In some perverse twist of eastern philosophy, shopping only works when you are not actively seeking the object . We all know that if, for some horrible reason like someone crept into your place at night and stole all your jeans and it just happened to be casual friday at work the next day and you desperately needed to find a pair of jeans by then, that you would fail miserably. Because you needed them.
Now take last Tuesday for example. I don’t have time to shop right now. I am busy packing up all our belongings for a move that we weren’t sure would occur until Monday. Our house is a mess, we are renovating the other house and my children are hot and cranky. I don’t want to be shopping. Except that the kids are now in daycamp and they need (there is that word again) water bottles and locks, and hats. Now you would think that these would be relatively simple things to find. Well, you would be wrong. On my lunch hour I went to 3 stores looking for these basic items, one of which looked like it was owned by some crazy old person that hadn’t thrown anything out for fifty years (and it was a Jean Coutu). Nope. Not today. After work, I try again. Another pharmacy. No locks, no hats, not a water bottle in sight. One last ditch effort after dinner- I bike to the Loblaw’s. WRONG DECISION. This was definitely a case of admitting consumer defeat and just buying a cheap disposable bottle for my children. We entered the place through the revolving doors which made a noise like a thousand cats dying. We were then confronted with lines reminiscent of soviet Russia. This is because Quebec has a law whereby only a certain number of employees can be working after 5:30. While this is a good thing, it does not work very well for the big box stores who have the capacity to serve many people yet sadly never enough employees to take your money.
I gave up. I went home. I went to bed. Next morning. My youngest daughter is going to the waterslides with her daycamp! Except I didn’t get the memo that they did not provide flotation devices for the children until that morning, half an hour before we all had to vacate the house. Okay. Fine. Who needs breakfast? (I need breakfast) My husband and I jump on our bikes, tork to the closest Canadian Tire, find a life jacket (it was a spiderman one no less) and, lo and behold, some water bottles (we gave up on the locks- camp was half over and we decided to rely on the faith that people would not steal a six year old’s towel) and made it back in time for me to head off to work and they to camp. I phone later on during the day:
Me (To my husband)- So how are you?
Hub- Fine. C. is here.
Me-What? Why? (obviously thinking there was a horrible accident or she had gotten sick on the camp counsellor shoes)
HUB-Because she wouldn’t get on the bus to go the waterslides. She freaked out and cried and cried. I told her fine and we got back in the car. I am furious.
Me-But did she give any reason?
Hub-She just said she didn’t want to go.
Me- So instead of going to the waterslides, she is helping you scrape paint off the wall?
So the lesson here is, even if you think you need it, you probably don’t really need it. And don’t ever get spiderman flotation devices because your daughter will choose home renovation over a day of fun just to avoid wearing it.