Finally it was Saturday, and we were free. No prior commitments. Nothing we had to do. What a glorious feeling.
I thought it might be nice to go out of town. Shopping when I don’t have to buy something or other is fun. But I didn’t really want to drive, and my best girl friend wasn’t home.
Then I remembered we had run out of peanuts for the squirrels who depend on us. I approached my husband who really hates to shop. “Bill, want to go get some peanuts for the squirrels?”
He didn’t say no, so I continued, “We could get the nuts, then stop somewhere for breakfast.” He was still listening. I thought of another store I’d like to visit, so I added, “We could get the batteries you wanted.”
It looked like it was going to be a really good day as we started down the road. The sun was shining, a light breeze was blowing, and the cars in front of us were moving along. Then a car pulled out in front of our little line of traffic from a side road. Considering what a hurry he was in to get ahead of us, the driver’s speed, or lack of it, was truly amazing. And of course, traffic coming toward us eliminated any chance to pass him. We had to follow that car all the way to our first destination where the parking lot was almost full.
It looked like a good day was going bad when suddenly a really good parking place opened as we neared it. Things were looking good again. I did wonder why the parking lot was so full. The sign out front told the tale. Sale! We usually avoid big sale days at stores, but we were there and the squirrels did need nuts, so we decided to go in.
Another big surprise. It looked like a tornado had hit the interior of the store. They are in the midst of remodeling. This was not a place to take a shopping-shy male. But the local squirrels’ need for peanuts won the day. We grabbed a shopping cart and entered the fray.
At the first left turn, Bill and I were separated. I knew I could meet him at the next turn so I continued on. Blocking my way was another man holding onto a shopping cart. I tried to go around him just as he tried to get out of my way. We collided.
Shoving his cart gently back to the side, I said kindly, “You just stay right where you are.”
He smiled forlornly as he looked around slowly, “That’s what my wife said a while ago.”
I thought maybe I should take him to customer service so they could find his wife for him, but then I saw Bill looking around for me.
We looked and looked for the peanuts, but finally had to stop a management type to ask for directions. She looked helplessly around the store and finally said, “Your guess is as good as mine.” At least she was honest.
Finally we found the peanuts, along with a few other things, and headed for the checkout. I thought that would finally find Bill’s breaking point, but we got in a short line which moved rapidly.
Breakfast went well, too. Just one more stop and we could head home. We had to park way out in the out lot, but exercise is good for us. Then Bill decided to stick with me though the store so I didn’t really get much shopping done. But we did get the batteries he needed, and we were heading home.
As we approached a turn in a little town, we noticed the traffic was really backed up to make the necessary next right turn. So we turned right early and went down to the block where a traffic light would let us make a safe, uncrowded turn.
As we approached, our light turned green. Thank Heaven we were moving slowly. A women driving a small car and conversing with a young boy in her passenger seat plowed right through her red light. Bill stopped in time to avoid a collision. She looked horrified as she sped past.
After we turned I saw her in a parking space, her head slumped on the steering wheel, both hands on her head. I still wonder if she knew she almost caused a terrible wreck, or if she was just really angry at us.
Oh well, I guess it doesn’t matter. It surely was a good day for us.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate September 25, 2002.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.