Mommy and Daddy have been dreaming of a beautiful backyard. Cushioned patio furniture, gardens a plenty, chirping birds, buzzing bees, bunnies hopping to and fro; the ideal picture of outdoor serenity. This particular Saturday they have worked very hard and their two vegetable garden boxes are finished. They are feeling as if the backyard is finally starting to come together. Feeling inspired by the transformation Mommy begins informing Daddy of her patio furniture dreams.
Mommy: "So, I've been looking at patio tables and chairs. What do you think?"
Daddy: (Dripping in sweat as he is the one that has done most of the hard labor for the afternoon) "I think that patio furniture can be pretty expensive and I don't want to spend more for our outside table than we did on our couch."
Mommy: "I know. Me either. I have been looking around and doing some comparisons. I think we can get a table for a pretty good price. We just need to find some chairs. You wouldn't want to go today to look, would you?"
Daddy: (Looking a bit confused. He was sure that once he had finished with the gardens he would be done for the day. It is 3:00 pm and he has been at it since 10:00 am. He is hot, sweaty, tired and a bit sore. However, he is also feeling inspired by the backyard transformation and considers the request.) "You mean look for tables and chairs together? With both the boys?" (He pauses and thinks.) "Well, can I take a shower first?"
Mommy: (Eager to accommodate any request so that she can go to the store) "Of course. I'll get the boys ready, you go take a shower. Just don't take too long. We have to get back in time for dinner."
Daddy: (Gives Mommy a don't get too bossy here or i might just change my mind look) "I'll be quick as I can."
Mommy: (Smiles and tilts her head, coyly) "Love you."
Daddy showers. Mommy gets Bean and Goobs packed up and ready to go. They all pile in the van and hit the store. They look at tables. They look at chairs. Mommy can't decide. Meanwhile, Bean has convinced Daddy to let him out of the cart so that he can try out all of the chairs. Mommy is busy looking at tables and chairs with Goobs while Daddy, still tired and sore, chases Bean around the store, trying his best not to lose him. Mommy looks at the selection again and sighs.
Daddy: "What's wrong?"
Mommy: "They don't have exactly what I am looking for. I like this one, but it is more than I want to spend."
Daddy: (Mommy promised that one stop would do the trick. He is beginning to think he has been bamboozled.) "Well, what do you want to do?"
Mommy: "Do you mind if we go to another store. I am sure they will have what I want. I like the chairs here, but I think I want a different table. Would you mind terribly?"
Daddy: (Still chasing after Bean who is now standing on a chair to put out a pretend fire that he says is an emergency) "Sure, that's fine. Do you want to get the chairs you like while we are here? They are a pretty good price. You could get 4 of them for $120. They are $40 each."
Mommy: (Distracted by Goobs who is becoming vocal about being confined to a shopping cart) "Well, what if I find something I like better? Maybe we should wait."
Daddy doesn't like how this is going. They all pile back in the hot van, buckle in, and drive to the next store. Mommy walks in ahead of everyone. Daddy is pushing a cart with Bean and Goobs. Goobs is getting hungry. Bean is getting fidgety. Mommy is pretending she doesn't hear any of it.
Daddy: (Looking around at the tables and chairs and with a little desperation in his voice) "Do you see anything you like? What about that one? That one looks good."
Mommy: (With a little bit of drama in her voice and trying to sound as pathetic as possible) "Not really. I guess I'll just have to wait or look some other time."
Daddy: (Taking the hint) "OK, one more store."
Bean: (Let's out a huge sigh as if he can't believe his father just gave in) "I don't want to go to another store Daddy."
Daddy: "Last one, we promise. We won't take long."
They all pile in the car, again and drive off to the next store. Mommy browses and Goobs gets really cranky, forcing Mommy to get her emergency stash of Cheerios out of her purse. Finally, Mommy finds the table she has been looking for and has the clerk gets one out of inventory for her. Mommy pays for it while Daddy loads the boys up in the car and brings the van around. The plan is to load the table in then stop back at the first store to get the chairs that Mommy finally decided are the ones she wants. That is the plan. You know what they say about "the best laid plans".
Daddy pulls the van up to the curb. The store clerk and Daddy begin attempting to load the table. It doesn't fit. The seats that the boys are sitting in need to come out for it to fit. Daddy glares at Mommy. He has started sweating again. Mommy gives a shy smile.
Mommy: So, I guess you will have to come back?"
Daddy: (Not finding the humor in the situation at all. Goobs is now screaming in the back seat and Bean is singing Lots and Lots of trucks at the top of his lungs.) "Sure, I'll come back and get it."
Daddy tells the clerk that he will be back in 30 minutes to try again, this time with the bucket seats taken out of the the van. The clerks shrugs his shoulders like Daddy is some sore of crazy man and takes the table back into the store.
Daddy drives everyone home and drops them off. He is still sweating. Mommy is feeling a little bad, but not bad enough to have him wait until the next day. She really, really wants to see her new backyard all put together. Daddy picks up the table first. It fits. Then, Daddy goes to the first store they visited to pick up the chairs. He gets 4 of them and takes them to the cashier. She totals them up and gives him the total of $160.
Daddy: (He is surprised by the total that differs from what he calculated while he was chasing Bean and listening to Mommy chatter on about table length and what not.) "$160? How is it $160?"
Cashier: (Glaring at Daddy as if he is the worlds biggest idiot she smacks her gums together and says in a very irritated tone) "Um, they are like $40 each. $40 times 4 is $160."
Daddy: (Feeling a little stupid that his simple math skills failed him but mostly irritated that he just got schooled by a 17-year-old.) "Oh, right. Sorry."
Daddy gets his wallet out to give little miss snippy his credit card. He digs thought his wallet, still sweating, and hands the girls his Wegmans Shoppers Club card, not the credit card.
Cashier: (Again looking at Daddy as if he is the worlds biggest idiot and this time letting out an audible annoyed sigh) "This is your Wegmans card. You can't pay with your Wegmans card." (She hands him back his card with a little flip of the wrist.)
Daddy: "Listen." (He puts his Wegmans card back) "It's been a long day OK."
Daddy hands his real credit card back to the girl and finishes paying. He arrives home, visibly frazzled. Mommy and Bean and Goobs are all in the backyard playing when he gets there. Mommy goes over and gives Daddy a big hug. He is very sweaty.
Mommy: "Thanks. Love you. (She pauses, smiles at him, and shows him the cute baby she is holding) "So...do you think we can put it together now?"
And Daddy does. Yeah Daddy!