July 15, 2009

All Dates End at Wal-Mart

The other night, at the dinner table, where all good conversation takes place in our house, we got to talking about how we’ve been so busy lately that our dates have reverted to running errands and eating dinner out. Which happen to be two things that I don’t particularly enjoy.

So Monday night, when our date rolled around, my dear husband tried to make plans. But first, Kaitlin was volunteering for story time at our local library. I got the kids out of the pool. Dressed them. Fed them and we all watched as Max, a giant rabbit, entertained the room full of toddlers.

Now, God does have a sense of humor. That was the high point of our date. We got the kids home and settled and headed out the door around 8:45 with intentions of seeing a movie. We usually catch a late night showing but the last show for this movie was at 9:20. All hope for dinner was out of the picture.

Problem number one. I had already had a lean lunch…9 hours ago. And, if I don’t eat every 3-4 hours my blood sugar drops too low. This never does much for my mood. By the time we got to town we surmised that if we skipped the previews we could get another 20 minutes before the movie started and grab a sandwich at Starbucks.

Except there were no sandwiches left at Starbucks. Who knew? I grabbed a cheese tray and a cup of decaf coffee and we settled out front at one of the sidewalk tables. Where we were surrounded by a large group of cigarette and cigar smoking people discussing, of all things, theology.

This was slightly more interesting than the rabbit. Although, I kept wishing I had more time so I could straighten out some of the warped ideas the leader of the group was sharing with the younger crowd. But that is a different story.

At 9:20 I tossed half of a perfectly good cup coffee in the trash to run into the theater and get our seats before the movie started. Only to find out that something was wrong with the film and they cancelled that viewing. “You should come back tomorrow night,” the attendant said. “It is a really good movie,” she continued to rub it in.

Of course, now it was too late to do anything but go to Wal-Mart. I had seen some Rubbermaids on sale in the flyer and there were some things I wanted to get for the girls. While, I usually avoid Wal-Mart at all costs, it seemed like we were out already and the night was shot so we’d might as well make the most of it.

Off we went. Allen grabbed the Rubbermaids. I grabbed the other items. We agreed to go as quick as possible before the lines backed up. It never does seem to fail. When we walk in there are 20 registers opened and no one in line. By the time we get to the checkout there are a million people and just one or two registers.

And that is exactly what happened. Three registers open and at least 50 people in line. I was getting irritated by this point. And giving Allen my, “I can’t believe you like this place” talk. It did not bode well for him when the lady in front of us turned around and started agreeing with what I had to say. And now that half cup of coffee was necessitating a trip to the facilities. There is no more fun than having to visit the lovely Wal-Mart restrooms, which smell like urine, look like they haven’t been mopped since the store opened and never have any paper towels. Which is only a problem about 50 percent of the time since the other half of the time the automatic faucets won’t work so you have no need for a paper towel.

By now I wished we were back at Point of Rocks with that Rabbit! But it doesn’t end there. While waiting in line, Allen told me the rubbermaids were marked as $4.00 a piece instead of $3.50 as advertised in the sales flyer. Now that doesn’t seem like a big deal. It was a total of $3.00 and Allen pointed out even at $4.00 each it was a good deal. But it is the principle of the thing, right?

And gee, it’s bad enough having to come to Wal-Mart on date night but to come to buy the same thing I could get at nice friendly neat and clean Target only because it is cheaper here. To put up with all the ick and abuse to save a buck and then not even save it…talk about adding insult to injury!

And then after a time of standing inline, he said that perhaps it was a different size etc… so, I stood there and thought about that for a while.

We finally get up to the register…which, I shudder to think how long that took. And sure enough the blasted things ring up $4.00 each. I couldn’t argue at that point because the ad was in the car. But as soon as I got there you bet I looked. And you can bet I was right. Of course, at that point they had me. I wasn’t about to trudge inside and stand in line any longer to get my $3.00 back.

But at least I could write about it on my blog, right?

And we were still left with the problem of how to get something out of this that might qualify as a date to sustain us through the next week. We headed home to dig up some dinner and watch a video. I was starved now and getting tired. We were greeted by our sweet babysitters, who asked how our date went.

We relayed the story as Allen dug around for some easy to fix snack. But we had fed all the leftovers to the kids. And with all the camping and stuff there was nothing much in the fridge.

Not even a loaf of bread. I usually fall back on fruit at these moments….which is my all time favorite snack. But, it is our coop week and the fruit was all gone, too. There was little more than lemon juice and grated cheese in the ice box. Except for half a chocolate cake I baked on Sunday.

