Thursday, July 23, 2009

That's What I Call Exercise

The other day we went to Lowes. This is one of my husband’s favorite stores so this meant he was in a fantastic mood on the drive down. He was humming and drumming his fingers lightly on the wheel.

“Can we stop by Target after?” I asked. Target is across the street and I have a compulsion to go into the store whenever I see it. Mainly because rumor has it that Target is going to be marking toys 75% off anytime now. What if the toys get marked on a day when I don’t stop by? The thought makes me feel like I’ve been kicked in the stomach. I have to get there on the day that the toys are marked 75% off or else my nemesis Old Lady Hog will take everything.

Old Lady Hog, for those who don’t know, always seems to sense when toys go 75% off because she’s always there with two carts filled by the time I arrive. We sort of nod coolly at each other when we lock eyes. She’s still a little bitter that I found the last Dancing Brobee the last time there was a gigantic clearance.

“I guess,” Tom agreed. He can tolerate Target for ten minutes. He usually browses the video game section and then asks if I’m ready to go. This is why I rarely go to Target with Tom.

Tom had to get a new blade for the lawn mower at Lowes. I didn’t even realize you had to replace those things. We wandered into the lawn mower section and Tom drooled over one of those self propelled mowers for a few seconds before rummaging through the blades. There were tons of blades, by the way. Tom kept pulling out the different blades and clucking his tongue and I wanted to shout, “Could you PICK a blade already?” I mean, if you’ve seen one blade, you’ve seen them all.

“Tom,” I said when I felt like I was about to kick his shin for staring intently at another blade. “I’m going to look at the washer and dryers.” I had to get out of there. I was surrounded by blades and mowers and I felt like they were about to cave in on me. I bet if I were in a horror movie that they would have.

“Mmmm,” Tom mumbled. I’m not sure if he heard me but I took off with the kids anyway.

I always coo over the washer and dryers when I go to Lowes. I run my hands over the tops and fiddle with the buttons. I pretend that I’m doing an imaginary load and I’ll open up the washer and toss it in.

“Oh, I’m just doing the laundry in my beautiful red washer,” I’ll whisper.

I’m in love with the Whirlpool Duets. I don’t even know what half the buttons mean. For instance, when would I use a sanitary cycle? Who knows? Who cares? The washer is beautiful. Now I know how men feel when they admire cars.

Tom found me practically making out with the dryer. This one was a gorgeous shade of blue.

“Should I leave you two alone?” Tom joked as he approached with his blade.

Mmm. Maybe.

“Do you need help?” a Lowes worker finally asked as he walked over. He had been watching me from across the room for a few minutes with a look of confusion on his face. He probably doesn’t get a lot of customers pretending to do a load of laundry.

“I’m okay. Just looking,” I told him. I pointed to the various buttons on the machine. “Look Tom! It steams! That way I wouldn’t have to ever learn how to iron.”

He rolled his eyes. “Come on,” he said.

“Are we going to Target now?” I wondered hopefully.

“No. I’m going to look around,” Tom said.

“AHA!” I said and Tom gave me a bewildered look. “Now you know how I feel when I have to look around the entire store even though I came in for one thing!”

“This is different,” Tom insisted.


“It just is.”

Um. Okay. It’s really not.

We wandered down aisles and I’m not going to lie, I was bored. Thankfully a good song came from the overhead speakers. It was What About Love? by Heart. I pulled a small pipe that was labeled PVC or something—who knows—and pretended it was my microphone.

I’ve been lonely/I’ve been waiting for you/…. I started to lip synch to Tom, who looked horrified.

“Put that down,” he hissed, his cheeks growing red.

I’m pretending and that’s all I can do/The love I’m sending/ain’t making it through to your heart… I started to get into it, thumping my other hand over my heart for emphasis.

“I’m telling you to put down that pipe,” Tom broke in. “How would you like if I broke out into song when we were in Gymboree?”

Actually, I would prefer that to his outbursts of, “Holy crap! They want nearly forty dollars for ONE shirt! My shirt doesn’t cost this much!” For the record, I never pay that much for one shirt. I only shop during sales and I always am armed with a coupon but Tom doesn’t seem to comprehend this.

