Just got back from an all day shopping excursion. I don't know how Tara does it every week. I told her that was harder work than going to the office all day. She said, “So, you appreciate me more now?” Of course, I said yes.

First we went to “Tara's” Kroger, the one almost in Nolensville city limits, for bread and something else while Elizabeth and I stayed in the air-conditioned car with the motor running. Then we stopped at Walgreens a hundred yards down the road because Tara forgot to buy something to drink. Again, I stayed behind in the car, but Elizabeth went in. Apparently while in there Elizabeth tried to talk Tara into buying all kinds of junk food. Tara had said “no, we're going out to lunch for some real food.” She then tried to talk us into going to “Old MacDonald's” for lunch. We both said, no, that's not real food, either.

From there we went to Smyrna because they have a Super Target and Tara had a bunch of things she wanted to buy, on sale of course. But first, we stopped at Snappy Tomato (pizza buffet) for lunch. It's not the healthiest food, either, but they have salad. It's much better than CiCi's Pizza or Sir Pizza, but then canned dog food is better than those. We then drove over to the Target shopping center. Elizabeth and I went into the PetSmart two stores down while Tara shopped in Target. We walked round and round PetSmart, seeing every critter in there at least a couple of times. That includes the customers who brought their dogs in, which Elizabeth ALWAYS asks to pet. Hey, at least she asks first. One of the critters I felt sorry for was some sort of “dragon” lizard that obviously REALLY wanted to get out of his glass cage. We saw him there the other day, too, though I've already forgotten what we were doing there that time. Anyway, this lizard kept looking at me with those oversized eyes, as if saying, “Come on, dude, let me out!!!” I might have bought him if I thought I could give him a better life than he already had, but I didn't think so.

I finally couldn't take it anymore, so we left the pet store and went into Target. Tara just happened to be walking down the aisle within sight and just ahead of us. She was a good 10 yards away with her back turned. I don't know how she knew we were coming (I had told Elizabeth to sneak up on her but don't say “boo” because she doesn't like that), but it was obvious she did. Elizabeth asked how she knew, and Tara said, “Because they gave me eyes in the back of my head when we got you.” Elizabeth didn't believe her.

We then drove over to Staples, even though it was just a few stores over because I had pulled the car in front of Target to pick up Tara. In Staples I wanted one of those laptop cooling trays/pads because this laptop starts searing into my legs after a while and literally makes me sweat. I was checking out office chairs and mats, too, because my current chair mat is badly cracked, making it hard to slide on. Making it even harder is the fact that the chair wheels are missing. They and their replacements just broke off one by one, so it's an “executive” office chair without wheels. Anyway, while testing a chair and after I had chosen a USB-powered laptop cooling tray for $20, Elizabeth found this much simpler thing that I'm using right now. It's just a tray with padding underneath, nothing powered about it. That's really all I need. And I didn't get a chair mat or chair because they're just too expensive. My current chair is not bad, really, it just has no wheels. As Tara says, I'm hard on chairs. She bought it for me for Father's Day a couple years ago. It has a vibrating feature, too, that I haven't used in years because it limits my range of motion when plugged in.

From there, since we were already in Smyrna, we drove down to Murfreesboro another 15 miles or so southeast along I-24. There was an Old Navy in their newest shopping center, we thought, where Tara thought she could get some school clothes for Elizabeth cheaply. We drove the entire length of that sprawling outdoor mall's parking lot and never did see the Old Navy until we had given up and were about the leave. Then, there it was. Once again, I tried to entertain Elizabeth while Tara shopped. Toward the end I stood outside the dressing rooms, holding Elizabeth's white teddy bear, while she tried things on. Yes, I love shopping. Not.

Finally, we headed home. Oh, but we weren't done yet. We had to stop at OfficeDepot near Hickory Hollow because they were having a deal where a ream of copy paper only cost a dollar. Tara said the bored salesman watching her had a look in his eye as if to say, “Please buy more than just that.” She didn't. And FINALLY we were done shopping!

Oh, but wait, then we had to go to the library to return mostly children's (but not all) books and videos and replace them with “new” ones. On the drive over there, there was a jerk hugging my bumper, staying on the left edge of our lane so I'd be sure and see him. Of course, that just ensured that I never quite made it over the speed limit. I hate drivers like that, anyway, and after yet another incredibly hot summer day of shopping and driving I was in no mood to comply with anything he might want from me. Unfortunately, he then had to turn down the same street where I turned. I can imagine he was cussing me out pretty good back there. Oh well. Luckily, he didn't follow us into the library parking lot. I was starting to worry he might be a psycho with a gun. It was the right neighborhood for it. We avoid the area, normally, because of the “gang bangers” and just generic punks.

Thank God we're home now, and I'm writing this long-ass story about absolutely nothing that you really wished you'd never started reading. Right? 🙂 And Chandler's looking at me, telling me it's dinner time.

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