Sunday, January 09, 2005

A day in Chicago

What was to be a day away from Daddy-007 and the boys under the guise of a "necessary" trip to Chicago to return a defective Christmas present to the Container store, turned into "family day" at a restaurant 2 and a 1/2 hours from home with a VERY large sign posted that read "Parents of small children: Please keep your children under control. Running, screaming and horseplay is not only unsafe, it is annoying to our other patrons. Please do not be the 1st ones asked to leave." and the '1st' was crossed out, with a '2nd' written above it, that was crossed out, followed by a '3rd', crossed out, and finally the dire '4th'.... Certainly they were not afraid to enforce this rule! Needless to say, we did everything but tape the boys' mouths shut, and they were beautifully reasonably behaved for the duration. We then took a little tour around Lake Forest showing the completely uninterested 2 and 5 year old set where Daddy grew up, skated and played hockey, went to school, etc. I think it is a fine example of today's toddlers that after each display of paternal sentimental meandering, the boys would request that we turn the DVD player back on. Charming young lads!

So, after leaving the cute village of Lake Forest we went to go take care of the business of returning an unwieldy file cabinet with crooked drawers from the Container Store in a giant strip mall in Northbrook. Crayke waited in the car with the kids while I went in to quickly try and get this beast returned and look around for something else to replace it. I got up to the counter pretty quickly and the return was going fine.... until we hit a snag with refunding the shipping and getting the tax issue straightened out. Not much of a line at first. Then a little line, to which I turned to and said- "Um, you might want to get in another line, this return is pretty hairy and might take awhile." People seemed responsive and went to other lines. However, this momentary peace was not to last. In the space of about five more minutes, I looked around the massive box that the cabinet was in to see that there was a line of about 7 people now waiting. And it was the shortest one of the four registers going! EEK!

The people looked restless. Then they looked peeved. Then the woman behind me came up and asked if her ONE item could be checked out while we waited for the manager to come help.... And the manager walked up just after the woman helping me said, "Well, ok." Ouch! The now irate woman behind me scowled and her husband said, "Yeeech! Just leave it. Let's go!" She refused to budge, though, and just stood right behind me glowering. Which was nice, I thought, because she could have stood there sighing and clucking instead.... The nice Container Store employees finally finished up and handed me my little blue in-store credit card. Phew!

I returned to the car and found Destructo in the car crying while CC and Daddy-007 were throwing snowballs and playing on the drifts of snow in the parking lot. In his excitement to greet me, CC fell off the snow drift, landed on his knee, and sobbed uncontrollably, let me rephrase, WAILED without stop, for about 5 minutes. Daddy-007 left while CC was crying to use the bathroom in the store.

I thought to myself, "What a great day I had planned that morning. A day of peace, quiet and unbridled shopping and consumerism." And instead I got tears in the parking lot.

As we finally all got buckled in and I started to drive away, I could not restrain an almost primal wail as we drove by: first, a Marshalls, second a Loemann's, and then the triple ouch- Nordstrom Rack! And I hadn't even gotten to buy anything with my in-store credit!

Ridiculous! Outrageous! Impossible!

1 comment:

Thoughts appreciated. Advice welcome. Douche-baggery scoffed at then deleted.