It was because of my parents that I was even able to get the gift. They had sent some Christmas money and I immediately thought, “I can get it for him now!”
Tom had been lusting over an iPad for months. He’d throw hints out at me, “It sure would be nice to have one when I deployed,” or, “Man, I have a Droid, I can’t play that awesome zombie game that only people with Apple devices can play.” Okay, that one was a little odd. But I can appreciate zombie games since I love The Walking Dead.
The money came last Thursday so I decided to go out on Friday to get him an iPad. The Friday before Christmas. Meaning crowds. And lots of them.
I went to the BX first because if you buy at the BX, it’s tax free. Naturally the electronics department was a total zoo. I waited patiently and when I made it up front I asked for an iPad.
“We’re sold out,” the worker snapped. Yes, she snapped as though she thought I was stupid for even asking. I get that she was probably overworked and irritated and wanted two seconds of PEACE but sheesh. There’s no reason for attitude.
“You don’t have any?” I inquired.
“It’s the HOLIDAYS!” she said, as if I didn’t know.
“Really? It is? Because I wasn’t aware. I was curious on what all those trees were doing in the store," I replied. No. Not really. I thought it.
“Do you know when you’ll get more in?” I asked, still keeping my tone polite.
“No! Can I help you?” the woman turned to the man behind me.
This meant I had to go to WalMart.
“We have to go to WalMart,” I said to Natalie. I had to take her. She’s on Christmas Break and Tom was at work.
“Aw,” Natalie groaned. “How LONG?”
“Hopefully quickly,” I said and crossed my fingers. Oh please let there be enough cashiers open at WalMart. Please let there not be a bunch of scary people. Please let them know about personal space and if they don’t, let them know the importance of deoderant.
So Wal-Mart was packed. I parked in the way back. Then I rushed into the electronics area—well, as fast as I could rush with Natalie trailing behind me. She stopped to look at all the baked goods that were out—normally I’d do the same because yum—cake and cookies—but I just wanted to buy the iPad and go HOME.
“Look! Cakes with green and red sprinkles!” Natalie said, pointing.
“Lovely. Let’s go,” I said, grabbing her hand.
She pulled it free. “Look! White cookies! Mmm, can we get the white cookies?” Natalie licked her lips.
“We have cookies at home. Please, darling, let’s go check to see if we can find Daddy’s present,” I begged.
“I must look at toys,” Natalie said firmly.
“Later!” I vowed and then I scooped her up and carried her under my arm.
“This is rude,” she informed me, looking up.
I ignored her and dodged customers. I made it to the back, waited a bit, and then made it up front.
“Do you have any iPad 2s left?” I asked the man hopefully.
“Um.” The man scratched his cheek. “The what now?”
Oh for—he looked like he was a volunteer. He had on a bright yellow vest so I imagine his regular WalMart job was stocking stuff in the back or something. They probably forced him to work in the electronics because of the crowds.
“The iPad 2.” I said it slowly and pulled out my phone. If I had to, I’d show him a picture.
The man pulled over a pad of paper and grabbed a pen. “The iPad..” he scribbled down.
“2,” I finished. “Just the 16 GB.”
“The what now?”
Oh man, I needed some chocolate. Or booze. Or both.
“16 GB,” I repeated.
“16..” the man wrote down.
“G….B?” the man wrote it down but seemed confused. “I’ll go check in the back.”
Oh please. Please oh please. I did not want to go anywhere else.
“Mommy, can I get this princess movie?” Natalie held up a copy of Mulan.
“Not today,” I said.
“Aw. But I love her,” Natalie said even though she had no idea who Mulan was. She’s into Rapunzel and Belle and Cinderella at the moment.
“Sometime. Maybe Santa will bring it,” I lied.
“Oh. Okay.” Natalie put it back.
The guy returned with a white box. Yes! Yes!
“Is this it?” he asked.
I checked the stats. 16 GB. iPad 2.
“Yes! Thank you so much!”
“Mmmm…” the man scanned it and I handed over a wad of cash. This must be how Jay Z feels.
Then it was mine. The man bagged it and handed it to me.
“Toys!” Natalie chirped. “Toys!”
“Another time. You’ll be getting toys for Christmas,” I reminded her. “We have to go!” I didn’t want people to see me with an iPad and want to jump me when I got outside. One never knows.
“You are mean,” Natalie pouted.
Going shopping with Natalie gives me a headache. It never fails. It wasn’t bad when she could be contained in the cart but now? Now it takes me forever to get through a store. Thank goodness for school. The summer is going to be extra fun though especially with Tom deployed. Yay me.
I managed to get Natalie out of the store by distracting her with a piece of Big Red gum from my purse.
“When you’re done, don’t stick it in your hair,” I said. Yes, she’s done this before. She said she wanted to ‘save’ the gum.
At home I wrapped the iPad 2 and waited excitedly to give it to Tom on Christmas. I knew he’d be so happy with it.
On Christmas, I made him wait. He opened his gifts under the tree and thought he was done. Then I was like, “Wait, there’s one more…” and he looked at me with a raised an eyebrow.
“Merry Christmas,” I said, placing the package in his confused hands.
He opened it, saw the box, and was like, “Are you serious?” He’s not a man that squeals when he’s excited. Or bounce around. Yes, it’s odd to me. I bounce around. I squeal. I do a happy dance.
But yes, he is thrilled:
And he installed his beloved zombie game.
And like me with my iPhone 5, he’s not sharing with our kids.
We like our electronics.
Heck, I don’t even know if I’ll get a chance to mess around on the iPad. Even though I feel I sort of have a right for battling the crowds….