Since I was up early and the sun was out and it was nice and warm and I knew I had to do it sooner or later, I went shopping. The jeans I was wearing were quickly becoming punk and I had no backup.
So with that one single item to purchase, I wheeled off to Target. A familiar path not followed in a good while got me huffing and puffing and avoiding the morning traffic. The bike racks were almost full and the parking lot was half full and I thought I was early. A couple of red shirts were taking a break and chatting on a bench as I locked up between a scooter and a trail bike.
Now I will clarify my position on shopping. Guys know what they want. They go into a store, pick up the item, walk to the checkout and leave with a bag or a box. All the flashy and colorful items on the aisles do not attract guy’s attention. The hundred of times I had been in this store since it was built I knew where everything was so I picked up a basket (I’m only getting jeans) and walked to the back.
With a fantasy glance at the youth shop, I walked back to the wall of jeans. I had looked online and was not sure they would even have the size I was looking for in the store. I had already prepared myself to be disappointed. The last time I bought jeans in this store, I was not sure of the size so I bought two different sizes. One is the faded pair I’m wearing and a smaller size is a hopeful remembrance hanging on the door. To my luck they had the size I was looking for. Now to find another pair and then there they were. They are nothing stylist or fancy, just heavy-duty jeans that might hold up for another year. They might look like baggy or not the latest fashion, but if the hold my phone, wallet, keys and a handkerchief, then they are fine.
I had accomplished my goal and could have just turned around and gone to the check out, but I don’t get out much and had no other plans so I just wandered around the store. Now when guys are “shopping” they follow certain patterns.
First, since I was in the “Men’s” department I looked around at the displays. Checking out the jackets first due to a replacement is needed but again could not find a replacement. Piles of t-shirts and socks and underwear but I have plenty. A day-glo yellow shirt caught my eye in the “Exercise Wear” department but it was long sleeve, so I moved on.
Next stop was the “Electronics” department. Guys like the “Electronics” department. The same electronics that were there last year when I got my boom boxes didn’t interest me. The phones and pods and players didn’t get my attention. I did look at the headphones since for the past year that is how I’ve been listening to music. There seems to be a range of the ones on the hooks and the ones locked up under glass sliding doors so I passed because what I have is fine.
While passing the BIG SCREEN televisions and digital games I wandered through the “Music” department. Not really looking to hear anything and certainly not knowing any of the new music trends, I passed the Country, Hip-Hop, Show tunes, and stopped at Rock. I guess that says a lot about my music taste. Knowing full well that this store will not carry any experimental music that I prefer I look at the listings. There in the R section was the Rolling Stones GRRR!. Now I knew it was just another “best of…” album, er, CD but I went back and picked it up and put it in the basket. I knew all the songs and have several copies of each and the new cuts aren’t that good, but “wha the hay?”
Even checked out the bicycles and helmets just due to habit. Went to the garden section looking at cushions. Got waylaid into the food section so turned to the decoration items. Sheets, towels, lamps, picture frames, and tons of nick-knacks are easy to pass by. More red shirts are moving about over by the towels so that must be the latest display to be renewed for the customer’s personal pleasure. Dead faces moving at the speed of sand and working for the price of toast presented no customer service. One started singing some weird song as I turned a corner so I sped up at the card section and got out of there.
I always check out pens and pencils. They have had a special draw on me forever since I can remember. That is probably what made me become an artist. Maybe I just love the smell of ink. So wading through the My Little Pony and Power Rangers color books I do not see anything of interest and I have more than I can use now so I move on.
Glancing at the vacuums I chuckle and move into the “Kitchen” department. Having the final two appliances delivered tomorrow, I study the array of pots and pans and multitude of items used to prepared grub. I know I need to purchase some of this stuff but I’ve gone through periods where every weird gadget “needed” to assemble a meal was purchase then given away. Amazed at the variations available I will leave empty handed on this aisle. I already have two drawers full of peelers and pickers and slicers and dicers but I marvel in every configuration. Besides my mind questions how many pans and pots does it take to break two eggs or steam some veggies? Knowing a slot is empty in my knife rack I gravitate to the blades. Most have been tried and failed for I am particular about sharp edges. What is a kitchen without a sharp knife? Two catch my eye and wind up in the basket along with another sharpener before mothers with screaming babies enter the space and chase me off.
Placing my items on the moving rubber I try to make contact with the checkout red shirt but she has the personality of dirt so I pay way more than I intended and grab my bags and move on. I had accomplished my mission but it was not a rewarding experience.
I’ve found the process “to shop” is easier without using credit cards and having enough money in the bank to not be concerned about the total. I also know even if you do not “need” anything, if you go out and shop, you will return with a bag full of nothing.
Walking past the “Feeding” area I see another red shirt. She is stretched out on a table with a cost checker in her hand. Gripping it like a pistol she appears to have had a bad night or a worst morning. Another red shirt stands behind her saying something I cannot hear because they are on the other side of the glass. I shake my head and walk on observing a few tables down a woman checking her tweets or emails or Internet on her phone. She seems to be oblivious to the drama going down a few seats away.
As I pack my bike and unlock and decide which way to return home avoiding the road repairs I crossed earlier, I see the two red shirts taking their break on the bench. I don’t know if they are the same red shirts I saw when I came in so I can’t make judgment.
Home with the window up and a cool drink, I look at the knives and give them a sharpening and listen to the latest Rolling Stone’s CD. The blades take a good grind and feel pretty good but I won’t know until I cut something. The CD is what I expected. The songs may have been remixed and whatever but they sound the same to me. The worst part is I get images of the videos when the song plays. I guess these are just the dreams left over from “shopping”.