Thrift Store Quality Time

31 May

Our Save the Word word of the day is autexousious, which means exerting free will.  It is hard to believe that getting up this early is an autexousious act on my part. But I suppose it must be, because here I am.

The Mantra for today is Spontaneous.  This is a slippery mantra because if you make an effort to be spontaneous then you’re actually being somewhat less than spontaneous. It is sort of like planning to be surprised. The mantra for today is reminding us to be open to spontaneity, so I will give it a go. But you can’t really work at being spontaneous. I”m just sayin’…

My 5 day weekend has come to an end. I am a little sad about that. All good things must come to an end, as they say, so it was inevitable. I got in some bike riding, I got a hair cut, I read a little. I ate a lot.

We raided a few thrift stores. Friday, at the Good Will was especially fruitful. My significant other found a George Foreman grill for $10. You know, the kind that opens up, you slip the food in and close it so it grills on both sides? This seemed like an amusing enough find until it was time to check out. It seems that there was a little boat like tray that sits in front of the grill to catch grease drippings–there were in fact 2 of them. My significant other said he’d been carrying them around with him throughout the store and now, apparently, he’d sat them down somewhere. No worries, he’d just retrace his steps.

And so he did. He revisited the housewares section, where he found the grill in the first place, at least 10 times. Men’s T-shirts, women’s shorts (don’t ask), junky flatware and miscellaneous, and everywhere in between–he revisited them all. No little boat like grease catching trays could be found.

“Go ahead and pay for everything, because I want the grill anyway,” he instructed me, while he headed back to retrace his already retraced steps. “Oh, he can’t find the little trays?” the checkout lady asked. “No,” I replied, becoming just a little stressed. “He must have put them down somewhere,” the helpful checkout lady suggested. “Must have,” I said between gritted teeth as I watched my long time companion running around the store looking in the same places again and again.

When you’ve been with someone for a long time, you do sometimes wonder what you’ll do if he gets sick or becomes senile. You hope that day will never come but sometimes, even on good days, you catch a glimpse of the future that might be…

Seriously, he was beginning to look like a crazy old man. No–scratch “beginning.” He just looked like a crazy old man, bouncing around the store. He looked like one of those people you see in thrift stores that you make a concerted effort to avoid. And lucky me, I was going home with him. (If he ever found the damn grease trays.)

I checked out. I had to flag down my insane boyfriend so he could help me move our take from the store to the van. (Yes, we bought that much.) As we were walking toward the van he said, “It isn’t losing the little trays that matters so much, it’s losing my mind that I can’t stand.” “Yes, dear, I know what you mean…” I replied.

Of course then we had to go back into the damn thrift store and resume the search for the little grease trays. I had to retrace his insanely retraced steps that he had already retraced along with him. “Are you sure you didn’t carry them up to the counter earlier?” I asked. “Well, they’re not there,” he responded.

I once told my significant other that if he ever went full blown senile, I knew just what I was going to do: I will drive him over to the North Side, find a bus bench and tell him to go sit there. Then I’ll drive as fast as I can back across the river…

I was joking! It’s a joke.

I told a friend about my plan and she told me that was terrible. She suggested I leave him in Hemming Plaza instead. It is in the center of downtown and more central to my home and office. “That way you can at least visit him, ” she suggested.

Just as we were about to abandon all hope (actually, I had abandoned all hope by now, but the crazy man was still clinging to a shred or two) my boyfriend went up to the check out counter, did a double take, and saw something off-white, plastic and familiar behind a box. The little grease boats had slipped behind a box of VHS tapes. (Seriously, people still pay money for those?)

It was a eureka moment, manufactured by my significant other’s failing memory. But a tribute to his undaunted determination.

Frankly, I ‘d never seen the grease trays up until that moment, so I was beginning to doubt they even existed.It was nice to know, after all that, that they were at least real.

We have used the grill twice now. The little tray works swimmingly.

Quality time with our loved ones. Isn’t that what long weekends are all about?

I can’t wait to get to work now.

Remember to be spontaneous today! No, not now…NOW!

Happy Tuesday.

2 Responses to “Thrift Store Quality Time”

  1. Pamela N Red May 31, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    I can’t even say your word of the day much less remember it so I’ll just have to say free will although I am doubting we have much of that left these days.

    I love thrift stores and junk shops. You can find so many nice things in them. I’m glad you found the trays because those grills are quite messy without them. I have a Hamilton Beach equivalent and use it all the time.

  2. That Weather Girl May 31, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    “I will drive him over to the North Side, find a bus bench and tell him to go sit there. Then I’ll drive as fast as I can back across the river…”

    Yeah, I know a few people who could ride along if you have room!

    BTW, I plan to be surprised all the time. But life doesn’t always cooperate.

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