What about love/don’t you want someone to care about you? When I sang those lines I gripped Tom’s shoulders and looked him straight in the eye.

“Taking you out in public was a mistake,” Tom muttered.

“Sing it, Tom!” I chanted, pushing the PVC pipe under his mouth.

“No. Besides, this kind of music sucks,” he said, pushing the pipe away.

Tom prefers to listen to music where the artist screams at you or calls you a ho.

We left soon after that because Tom was tired of me serenading him.

Then we got to Target and my heart started thumping with anticipation. Would I find some toys for 75% off? Would I beat Old Lady Hog? I rushed back to the toy section and...

The toys were still holding at 30% off. Not good enough. I sighed and headed over to Natalie’s clothes section. I was flipping through a rack of dresses when Natalie practically jumped out of the cart.

“NI-HAO!” she shrieked, standing up in her seat. “NI-HAO KAI-LAN!” She was naming a show that she’s seen on Noggin about a Chinese girl who has a friend named Ho-Ho. This makes me giggle. Natalie was pointing wildly at a shirt with Kai-Lan and Ho Ho (snickers) on it.

“Mines?” Natalie screeched. “MINES?”

“I guess so. It’s on sale,” I said.

Natalie hugged the shirt to her chest. “KAI-LAN AND HO HO!” (Chuckles)

“That’s right, Natalie. But how about we lower our voice?” I suggested.

Tom found us a few seconds later.

“I just followed our daughter’s voice.” He informed me. “Are you ready to go?”

Ready to go? I just got started. When you go to Target you HAVE to look everywhere because you never know when you’ll stumble upon the 75% off items. One time I found a variety of frames marked 75% off that I would have never come across had I not gone down that aisle.

“I just need to check out the shoe section,” I said and walked over. There was a pair of sparkly pink shoes in Natalie’s size for 75% off. Score!

“Does she really need another pair of shoes?” came Tom’s irritating voice.

“Yes. She goes through shoes quickly,” I explained.

“Mommy! Look what Daddy got me!” Tommy spoke up, showing me a Transformer he was holding. Sometimes Tom pretends that Tommy wants a toy when it’s him that really wants it.

“Does he really need another Transformer?” I shot back at Tom.

“Yes! This is Smokescreen,” Tom said as though that made all the difference. (Huh? What’s a Smokescreen?)

I checked Tommy’s section and then went down the frame section.

“I don’t understand why we’re down here,” Tom said even though I had just explained the 75% off thing to him minutes before.

I ended up finding a book for our beach trip next week. Yes, I’m going BACK to Texas for a mini family reunion. We go to the beach in August. I should probably start watching what I eat so I can still squeeze into my swimsuit but can I help it if ice cream tastes extra good in the summer?

Anyhow, the book I picked out was Sophie Kinsella’s new novel called Twenties Girl. I told Tom to hide it from me. Otherwise I’d finish it before we even left.

“Shopping with you is exhausting,” Tom said as we walked to the truck.

Hey. At least I get some form of exercise in.


  1. Next time have Tom drop you off at Target while he goes across the street to Lowes. Maybe, you can divide the kids up so that neither of you has all of them.

    The hardware store can sharpen his blade if it is just dull. Saves some $$ on a new one. He sounds like a manly stud. So, I am sure that he already knows this studly info.

  2. Unfortunately, James and I both love shopping and love both stores. We do also take turns embarrassing each other in public. Yesterday's quick trip to Target to buy an iTunes card for a gift ended up costing $75. I did get things on sale though and I have needed a desk organizer and a basket to hold magazines for awhile.

  3. I just purchased a new lawn mower blade at Lowe's for "guess how much"? 75% off! Yes and it is exactly like the one our lawn mower already has!

    I'm with Hit40. Have Tom drop you off. That way both of you get what you want without the fuss.

