I went to Target the other day. Ironically, I was thrilled about going, although I knew deep down in the pit of my stomach that it would be a terrible disaster, as most prolonged shopping trips toting two tiny tots become. I know buying things shouldn’t make one happy, but I have to say, the act of getting out of the house does make me happy. Sadly, in NOVA, the only locations a person toting the tiniest of kids can ‘successfully’ go to (at least on a rainy day) are only places you buy crap at (i.e., stores).
I planned well; I would try to quickly get the “essential” items done with and save browsing for what else I needed for later. Just in case. One of my main objectives was to get a wedding present for a couple we know. Yet, when I finally checked through the line, I realize I completely fell-short of reaching that main objective. Apparently the myriad of soap, juice, and toys around me forced me to forget. Mind you, so far I actually had successfully made it through the shopping trip. Of course Avi was hungry, tired and whinny while Josiah was on the verge of waking up hungry. But, I although I stood on the verge of said cliff, we had not yet fallen off. In fact, hungry children could maybe be used for my benefit: I could let Avi eat and scribble while I would fed Josiah in the adjacent food area. During these precious moments I could attempt to relax, sip my coffee contentedly and possibly even be able to read a few lines in my book! Yet such daydreams never last long enough. I woke up to the cashier handing me a receipt who’s total did not include that all-important present. And, there were unhappy children in my cart.
Did this deter me? Oh no, I was in denial, not following wisdom’s whisper. I still thought I could make it to that possibly relaxing dream in the stupid food court. So quickly I got their registry list, found something on it and a few other random things which I could make into a fun present, and went back to the check out.
Well, actually, it took me forever to find their registry for some odd reason. I am not too sure if it was because I was just not smart enough to know the names of my friends, or if it was because Avi kept running behind the return counter in hopes of playing it off as an employee to get a paycheck. And, “quickly” finding stuff wasn’t as quick as quick is actually defined. To be more accurate, I would say that we moved faster than two kids and I generally do. Which, you can imagine, is not exactly quick or fast. So, by the second time at checkout, Josiah is screaming. Avi keeps running and disappearing down the aisles. Or she is throwing a tantrum while flinging herself out of the shopping cart (it doesn’t help that she knows how to unbuckle her strap and has no fear of falling). In other words, I was the lady with THOSE kids. Whose kids really just needed some sleep, food, and in the case of the older one, maybe a good spanking.
To my dismay, the registry item kept showing up as not on the registry and as more expensive. While going “quickly” through the store the second time, I did take a moment to double check that I had the right thing. And the checkout lady also thought it was right, as we re-read the item description multiple times. Eventually we realized that I did get the right thing but the wrong size. You can imagine that at this moment I felt extreme dismay. Luckily, while noting my unhappy feelings, a profound idea hit me: to my left, hanging in perfect rows, were lovely plastic cards. Right then gift cards seemed like an answer from heaven to a question I refused to ask.
After all, I could have gotten them a gift card the first time I realized I missed my targeted objective at Target. I was bitter because I was so excited to give a REAL present of fun stuff; I had a creative idea for one! But I got them a gift card. And everyone was happy: My screaming children stopped screaming shortly afterwards, as I gave them food. My kids were happy, as were the people around us having to hear my kids cry. The newlyweds were probably even more happy with a gift card than actual presents. Everyone was happy but me. Go figure. Suck it up Elisa! One moment less of creativity on my part brought peace and happiness to many. These are the times I get what it means to put others interests before your own. But I wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself in almost an identical situation next week. I easily fall into denial that everyone can’t do what I want them too : )