Fiddledaddy called me from Orlando after he had finished some work, alerting me to the fact that he was on his way home. A journey which would last about an hour plus some change.
“Where are you?”
“I’m in hell.”
Translation: I’m in WalMart with your 3 children on the Friday prior to public school beginning marking the first day of a 3 day Tax-Free back-to-school shopping extravaganza.
Along with every other child and parent in our little town.
I did have a head start on everyone, considering we’ve just now finished our third week in our homeschooling year. But I had a lengthy supply list for Emme’s first day of Classical Conversations. And no one beats WalMart in the back-to-school sales department. And then you add on a tax free day, and, well, because I’m
cheap frugal, I’d darn near walk over hot coals to score those deals.
And that’s pretty much what the experience felt like.
Except add flaming arrows through my head. And then the description would be closer to accurate.
Fiddledaddy continued with the conversation letting me know that he was going to stop in at Sam’s Club on the way home for
wine frozen fruit. Since Sam’s was a good hour away from where he was, I told him I’d email him a more comprehensive I Wish list when I got home from hell WalMart.
About an hour later he called, “I still haven’t gotten an email.” I countered, “I’m still in WalMart. But I’ve made it past dairy.” I had to dictate my Sam’s list from memory. Which was something of a miraculous feat, because by that time I could no longer tell you my own telephone number.
He called a couple of times for list clarification from Sam’s. I really had no idea what he was asking, and simply answered affirmatively, as the room was spinning and everything was getting fuzzy.
He ended with, “Well, I’m sure you’ll beat me home.” Hope springs eternal. Sam’s was still a good 30 minutes from our house.
During much of the trip I had Jensen trapped in the business end of the shopping cart while he played his Mario DS. I wish I could say that he was quiet, but that would be a lie. As he likes to sing along with the DS Mario tune. What? But there are no words to that tune? That would be wrong, my friends, as the child has made up his own words. Which he sings over and over and over and over until you want to stick ice picks into your ears to make it stop.
But then the inevitable frostbite began to set in as he was cozied up to the frozen goods, and of course his feet had fallen completely asleep so he scrambled out of the basket and keeping track of him was a crap shoot. At best. Adding a whole other layer onto my shopping experience.
The check-out lines were extra lengthy and I picked the slowest cashier in the history of WalMart. Because that’s the kind of day I was having. I helped to bag my own groceries to speed things up and was then able to produce every item which the cashier thought might NOT match up to my coupons.
Oh yes. In the face of adversity, I still use coupons when shopping at WalMart on perhaps the busiest day of the year.
We arrived home to find Fiddledaddy’s car already in the driveway.
After thinking I might never recover from the experience, I consoled myself with an extra helping or 10 of ice cream over the weekend as well as a good deal of Olympic viewing. I’m sure I shed the extra calories what with all of the sobbing that ensued whenever they did one of those Dedicated to Mom Moments, plus the Michael Phelps making history, and OH MY, the coverage of little Kerri Strug.
I was a hot mess. My children all stared at me as though I was insane. “How can you people not be crying, what are you? ROBOTS?” I queried through heaving sobs.
And that, my friends, encapsulated my weekend. Thank goodness it’s Monday.