Thursday, January 26, 2006

A shopping trip gone awry

One other thing to dislike about moving is the difficulty of getting used to shopping at new stores. I always wander around new stores like a squirrel navigating a traffic jam, colliding with the displays and forgetting what I was after.

There is a grocery store across the street. There is another down the road one way, a Wal-mart down the road the other way, and a fourth somewhere on the other side of the freeway. I decided the best plan would be to visit one store each week, stocking up on whatever thing that store had the best deals on.

Last week I shopped at the grocery store across the street, in the evening so that DOB could watch the ducklings. This week I decided to visit Wal-mart.

As I was pulling into Wal-mart, the thought occurred to me, "What if this isn't a Wal-mart with food?" But I was already there, so I went on in. Sure enough, it had no food, although it did have the non-food items on the list.

Now, the most sensible plan would have been to head back to the grocery store across the street and finish my shopping. The second most sensible plan would have been to call DOB and ask for directions to the grocery store on the other side of the freeway. (This is one of those places where several main roads and a freeway all collide in a profusion of big box stores, and even a good navigator has trouble keeping his head. I am not a good navigator.)

Naturally, I pursued neither of those courses. Instead, I ventured off into the darkness lit with signs in hopes of finding the store on my own. After awhile, I determined that I must have gone too far and tried to turn back. Unfortunately, I didn't have room to turn, and before I knew what had happened, I was heading south on the interstate.

It's been a few years since I drove on the interstate after dark, and I never liked it when I did it frequently. I have a hard enough time telling whether someone is beside me in the daylight; in the dark, all the lights look the same distance. So I just turn my blinker on for awhile and then change lanes, hoping for the best and ready to stop if I hear any crunchy noises.

I looked anxiously for the next exit where I could turn around, but alas, it intersected with another interstate, and I knew it would only take me farther afield. A few miles further south, I finally found an honest exit where a befuddled traveler could turn around and drive home.

Why had I not called DOB for help all this time? The answer soon appeared to me, when my phone started ringing: I had left my cell phone in my skirt pocket, which was under my coat, which was under my seatbelt. The contortions required to get it out would have stumped Houdini.

So the phone rang, and rang, and I got off at my exit. Unfortunately I had never gotten off coming from that direction before, and before I knew it I was wandering some dim world of office parks I had never seen before. I did manage to extract my phone at a stop light and call DOB. As I had expected, D2 was raising hue and cry at the delay of his supper. DOB gave me directions home and I returned, without food and a gallon or so of gas lighter, but very thankful to find my way home again.

I think we'll just shop at the grocery store across the street.

1 comment:

the Joneses said...

I'm glad to know that other people live in this world the same way I do. Especially changing lanes and waiting for crunchy sounds. My husband probably doesn't want to know that.

-- SJ