Squandering a Day of Vacation

My car was making a noise. Actually, I didn’t really notice it: Cute W did. This is one of the quirks in our relationship. I joke that I grew up in a household where, if something didn’t work exactly right, we just lived with it. And then, if we couldn’t live with it, eventually we’d call a professional. In Cute W’s home, the slightest alteration of normal–say, a hinge with a teensy-weensy squeak, or a  slightly different purr from the refrigerator–means it’s time to drop everything and investigate, and then fix, the problem. So when he mentioned the car noise, I hadn’t noticed at all. And then I thought, well maybe he’s right. By the weekend,  he was swiveling the steering wheel right and left repeatedly as we drove around, kind of like the car equivalent of doctor-it-hurts-when-I-do-this. Until I was saying, stop already! We’re going on Monday! And he repeated that he couldn’t believe–could. not. believe.–that I hadn’t noticed The Noise.

Of course, getting your car fixed is exactly the sort of dreary chore best left for when the kids are in school. Actually, on my own, I take a pleasant walk over to Barnes & Noble and browse guilt-free. Which I foolishly mentioned in front of the girls. If I’d been thinking, I would have just taken the ride home. Because you get a ride of course. Kind of like the one phone call when you’re arrested. I should have just taken the ride home, but instead I mentioned Barnes & Noble–one of the girls’ favorite destinations–and unwittingly committed us to hours wandering the shopping center.

At the bookstore, I consumed an enormous Frappuccino and read 30 pages into the sequel to the Hunger Games, then cursed myself for making these choices, because I can’t handle the caffeine, and I’m too cheap to buy hardback.

On to the pet store, where I found this ridiculous item:

Um, hello? How many of us have managed to successfully complete our human children‘s baby books? I know, I know: this book is clearly for people who don’t have human children. I thought that it was interesting that it includes a spread about being a “show dog” with spaces for special honors received. So even parents of furry children can feel guilty that they’re not making the most of their beloved darlings’ potential!

At Old Navy, we determined that this season’s sundresses look way cuter on the mannequins than on me. Alas.

The girls were delighted to discover the first dandelions of the season. Annoying and mundane for adults, beautiful and exciting for kids, especially J. The first dandelion bouquet of the season is one of the joys of parenthood.

Besides, I think that we were the only people having lunch at Panera with a centerpiece.

Then it was on to sandals shopping. This caused M quite a bit of sorrow, because she wants wants these sandals very badly. But she’s still size 1 or 2, which means girls’ sizes. Over the weekend, she came home from a birthday party reporting that the 9-year-old hostess wears (and I quote!) “a ladies size 8.” She’s so jealous. I tried to explain that, while the poor shoe selection is a hardship for her right now, her poor friend who’s already a size 8 at age 9 has far more shoe-selection woes in her future.  She remains unconvinced. If anyone has seen similar shoes anywhere, I’d love to hear about them.

Finally,  the girls resorted to making their own fun with a game of creep-around-the-stone-Target-pillars while we waited for our ride.

Incidentally, on the ride back to the dealer, both girls agreed that they preferred the dealer’s car to our own. They argued that we should buy a new car. I would, I agreed, except that I just dropped a few hundred dollars to stop our current car from making noises.

All in all, not the most exciting start to a week’s vacation. Hope you all had more fun.


  1. Cheri

    Ha! Ha! Hey, your lovely neighbor has the whole set of Hunger Games! We also have our first bouquet of weeds, I mean, dandelions, on our table. Here’s to a better week!

  2. I forgot that you had the second one–I’ll trade in the first for it. I’m even more motivated to get together. Remind me to tell you what W said about taking my picture.

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