I did something today that I do no more than once a year—unless I'm hosting out-of-town guests who aren't familiar enough with the area to go themselves—and that's went to a mall.
It turned out that the Barnes & Noble in Triangle Town Center had that book I was looking for, so I'd put it on hold earlier in the day. Once I got there, however, there was some drama locating it. The people at the check-out up front said it wasn't there and sent me to the customer service desk in the middle of the store, where they told me that they didn't have it, it would be up front.
When I told them that the check-out folks had sent me to them, a very nice manager took over, and he tried to guess who might have "pulled it" for me by when I had called. But, after trying three people by phone whom he thought might be the person, he made an announcement over the intercom that said, "Would whoever pulled the book Wicked French for a customer this morning, please call the customer service desk?"
It turned out that it was up front, but it's such a small book—both in terms of number of pages and in terms of its 4" x 6" size—that they'd missed it. Once in hand he said to me, "Thank you and sorry about the inconvenience, my friend." I wanted to hug him right then and there, because I was just about to respond to him, "Thank you, my friend." Awwww.
During the time I was waiting, they'd made a store announcement that they have complimentary gift wrapping, so I brought the book to that table, where two older ladies were ready—and just a little bit excited—to help me. I picked out the paper I wanted, and I said to them both as the one started wrapping, "Would you be devastated if, instead of watching you wrap my gift, I ran to the Hallmark store instead?"
I love a battle of wits with people who are armed, and the lady who wasn't wrapping said, "We'll we'd be heartbroken, but go ahead."
To which I responded, "Pick up the shattered pieces of your life and move on," about which she just laughed like a ninny.
At the entrance to the Hallmark store, I said to a lady who worked there and who had asked me if she could help me find anything: "Yes. Do you have any [insert item here]?"
"No, not [item], but we have this [similar item]," she said leading me toward something in the same vein.
We talked about whether the item looked "too girly," both being careful not to intimate that there was anything wrong with something being girly, and in the end I said, "I'll take it."
As I was leaving her to go check out, I said, "I appreciate you," to which she cocked her head and said, "I appreciate you."
Back at Barnes & Noble, my book was wrapped and the lady, indicating the bow she'd just laid on the gift but not adhered, said, "Did you want a bow on it?"
"Yes," I said, and while she stuck it on, that other lady asked, "What was it you said before? About the pieces of my life?"
"Pick up the shattered pieces of your life and move on," I repeated. They looked at each other at the same time and laughed, "Shattered pieces, that's what it was."
And the laughing ninny one added, "That's a great line. I'm definitely going to be using that in the future."
On the way home, I passed a car that startled me for just a moment until I realized that the child's feet hanging out of the shut rear driver's side were fake. I hate that.
I don't know what I was thinking when I got a hankering for a Honey Baked Ham sandwich, but already in the lane to turn in, it occurred to me that that place is an absolute zoo around Thanksgiving and Christmas. You know it's bad when they have a security guard directing traffic and parking and there's a huge white tent set up outside to handle everyone picking up holiday hams.
I decided to venture inside, where surprisingly, there was only a short line, and I ordered a ham salad sandwich while everyone around me picked up their reserved Mini Ham ($30-$40) or their Half-Ham ($46 - $73).
"We're out of ham salad," the lady helping me said. "We just don't make that many sandwiches at this time of year," she apologized.
"I'll just have the regular ham sandwich then," I said.
Upon receipt of it, I handed her my money, and she said, "Oh you have to pay out in the tent." Groan. I really didn't want to get out there in the midst of that holiday ham-buying crowd. Surprisingly though, in spite of the DisneyWorld-like winding lines they'd roped off, it went very quickly. Yay for organization and a process that works.
I ran Joe to the airport for a 5:50 flight, and afterwards swung back by his place to pick up a package of his that had been returned for no postage, even though he'd mailed it at the post office last week and paid for the postage as evidenced by his receipt. He'd told me about it when I picked him up, and he was annoyed that it was something else to deal with, and that he probably wouldn't get to it until January now, since he'll possibly be gone that long, depending on what happens with his dad. I thought I'd take it back to the post office tomorrow and try to take care of it for him.
While I was on that side of town, I checked out the picture frames at Bed, Bath & Beyond at Pleasant Valley Promenade, where I found some (in the Beyond section) that were 50% off and on which two of them I used an additional 20% off coupon. Sweet! Girl loves a bargain!
While I was looking around in that section, a young lady holding a floor-length mirror that typically goes on the back of a door or hangs on a wall said to me, "How do you think you would hang this?" indicating the back of it, which had no hook of any kind on it.
"Hmmm," I said. "How heavy is it?" and I took it from her and lifted it. "Maybe one of those hooks that adhere to a wall would hold it, but I'm not sure. It's kind of heavy."
"Yeah," she said. "That's what I was thinking."
Then I said, "To be perfectly honest with you I don't even hang my own pictures. Whenever I need any kind of handiwork done, I always hire a Lesbian."
She got a good chuckle over that, and then said, "You know. That's really a very good idea." Another happy shopper.
My final stop of the night was at Trader Joe's off Falls of the Neuse Road. I really love that place, although tonight I was disappointed that they were out of Candy Cane Joe-Joe's. "Yep, we've been out sold out for about a week-and-a-half now. The entire company is out of them," a person working there said when I asked about them.
Ordering FAIL. Somebody needs to be wearing the official Trader Joe Order Planning dunce cap. Just sayin'...
The highlight of my visit to the place, though, was running into my friend, Hugh Hollowell, there.
I spent the rest of my night in, burning some CDs, wrapping some gifts for people at work tomorrow, as well as writing out some cards for them. Life is good.