one. But I have an excuse! A lousy one, but still, an excuse!

Today was an example of what you might call Life Happens. But in a good way.

My Mom and Gram (who will be 94 in exactly two months) came up for the day today. I knew they weren't going to get here until 10, but then I remembered some errands I needed to do, and that left me with all of 10 minutes to sit and contemplate blogging. And instead, I spent ten minutes thinking about Lakota cowboys riding horses without their shirts on.

So it's not like I wasted the time.

I'll have time this afternoon, I reasoned. Gram is, after all, Old, and will probably need to come home and rest for an hour or so in between bouts of shopping and playing with her great-grandson.

Boy, that didn't happen. Gram is the original frugal German in our family tree - I suppose her parents might have also been frugal, but for me, the line starts with her. A normal shopping expedition with her involves a couple of known events:

1. Searching for something she 'needs' (which is almost always those little old lady double knit pants with the solid band of elastic around the waist - you know the ones)
2. Yelling at hapless clerks who do not understand what she is looking for (which is almost always because the clerks didn't know such pants still existed, more or less that anyone would actually want to BUY them)
3. Sitting down to rest (because she's just not as spry as she was when she was 82)
4. Finally finding what she 'needs'
5. Deciding that she doesn't need the item right now and will wait (thereby guaranteeing a repeat of the entire laborious process)

Always. This is a given when Gram says she wants to go shopping. I suppose it's because the pants are never on sale for $1.98, but I've never seen her buy herself something without major arm twisting on behalf of me or Mom, and even then she will complain that she either spent too much on something she didn't need or didn't get the right version of the item for weeks on end. As you might gather, shopping with Gram is not what some might call "fun."

But today, something magical happened. Well, not at first. At first, we went to a store, Gram yelled at some clerks who were doing their dollar best to find pants with all elastic, not just elastic in the back, and then sat on a bench while Mom and I tried on stuff that was 90% off.

(Side note: Can you smell the desperation in the air at mass merchandisers? Wow. Usually the only time of year you see 90% off is for crappy Christmas decorations no one wants around St. Patrick's Day. But in this economic climate? The stores we were at had racks and racks - and several more racks in the back - of stuff at 70%, 80%, and 90% off. One local department store sent out flyers yesterday advertising 75% off the whole damn store (Levis excluded). Today another store was advertising buy one, get one on just about everything but the diamonds. The clawing hopelessness was contagious. I was morbidly depressed after shopping at one store. But then I bought some pearls and felt much better, because, man, they were on sale!)

Back to the story. After that predictable shopping disaster, we picked up the toddler from daycare and hit the mall. And after a brief stop in the Misses section, we rerouted to the Petites (because Gram was, in her heyday, all of 5 feet tall. She's down to almost 4"10' now. Or is that 4'10"? Whatever. She's short.) We found the pants. In her size. She tried them on (which has only happened about twice before in my memory), and then - this was the shocking part - bought them. No clerks were harmed in the process, even!

My mom - who figured she had about 40 minutes of browsing before Gram decided not to buy pants - wandered over to make sure I still had line-of-sight on a toddler after about 10 minutes. "Where's Gram?" She asked.

"Buying pants."

Mom's jaw hit the ground so fast that it bounced back up and knocked her backwards. "She's buying PANTS?" This after we'd been shopping for pants at other stores for several hours.

Yes, it was a weird day here. Not only did Gram buy pants, but she bought other things as well. She even bought a jacket! Taken together, she bought a whole outfit!

Needless to say, there was no afternoon break to recharge. The closest we got was 15 minutes at the cafe at Sam's Club. (Can you call that a cafe? They do, but I'm not sure it's really a cafe.) She downed half of that massive cup of Coca Cola, and we were off again.

She had fun. Mom had fun. I had fun. Even the toddler had fun (fun helped along with a matchbox car wash set on sale for $1.65, but fun nonetheless). And the truly shocking thing was that we all had fun together.

We got home at 6:40, at least three hours after I thought we would, which barely gave us enough time to turn around and pick up the hubby from his fun-filled 13 hour January work day (it gets better in February; March is a dream come true!)

So, as you can see, I am just now getting around to this blogging thing, because today I had to work on one of my New Year's Resolutions, which was Be a Better Daughter and Granddaughter.

Life Happens. But in a good way.

1 comment:

Pauline Friday said...

its a miracle! alright GG!