The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Shopping with Dan
We got a call this morning from my husband's sister in the United States. She wanted to know what Dan's plans were for their parents' 50th wedding anniversary next weekend. Translation: 'what are you doing so that I can get my name involved without actually spending any money?' Dan immediately did what any self-respecting husband does: he put his sister on the phone with his wife - me. So, in this way, I got steamrolled into planning my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary celebration.

Having this sprung on me put me into a bit of a tailspin, so I thought of the only thing I can ever remember my inlaws asking for: photos of their two kids together. So, I asked sis-in-law to send me a digital photo of her, I would take one of Dan myself - to match, and then I'd go out and buy matching gold photo frames (for the Golden Anniversary), touch up the photos, print them out, put them in the frames, buy the card, and then Dan and I would figure out where we could take them for dinner.

Dan's job was to take me to the large shopping mall close by to where we live. Not that I can't drive, but I was going to be damned if Dan didn't get involved in some way. These are, after all, his parents, not mine. He already forgot his father's birthday, and I wasn't going to let this go by.

So, we drove to the mall - the largest shopping mall in the southern hemisphere. Something happens to me when I step into this mall. I suddenly forget why I'm there, and I have to go from shop to shop, just in case something jogs my memory, and I spend about four times as much as I intended before I got there. It's like some bizarre post-hypnotic state kicking in the minute I walk in the door and see four levels of shopping that go on forever. Makes me wonder what subliminal messages are being piped in through the Muzak system.

Our first visit was to the DVD store. We intended to get his father one DVD as a belated birthday gift. We walked out with three: two for Dan's dad, and one for us: a Bruce Campbell cult movie called Bubba Ho Tep. What inspired me to do this, I don't know, but I've always loved Bruce Campbell (hey - I think he's another Gemini.)

Anyway, Dan, Bubba, and I left the DVD store and went to the first department store to look for gold photo frames. For some reason, this store had Wexford crystal photo frames, ornate Italian enameled frames, and silver plate frames, but no gold ones. It took a half an hour to find this out because I had to stop and look over the cosmetics counter, and Dan had to look at the Polo shirts. We both stopped and looked over the handbags.

Disappointed, but not undaunted, we stopped in a jewelry and gift shop thinking that we might find gold frames. Jewelry store - gold frames. Logical connection, right? They had wooden frames. And more silver plated ones. No gold ones. We did pick out a lovely white-on-white with gold china service, however.

It was on to the next large department store, where we finally managed to find some gold leaf frames. It took us five minutes to buy the frames. It took us another half an hour to peruse the small appliances, find the turquoise ones styled like the ones used in the 1950's, mentally design our new city apartment, and finally leave.

By this time, I was feeling pretty tired. The music in the DVD store (if you could call it that,) had given me a pounding headache, and I was wondering how I had gotten myself into this. I think
Dan sensed my irritation, because after we left the department store with our purchases, he encouraged me to buy myself a new wallet, and then actually stopped me on my way out of the mall, and steered me into a shoe store to look at shoes. I found a pair that I loved, but decided that I had already bought 1) a DVD that I hadn't planned on buying, 2) two photo frames and an anniversary card that I hadn't planned on buying that morning, and 3) a leather wallet that I hadn't planned on buying. I made a mental note to come back and buy the shoes after my next paycheck.

He then stopped me as we passed a women's clothing store and picked out a couple of outfits that he said he'd love to see me in. Granted, they were nice outfits, but I didn't want to spend any more money. All this time, though, I am thinking: I am the luckiest woman! I have a husband who loves to shop and doesn't mind looking at girly stuff!

I think I know why, however. After we finally left the mall, we headed towards Testosterone Heaven: one of those mega warehouses for do-it-yourselfers. We spent 10 minutes looking at girly stuff. We spent a half an hour at least, looking at home hardware, power tools and lawn and garden stuff. I think I may have actually grown an extra chin hair while I was in there. Just wait until the next time I run out of maxi-pads. I'm going to make him go to the grocery store to buy me some.
posted by Melanie O. at 7:22 PM -

About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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