Sunday, November 11, 2007

Victory Is Mine

“Uh huh.” I said absently as I typed with my right hand, holding the phone in my left. I was entering references into EndNote when Mom called to tell me what they’d done that day.

“How close is Target to you?” She asked innocently and I smiled involuntarily.

“So you went to buy toys at Target, left in rage because there were so many people in your way, and now you want me to go acquire these items?”

“You don’t have to.” She said, sounding morose. “Dad and I will go back tomorrow.” She paused and I heard Dad’s voice but couldn’t make out the words. “I guess I’ll go back tomorrow by myself,” she corrected. “I was mean to Dad and he doesn’t want to go with me again.”

I laughed and told her Target wasn’t far from me. I would make the trip tomorrow.

“No.” She sighed. “I’ll go tomorrow, but if the sale ends today, I won’t get the good prices.”

“What am I looking for?” I asked, finishing my references and clicking over to check toy availability online. “The Littlest Pet Shop?” I tried to remember from the small attention I’d paid to her earlier story.

“That’s the brand.” She scoffed. “They make all sorts of toys. But the Littlest Pet Shop Round and Round Pet Town is on sale for $19.99. I want that for Little One. It has a hammock and elevator and gondola.”

“Like in Venice?” I asked, squinting at the picture. “It says $29.99 online.”

“It’s $19.99 in my ad.” She insisted and I resigned myself to going to the store. “Then I was going to get this [another long toy name I knew I wouldn’t remember] for Smallest One.”

“I’ll get dressed and once I’m in the toy department, I’ll call you.” I said and she happily hung up the phone.

I pushed my bright red, plastic cart toward the back of the store and felt some relief that there weren’t many people there. I glanced at the Fisher Price section, but really couldn’t remember the name of Smallest One’s gift. So I moved to Littlest Pet Town and nodded when I saw that Mom was right. They make all sorts of stuff. I saw the Biggest Littlest Pet Shop and the Get Better Center. Then, on the very end of the aisle, there was a Round and Round Pet Town and it was on sale for $19.99. I reached down with both hands to lift it into my cart, then picked up the phone to call Mom.

“I found it.” I said and listened to her happily report the news to Dad after making sure the price was as it should be. “Did you find the toy for Smallest One too?” She asked after she thanked me profusely for triumphing in my tiny pet search.

“What was it called again?” I asked, pausing next to the plush aisle. “I wonder if they have the anniversary Tenderheart.” I mused, wandering down and glancing around. “Oh, they do.” I breathed, reaching with my right hand to pick up the shiny box. “He’s all fluffy and white and the hearts on his belly and feet are silver. I’m getting one.” So Tenderheart joined the Pet Town in my cart.

“Little One will like that.” Mom praised and I paused, pivoted, and picked up another bear. Tenderheart was mine. “You could get one for yourself too.” Mom ventured when I remained silent.

“Already did.” I smiled and she offered to buy it for me for Christmas. (It comes with a DVD too! I don’t know if I can wait until late December to enjoy the newest member of my Care Bear family!)

Fisher Price Little Superstars Sing-Along Stage.” She said and I made some comment about how flipping long toy names are. “It has a mirror and a microphone and a drum, mini xylophone, trombone and guitar.”

“So it’s big.” I decided and started to look along the bottom shelves. “I see a Kickin’ Bobbin’ Gym, a Bounce and Spin Zebra, Go Baby Go Sit-To-Stand Giraffe… Oh, there it is. There are two signs. One for $34.99 and one for $29.99.”

“It’s $29.99.” She said. “I’m so happy you found it! That’s all I wanted!”

“Hold on.” I said. “I need both hands to get it.” I set the phone next to my purse and reached to pull the big toy out. It was the last one and I pulled it closer protectively though I had the aisle to myself. The toy belonged to Smallest One now. But I frowned at the cart already full of bulky items. I decided to tuck it underneath instead, and finally reached for the phone again.

“Sorry.” I said. “Did you say you wanted a couple more Littlest Pet animals?”

“Do you know what you’re doing?” She asked as I moved back to the aisle to stare at the tiny plastic figures.

“Yes.” I said, mildly offended. “I just didn’t have room in my cart for the Little Superstars Sing-Along Stage. So I had to get it and put it underneath. Toys take up a lot of room.” I defended myself.

“No.” She said. “You doing this means we don’t have to shop the day after Thanksgiving.”

“Oh.” I said, picturing sleeping in and having leftover pumpkin pie with whipped cream for breakfast rather than being awakened before dawn to fight crowds and find parking to frantically search out bargains. “I would like that. That day of shopping is always so hard.”

She assured me we didn’t have to go this year and thanked me again, sounding nearly giddy, for finding the items she wanted for the girls.

“OK.” I said, facing a wall full of brightly colored and packaged plastic. “So you have your single animals for $4.44. Then there are playsets that contain 2 or 3 animals for $10. There’s this arctic set that has a cute seal, um…” I turned the box over for help and found none. “Some sort of rodent with huge ears and a fox, I think. Then there are sick animals at the vet - that’s kind of sad. Oh, here are two dogs in one package. It says one of them is fuzzy - I’ll get them.” I tossed them in the cart before Mom could remind me that Little One prefers cats. “There’s a cat and a fish.” I offered, tossing it in the cart too. “Then there’s one with a horse and something that might be a cat. It comes with brushes and ribbons and trophies. I don’t think the animals have hair.” I turned the box to peer inside more closely. “Nope - all plastic. I wonder what the brushes are for.”

I tossed that in the cart too and moved toward the cashiers. $100 later and, quite honestly, feeling ridiculously proud of myself, I headed home with my trunk full of long-named toys that will be used for Christmas. Not a bad way to spend an hour of my Sunday afternoon.


Anonymous said...

nice job!! and yah, i will never again go shopping the day after thanksgiving, it is crazy!

Estrella said...

Target! My favorite store! I wish there was one near GradSchool ... As there is not, I will be one of the crazies on Black Friday. :-)

Glad you got your own Tenderheart. ;-)

post-doc said...

Thanks, JustMe!

I love Target too! But I'm even happier when there aren't masses of people there.

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