A Scandal-free Weekend
I took a break over the weekend – no writing, no painting and definitely no Rob Ford, and no Senate Expense Scandal. Instead Maggie and I went Christmas shopping on Saturday. We were going to go Holiday Season shopping but neither of us has any experience with that so we left it at the traditional jostling and pushing in the stores that is so much a part of Christmas every year.
We were smart about it though. We mapped out where we would go, and why, the day before. We were like a well-oiled machine but of course the wheels fell off the machine as soon as we hit Costco.
I believe Costco is a training ground for Purgatory.
It’s stupidly big, carries everything from books to fresh meat and pretty much anything else you can think of. If there is a logic to the store’s layout, Maggie and I have never figured it out. Three times we asked where to locate different items and three times the answer was the same.
“It’s over there, on the other side of the store against the back wall in the top left corner.”
I told Maggie that I thought the store was moving whatever we were looking for as a sinister and misguided part of a Canada fitness program. She told me I was becoming paranoid.
The folks at Costco have serious trust issues. On the way into the store, they check to see if you have a membership. On the way out, they examine your bill to make sure you paid for everything in your cart. This last thing so annoys Maggie that she demanded to know why her purchases were being checked. I’m afraid that the young woman’s response that Costco wanted to make sure we weren’t double charged for something didn’t fly much better than some of the excuses being tossed around in the Senate Expense Scandal.
We did buy a few things but not much. We can only get so much into the SUV and Coscto sells everything by the half ton. Need shampoo? No problem; Costco sells it in six packs. Want some meat? No worries – here’s a cow. I wanted to pick up a couple of bars of Ivory bar soap to use when cleaning my paint brushes. I now have a package of thirty-six bars of Ivory.
It appears that I have turned into an impulse buyer.
I don’t have an issue with bulk purchases and I am well-aware that we don’t have to submit ourselves to the ordeal. We can always go somewhere more user friendly – like Ikea for example but really; is it necessary to sell candy by the wheelbarrow load?
I dream of the day when a store will come along with big comfy couches and chairs in which we sit sipping coffee and browsing the store’s catalogue while armies of energetic young folks run around gathering up our purchases for us.
Ok – I know it’s not much of a dream but it’s my dream. Let’s move on.
After Costco it was Toy’s R Us.
I like Toys R Us because they carry my favourite stuff – toys. Now that I have grandchildren, I have a legitimate reason for shopping for toys rather than wearing a disguise and skulking in the store like I used to in the dark days between when my daughter had grown up and the birth of my grandchildren.
We have two grandchildren: Ben (4) and Adele (1.5). It’s perfect. We get to shop for boy’s and girl’s stuff. It took an hour but we “got ‘er done” and we carted a baby doll, a crib, accessories and a magic princess wand that I’ll be hard-pressed to tear away from Maggie to give to Adele.
For Ben it was the remote control Batmobile, a remote controlled digger which is what he calls backhoes and tractors, a couple of table top games that require some hand/eye coordination and which I enjoy playing along with a couple of paint with water books. I really wanted to get him a drum kit but Maggie suggested that would not be well-received by my daughter and son-in-law.
There will be some clothes added to the pile later but I let Maggie take care of that. I’m a grandfather. I don’t buy clothes; I buy toys.
The only problem I have with Toys R Us – any Toys R Us is that they only ever have two cashiers and one inevitably likes to discuss each toy with each shopper at the cash as she rings it through. I believe it is company policy but I could be wrong.
I attempted to remain patient by humming Christmas carols but Maggie shushed me. She said it sounded more like grumbling.
Then it was off to my favourite art supply store at Maggie’s request so that I could point out a few things I might like for Christmas. I really enjoyed that part of our tour and was in a great mood by the time we hit the grocery store.
I’m still trying to figure out why, even if we have a list, we never bring home the stuff we intended to buy at the grocery store but always end up spending a couple of hundred dollars. It’s a mystery I may never resolve.
We stayed home on Sunday and indulged in Maggie’s other favourite pastime – housework and I ain’t kidding. The woman loves to do housework. Me? Not so much but I promised I would clean up my studio this weekend. Maggie doesn’t understand that a studio is like underwear; it takes some wear and tear to get it comfortable and I found my studio pretty comfortable. Still, a promise is a promise so after a coffee first thing in the morning; I got started.
Maggie wanted to help from the get go but that’s not prudent. My approach to doing housework is different than Maggie’s. She’s focused while I tend to get distracted by things I’m finding as I clean. It’s like shopping for me, you may have a plan in the beginning but pretty soon, the plan is out of control and you’re over-taken by events.
So I puttered along, taking breaks for coffee or to admire some treasure I found that I thought had been lost forever. Meanwhile, Maggie had been hovering outside the door like a vulture waiting for a dying animal to take its final breaths. She had her bucket of Pinesoil all ready to go and was eager to begin washing walls. I finally relented just around 1:oo and in she came like a banshee screaming across an Irish marsh at midnight.
We wrapped it up around three, patted ourselves on the back for a productive weekend and collapsed. I’m big on the collapsing part; especially if it involves a nap – and it did.
Later we watched some news but there wasn’t much going on that was different than what was going on the day before. The Senate Expense Scandal continued to occupy most news programs in Canada with pundits either trying to prove the Prime Minister is not telling the truth or that he is; that this scandal could end Stephen Harper’s career or it won’t.
I wrote about what I think happened the other day but it was merely what I think not what I know. I don’t know anymore about what happened than anyone else, except those involved, and continual speculation isn’t improving anyone’s understanding of the issue. The RCMP are investigating; the Auditor General is auditing. I think the truth will come out from those investigations at some point. All this ongoing spin back and forth won’t accomplish much in the long run other than to harden positions on both sides.
But then, we do that with everything now. We’re quick to adore and even quicker to condemn.
It makes me wonder why we have a legal system or even bother with nonsense like due process or the presumption of innocence.
Sometimes it makes me wonder why were given a brain. Clearly, it wasn’t so that we could think independently of the mob – whatever mob that might be.
© 2013 Maggie’s Bear
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