I had to run to the store and pick up some ice cream for our latest birthday party. The babies were sleeping, the older boys were all home from school, and the house was moderately sane. I thought it would be the perfect time for a quick trip. I decided to go to the big box wonder mart, since it was closer than the grocery store. Quicker, too. Yup.
I got in my zippy little car and zipped on down. "As long as I'm here," I innocently thought (can you see it coming?), I'll pick up that acne face wash that some anonymous teenaged boy might want... and some dried cranberries for our salad tonight... and some <ahem> feminine products... and some whole milk for the twins... and some spray paint for all those projects I haven't yet gotten to... Although I did have to go to every corner of the vast store, I zipped around the aisles pretty fast. I can really move when I am flying solo, without little ones. Yippee! I even zipped through a sales rack of winter sweaters, but alas, nothing in my size.
I zipped into the express checkout, and the nice clerk lady was very speedy at ringing up my purchases. "That'll be $37.25, she cheerfully announced. I unzipped my purse and pulled out my wallet - only to realize that I had no credit card. And no cash. And no check book. I didn't feel so zippy anymore. The nice clerk lady cancelled my transaction, and held my cart next to her checkstand until I could bring back something with which to pay.
I screamed home (not literally, although I could have). I remembered that some anonymous boy had borrowed my credit card to put gas in the van, and hadn't returned it. Once home, I realized that the culprit was not home. Someone is dead meat. I got some money and ran back to the store. By this time, the streets were clogging up, the parking lot was full, and the store was crowded.
I waited in the express line, where I could see my shopping cart, waiting alone and forlorn. I greeted the clerk, and she rang up my purchases again. "That will be $23.89," she said brightly. No. The first total was $37-something. I looked carefully at the cart. A jug of milk, and a bag of stuff with those feminine products sticking out of the top. No bag with ice cream. I was missing an entire bag of very important stuff! The clerk was incredulous. "It was right by me the whole time!" she insisted. I think someone lifted the ice-cream bag as they went out, but left the other, not-so-interesting-looking bag.
I made a mad dash back around the now-clogged-up store to get the items that were in the second bag. It was, admittedly, more mad than dash. I waited and waited in the express line (for the third time), and greeted the nice clerk lady. We were on a first name basis by now (Hi, Sandy!). I paid for my very important stuff, and the ice cream. I sighed as I battled traffic on the way home. My quick trip to the store to get ice cream had taken literally hours.
The moral of the story is - take the simple route. Next time, I'll go to the grocery store when I need groceries. Better yet, I'll plan ahead and pick it up when I'm doing my regular shopping. What a novel idea.
Oh, and beware of ALAIAI (As Long As I'm At It - pronounced A - LIE - I ). It's a common disorder around here, and it'll get you every time. Very contagious, too.
And that is the story of the longest ever quick shopping trip. I had nightmares (but I didn't kill the boy!).