  4. Why do I have the feeling that this is my life in about 5 years?


  5. What an outing. I loved picturing you singing. Too funny.

  6. How can he be bored at Target?!?! My husband can spend hours in the electronics department.

  7. Well your husband sounds like a good sport even though he was acting grumpy. I wish I'd been there to see the singing in Loew's. I'm gonna try that with Mr. Peach Tart when I'm somewhere and bored and he won't hurry up.

  8. Oh, this is us exactly. He will spend hours in the home improvement store or the motorcycle shop or the guitar store, but let me spend 5 minutes looking in the clearance aisle at JoAnn's and he's sighing loudly and playing games on his phone. I think I'm gonna sing into an exhaust pipe next time we're in the motorcycle shop. That'll teach him.

  9. I hate to break it to you but word is the Whirlpool Duets are husband's words. He says the Kenmore Oasis is comparable, but if you are going to spend that kind of money just get a front loader. If you go to Sears they can bring up all the comps and all the prices from all their competitors. It is pretty neat. And you must learn the names of the Transformers! lol

  10. Oh goody, she has a new book? May I borrow it when you are done? She is one of my favorites!

  11. that's exactly why jordan lets me go to target by myself! they're summer sections slowly getting marked down...i'm just counting the days!

  12. See, your mistake was not going to Target first. Like Kids, men need the bribe. "If you go with me to Target, after we can go to Lowe's and you can look at fence posts for a WHOLE HOUR!".

  13. Seriously funny. You just reminded me why I don't EVER go shopping with hubby. It just doesn't work for us.

  14. I am so loving visitng your blog since finding you at GF. Hilarious! It sounded just like me and my husband shopping. He has little patience for clothing shopping so I try to leave him behind;)

  15. As the wife of an HD manager, I can't comment on this post. Nope. He'd kill me. :)


  16. Whoa have I been there...the washers, the transformers, Ho Ho and whatever that Hi Ho girl's name is, best of all...SOPHIE KINSELLA!!

  17. i love finding clearance steals at target! they are the best ;)
    i cant wait to read sophie's new book!!

  18. Love the singing in the Lowes aisle, with a pvc pipe, no less. Sounds like a cool store to play music like that. I don't recall music being played in the background besides anything but MUZAC or something. I do remember one time while I was there that a page came over the PA system that somebody needed help in aisle whatever, and then the guy said, "Thank you, thank you very much" in an Elvis accent. I bust out laughing, but either nobody else noticed or they didn't think it was funny. He did it one more time while I was there and I laughed again. It just made my day.

  19. I always enjoy your writing. It's so homespun and humorous.

    I think I'll go some exercise doing bicep curls with my spare mower blade - the one that gets sharpened while other one is on the mower. :)

  20. Shopping is supposed to be a sport, doesn't he know that:) And because I am loving your blog you have been given an award from me--come by to claim it:)

  21. Hahahah so glad I stopped by from The Mommy Files since I missed out on BlogHer as well.
    Great POST and so dang true. I leave Ken in the car and send one of the kids out for his debit card if I go over budget. ;)
    Stop by and say hello when I get a chance- hope to see you at BlogHer '10

  22. I agree with Hit40. My husband is a hardware store addict.

    What amuses me is when he goes into a hardware store for one item and comes home with more than the one. And it's fine. I go to Target for one item, come home with a few extras (that, ahem are on clearance...and I had a coupon) and I'm frittering. Humph!

  23. Lowes and the HD are two stores I refuse to enter with chldren...or without for that matter.
    I instantly sweat and my legs turn to jello...I can't stand it!

    Target on the other hand, is paradise.

  24. This is why my husband and split up for trips like this. He'll drop me off at Target so i can browse to my heart's content while he goes to Lowe's!

  25. Oh, how I wish my husband loved Lowe's! I think I may be the one woman in America who's married to someone who hasn't set foot in a home improvement store during the whole time we've been married. He says the place "intimidates" him. But he does respond to Target the way Tom does. He thinks you should get in and get out---we left Target yesterday after spending $200 in 20 minutes. He doesn't understand that I can spend $100 less if I stay a whole hour!


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