As much as I hate to admit it, I went shopping yesterday.
I know, I know! I swore I wouldn't do it. I made fun of those who DO do it. It was against my better judgment. In fact, it was against my will!
I blame Carol, completely. It is all her fault. I never would have gone if she hadn’t laid a giant guilt trip on me. She pleaded! And I, being a sucker for anything my wife asks me to do, succumbed.
What did we shop for? Ah, good question! Our digital camera arrived on Friday! I checked the FedEx Ground tracking number that morning, and the item showed to have arrived in Victoria, TX about an hour earlier. I was concerned that it might be put on the truck for delivery Friday, and we would be out playing golf! Since a signature was required for delivery, we would miss it.
I called the FedEx 800 number and explained my dilemma. The nice FedEx lady who answered the phone apologized, but told me they were not set up for customers to go to their terminal and pick up packages. They were in the package delivery business, not the customer pick-up business.
I told her Victoria was a small town and the FedEx ground terminal was only a 5-minute drive from my house. She reluctantly put me on hold. For a LONG time!
When she came back on the line she told me happily that she had called the terminal in Victoria, the folks there had found the package (which was not yet on the delivery truck), and that they would hold it for my pickup! I told her she was wonderful!
Five minutes later I arrived at the terminal, found the office, showed them my picture ID (my drivers license, natch) and signed for my package. Five minutes later I was back at home opening the package.
Oh, yeah, you asked what we shopped for yesterday. Well, a camera bag, of course! Something to carry the camera around in.
So there I was, on the Saturday after Black Friday, in a Super Wal-Mart, in a Best Buy at the Victoria Mall, in our local Office Max (which sells digital cameras, but has almost NO selection of camera bags), and in our local Target store.
It was horrible!
What made it worse was: 1) I swore I wouldn’t go shopping this weekend, and there I was! 2) The crowds and traffic were JUST as bad as I knew they would be! And 3) We found a perfectly acceptable camera bag at Wal-Mart, our FIRST STOP(!!), and Carol wouldn’t let me just buy it and go home!
OH, NO! We had to see if, maybe, somebody else had a BETTER bag, or maybe the same bag for a lower price!
OH... My... GOD!!
I knew I’d died and gone to Hell. But to my everlasting and undying credit, I went with her to all those other stores. We found nothing better. I was ready to go back to Wal-Mart and buy the one they had when Carol suggested we go home and search the internet for what we need.
WHY COULDN’T WE HAVE DONE THAT FIRST?!
But that’s okay. We did our “due diligence” by trying local merchants first, and then we found the perfect bag, custom made for just the size camera and lens system that we have. We compared prices and shipping fees and delivery times for various on-line merchants, picked out the “best” deal, and ordered.
Ahhhhh! Shopping is done, Carol is happy, we’re going to get a bag that Carol is convinced will be PERFECT, and I didn’t have a heart attack as I had feared. The whole experience only took 2 ½ hours. The final (online) part only took 30 minutes. But at least now, it’s over.
If I’m lucky, that will be our LAST shopping excursion until after Christmas!
(Until the next time Carol pleads with me. Then I know I'll go again.)