We were good and resisted the cake. Our darling daughters said they would heat up the popper and make us some popped corn to go with our movie. Kaitlin and Emma usually run the popper on movie nights but Brianna was the one who wasn’t sleepy yet. After quite some time she brought us a bowl of the saltiest pop corn I have ever tasted. I tried to eat it for a few minutes, the whole while trying to not think about how much water I would be retaining the next day. But after a while even Allen had to give it up.

When Brianna came back to ask how the pop corn was and saw we hadn’t eaten it we had to admit it was the worst pop corn we had ever had. She went off with her book to make another batch. How blessed are we to have such a sweet daughter? When she came back with that bowl it was little better than the last. Turns out, as KK explained the next day you have to empty the popping chamber between batches or the salt stays in there.

I decided to give up and make up the difference at breakfast. As the movie continued, which actually turned out not to be bad, I sipped my water and Allen drank his diet coke. We were both starved and even less motivated to cook dinner at 11:30 than we were at 10:30. We obviously were left with no choice but to eat the chocolate cake.

Which was so delicious. I think a good chocolate cake is much better after it sits and ages for a day or two. It gets nice and fudgy. Don’t you think? As we ate our cake and watched the end of the movie, I definitely figured it was worth the headache that was building. (I wasn’t so sure by the time Tuesday morning dawned with a migraine…but it was chocolate, so who knows). And it helped me make it to the end of the movie. Which almost never happens. So maybe that makes it a successful date?

But I did decide to call it quits and nodded off while Allen watched all the extras. Allen is a night person at heart and this is our regularly routine when we watch a video. I fight to stay awake. Eventually, I fall asleep. He watches the rest of the movie and deleted scenes and then tells me all about in the morning.

A year later someone will be telling us about this movie we would just love and I’ll say something like, “Sounds interesting. We’ll have to get it.” Allen will spend the next 15 minutes telling me how we watched it and what we ate while we watched it. Only, of course I don’t remember it because I was having a nap.

Bottom line. I sure learned my lesson. Those dates of dinner and a stop at the Home Depot sure look good now.

Do you suppose he planned that?


  1. I love the entire story. I feel like I was tucked in your pocket going through the whole thing with you. That's how well you describe things.

    That chocolate cake sure sounds good. You were stronger than I would have been. That would have been the first thing I took out if the fridge and cupboards were bare. Forget the popcorn! But that's just me. I like sweets and chocolate cake is tops on my list.

    Glad you were able to stay up and see the whole movie. I have this problem of not remembering movies that well months later and I stay awake through the whole thing. What's that about?

    Blessings to you!

  2. Everybody was planning to go to Walmart that night. Apparently you didn't get the memo. Better begin checking your email, girl!

    I don't go to Walmart very often but when I do, everyone else on the planet is there too. The lines are long, the registers few, but the bathrooms rock.

  3. I felt your misery! There's nothing worse than watching your plans implode and then having to spend time at a Wal-Mart.

    I've become like you...I can't sit through movies like I used to. I just doze off or lose interest.

    Hope a good date comes up soon!

  4. Mabey tonight will be better??? But knowing your luck, the movie will be aweful...the luck of the Italians!

  5. Hi Kat!
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    I still have to work hard to improve my english! I would like to say a lot of things, but sometimes I don't know how! My english is still "work in progress" !I hope to learn it better!
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  6. You're so good at writing! I really enjoyed reading this. Sorry, it was such a crazy time for you because it was really fun to read. :)
    Ever since Ella was born I've had a hard time staying awake during movies and about half the time I fall asleep. Tj always watches the extras and has to tell me how the movie ended.

  7. I loved this story. In our house, it is usually the other way around with movies. I am the late night person and my husband always falls asleep, no matter what time we start it. HAHA

  8. Oh, my. So sorry, my friend. Some of our dates end at Wal-Mart too. I guess we're the opposite. My hubby falls asleep and I watch the extras.
    I had to laugh at that last line, though. Did he plan that? lol

  9. Oh my goodness. what an aweful time, but you spent it with you sweetheart. I feel the same about walmart. I was worried that you hadn't eaten & sure enough you ate the cke and had a migraine. You must take care of you or there will be no mom to take care of everyone else.

    As for your questions about the bleeding heart bush...I have no idea what makes it do so well. I just water it everyday once it stops raining enough to water it. Unfortunatley, the blooms only last a week or so and then the whole bush begins to turn brown and it's all finished by mid July.

    The training pads for my cats carrier will be a good idea. Thanks.

    So the nickles for directions was a family joke. I thought it might be, but ya never know.

    Have super week. Please eat better, my friend.