Mission accomplished. That would have been the title of this blog had I just stuck to the script and visited only one mall. Unfortunately somewhere along the way I got too cocky, thought I could rise above the holiday madness, and decided to journey on to a second mall. This was a big mistake.
Upon arriving at the first mall (Square 1 Mall for those of you who are wondering) CW noted the ease of parking and lack of crowds (compared to what was expected anyway). Items were briskly acquired at a pace of one every 6:03 minutes. An excellent pace, should have been home by lunch. Things, however, would take a horrible turn at the last store on the list.
Lacking the item I was searching for I had the manager check out back, big surprise, it wasn't there either (I'm fairly certain nothing is kept out back at any store). The manager insisted on calling another location nearby, I foolishly allowed this. Emboldened with the news that the other store had the item I was in pursuit of I forged on, northward to the Burlington Mall (if this were accompanied by audio you'd hear ominous thunder and howling winds forshadowing the events to come).
Though my GPS monitors traffic I ignored its numerous robotic pleas to exit the highway prematurely and travel on the back road. "I know better than a machine" I thought. No, I don't. Approximately 1.5 miles prior to the exit traffic came to a stand still. Faced with sitting in traffic and being overcome with road rage I did what any sensible masshole would do, switched lanes, sped ahead, and cut back onto the exit ramp at the last second. "This isn't going to be so bad after all" I thought. Yes it was.
Three traffic jams in the parking lot later I had finally found a parking spot. Upon exiting my vehicle I peered into the distance, I saw what looked to be the mall roughly 1 Klick in the distance. It was at this time I regretted not packing a holiday shopping survival kit. Failing to have worn suitable outdoor apparel for the snow squall I was facing I briskly jogged through the parking lot, dodging cars and unruly children alike until I reached the entrance.
Upon entering the large department store my spirits immediately sunk. Not only was the store not set up in the same manner as the previous one, but this one had an additional 3rd floor. Downtrodden but still determined I set out on foot to navigate the maze of perfume sprayers, floor sales people, and obnoxiously ignorant customers.
Finally, midway through the second floor I found the item I had been questing for. Hurriedly rushing to the cashiers counter I noted that I had 15 minutes before the morning sale was over and the price spiked back upward. "Perfect timeing," I foolishly thought.
As is typical in large department stores the cashiers counter was undermanned by two senior citizen women, spending more time gabbing, bagging, and struggling to read their computer screen monitor than actually checking people out. Anxiously I watched the minutes run down on the sale I had journeyed so far for. 27 minutes later I reached the counter, twelve minutes after the sale had ended. After a few minutes of angrily haggling and a few defiant glares and demands to see a manger I got the sale price. My quest was over, or so I thought.
Famished, parched, and quite light headed at this point, I sat miserably in the very same parking lot traffic jams I had dealt with on the way in as I searched for an exit, and an escape from this cursed land.
Upon finally reaching the highway I muttered the very same words I say every year around this time "I'm doing my shopping early and online next year." If only I'd heed my own advice.