February 14, 2014: My Funny Valentine

Gift bag treats from Aunt Kathy (Pick) Valentino
This blog should be entitled "My Fun Valentine's Day", but I thought the title used was more catchy. I went with catchy.

Sometimes it's interesting to tell a story by starting with the end. Since I am feeling quite pleased right now and the day is done, I'll start with my current setting. A glass of wine sits to my left, a computer is situated on my lap, and a purring cat is nestled by a crackling fire. It's almost midnight. Another Valentine's Day in the books.

A stone's throw away in the kitchen are two pairs of newly purchased earrings in a Gunderson's box, homemade cupcakes, a bouquet of flowers, and a stunning picture of my Aunt Kathy. Upstairs, a dog lies content on my bed next to a new outfit, of which I am gloating. Pride and ego. My closet welcomes these new additions.

A good night. And to think that just hours prior, my only concern was my need to run an endless list of errands. There were no thoughts of Valentine's Day or anything special about this night.

School pick-up. Homework assistance. Senior picture pick-up. Dry clean drop off. ATM stop. Walgreen's drive-through. And then there were the returns. <ugh>.

I don't like to shop. Not at all. I only shop with a distinct purpose. Tonight I had a variety of items from Christmas that needed to be returned. Customer service and fights for parking and lines. My worst nightmares. With thoughts of expired return dates plaguing me, I decided tonight was the night to stop the procrastination and take on this feat.

After dropping off Grant at a friend's house, I proceeded to the shopping mall. The mall is not my friend. It is my nightmare. I can never quite remember which side the stores are on and find myself wandering aimlessly around, looking for a directory.

Dillard's was painful. Three deep, I listened to the clerk talk for five minutes with a customer on their employee training program. The rest of us stood in line and patiently listened. She doesn't like their program, in case you're interested.

Next I found out that there was no longer a Gap store at Oakview Mall. Everyone else saw this as old news, but me. After more aimless wandering, I proceeded to Target and with the next planned stop, Village Pointe.

Although Target was less painful than the mall, overall I find the store too big for my simple needs. I philosophically disagree with having to walk a quarter of a mile to pick up a gallon of milk. But since gift returns only result in gift cards, I made the long trek for Target-offered milk tonight.

Driving to Village Pointe, I received a text from Aunt Kathy. She had Valentine's goodies she wanted to drop off at my house. The thought occurred to me that she may be working at Village Pointe as she sent the text. Kathy is a jewelry sales associate at Gunderson's. Poking my head in the store, I happily found this to be the case.

Then the fun began. In sweats and colorful tennis shoes, I perused all their fine jewelry with a glass of white wine in hand and Kathy at my side. For the record, if every store served wine and had Aunt Kathy assisting me, I would love shopping.

The result of this pleasant adventure was the purchase of two beautiful pairs of earrings. As Kathy needed to work until close, I decided to poke around in some of the other stores during my twenty minute wait. Quickly I scored again.

Two nice girls were cleaning up stock, readying for close, at White House Black Market. As we conversed, I told them my husband had pointed out a couple of attractive outfits from a catalog received in the mail. Garrett had never heard of the store. He thought I would look good in the noted selections.

The girls quickly brought out their store catalog. With my guidance on noted outfits, within minutes they had me in a dressing room with a beautiful long, black and white, polka-dotted skirt and matching pearl-buttoned sweater. It was to my chagrin that the matching heals were both in stock and in my size. Within my allotted twenty minutes away from Gunderson's, I was fully outfitted in a new black and white ensemble.

With Kathy's added treats of cupcakes and cards, the night was complete. And now it's just me and Abby by the fire. Do note that Garrett has a complete "bye". He and I celebrated together last night. I did not leave him home alone during my shopping-return turn to shopping-purchase extravaganza. Nor did he make his own plans. Our lives just took us to different cities tonight. The stunning flowers he bought for me earlier in the week still fill the room with happiness.

Moral of the story: Life is what you make of it. Now check out my purchases below. <gloating>. Happy Valentine's Day.


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