I had no plans to partake in the biggest shopping day of the year. To me, a door buster sale = the fifth layer of Hell. No gracias. However, as Sam stormed out the door to open the bike shop, i.e. to open the gates to the fifth layer, he ranted about how ALL of Paolo's pajamas were too small, and the pajama drawer was an absolute disaster: a tsunami of too-small pjs. An absolute disgrace. So I did a little mind-reading and asked if he would like me to pick up some new pajamas. He said no, but I'm all about shutting him up. It's why our marriage is so solid.
I threw Paolo in the car and decided to go one store, just one. During the drive, I coached myself to face the crowds with infinite patience and courtesy. The second I entered the chosen store, I lost my resolve. It wasn't the crowds or the merchandise all over the floor, it was the checkout lines. The inside of the store looked like Broward County post-Wilma, with damp, disgruntled people lined up for bottled water, creamed corn, and tarp.
I hated to abort the mission so quickly, so I dragged Paolo next door to Target to see if it was equally as horrible. Thanks to the thirty-eight (or so) beeping registers, the greedy consumers were flying through checkout. Thank you, Jesus. I nabbed some pajamas on super-sale, and we hit the toy section. As usual, Paolo honed in on all of the toys that shriek music, flash lights and gyrate robotically - you know, all of the crap we refuse to allow into our house. He helped me pick out some trucks for his only female cousin. (What? You didn't think I was going to get her something from the pink aisle, did you? Dude, that aisle makes me twitch. Trust me, she'll love the trucks.) When we were almost to the front of the store, I realized that Paolo had not asked for a thing. He never does. He's content to play with the toys and then be on his way. It's not that we never let him get a toy when we're out. We do. He just doesn't expect it or demand it.
So I marched that lovely child of mine over to pick out a wooden race car for himself, and I picked one out too so we can race. Then we checked out with blinding speed and got the fifth-layer-of-Hell out of the shopping district and back home. Mission accomplished.