Saturday, September 03, 2005

Back to Real Time

It’s now September, 3rd – Labor Day Week-end. The sun is warm and bright, the sky is a brilliant blue and a soft breeze is flowing through the house. It’s around 3:15 PM and it’s a very lazy day. We are all just counting down the minutes to when we have to leave to pick up Lisa’s father from the airport. A quick online check at tells us that the flight is already behind 35 minutes – not too bad considering we were behind several hours!

Lisa’s mom is having the our little ones clean the house while Lisa and I go to pick up her father. Her mother has COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and is on oxygen 24 hours a day. It is difficult for her to walk from one end of the room to the next without struggling for a breath – let alone clean the house. So the kids are happy to help – getting paid a little cash is a welcome incentive too! So we will be leaving shortly, stopping off to pick-up some Chinese for dinner (food that is, we are hardly cannibals!) before we ultimately head to O’Hare airport.

Now, back to a very lazy Saturday afternoon – it is hard not to be lazy on a day like this. A day like this just screams – “Lay in the sun!” – and we do, sort of. I am not really a lay around type – at least in the middle of the day. In the evening – watching a good TV show or a movie is the best tonic for a long day. But in the light of day – I like to keep a little busy, not too busy mind you, just enough to keep the brain alert and the blood flowing. So before we all lay around – it is off to K-mart for a few household items.

Let me be perfectly clear on K-mart. Or at least our K-mart in town. It SUCKS. We rarely are able to get what we want and it is constantly disheveled. Why do we go? Because there is nothing else in town and we don’t feel like driving 14 miles to go shopping. Soon – very soon I hope – Target will open down the street – we pass it daily, our mouths watering and wallets sweating with anticipation. Target – or TarChe as we like to call it, is the Mecca of middle class suburbia. It is the retail altar at which we pray. What Wal-Mart is to my cousins down south, Target is to us!

We can see them bringing in the merchandise that we will soon be walking out with – cars pepper the newly asphalted parking lot – still jet black with bright yellow lines crisply outlining the spots our cars will slowly, almost lovingly pull into. The entranceway glistens in the afternoon sun, the glass clear and inviting – offering just the slightest hint of all the wonderful merchandise and colors inside. It beckons to us, that siren call of retail and over-spending – a tease….it turns most people into walking Homer Simpsons “Mmmmmmmm..Target….”

I digress – we are instead heading into Kmart – where no one knows how to park between the lines and carts clog the entrance way. Tattooed mothers with their hairless babies scream at little red haired rodents as they wail for a ride on the fifty cent pony. Shelves line the front walk with signs screaming “80% off!” or “Make an Offer” - racks of dying potted plants sit wilting in the sun.

This will be fun.

Our friend, Bob, is with us and he is currently teasing Nikki, mockingly yelling at her in the parking lot. Nothing screams white trash more than an adult yelling at a child in the middle of the parking lot.

Although I suppose I should be happy that we currently have a store to go to. We could be in New Orleans where they have nothing to go to but the prospect of an over-crowded bus headed to a state that has little tolerance for your racial background. Does anyone else not see the sense in that? So, if you have a mind to, drop a few dollars the next time the Red Cross or the Salvation Army come around – or even better, head to their website and make a donation.

Despite the fact that our Kmart sucks, we are still some of the luckiest people in the country right now.

OK – back to a lazy Saturday afternoon!

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