Cindy has the opposite relationship to shopping from me. She takes her time and enjoys the process, patiently visiting multiple stores and price checking until she finds just what she wants for the right price. I'm an in-and-out kind of gal with about a 30 minute ceiling on the time I can spend shopping (That's why Black Friday worked well for me.)
We quickly recognized this difference in behavior and have taken it into consideration when it comes to shopping. When I must go along, I always bring a book or my journal so I can retire to the car when I "hit the wall" which is how Cindy describes the glassy-eyed zombie behavior that signals I'm done shopping. Mostly I just don't go shopping. She either goes by herself--sometimes late at night, like after 9--or with her mom, who has a similar shopping style.
This past weekend we went to Mariposa, and I stayed home with Cindy's dad by the fire while Cindy and her mom headed to Merced--an hour away-- for Christmas shoppping. They left in the early afternoon despite a winter storm warning for low elevation snow. While I napped and read Harry Potter, they shopped. They didn't buy a lot, but it was clear when they checked in by phone that they were enjoying what Cindy called "the investigative" stage of shopping. She was researching on her Blackberry at the same time that they looked at items in stores. Her voice was filled with happy good cheer.
When they left for home, they drove directly into the storm. Six miles from Mariposa, they struggled to crest a hill, fishtailing in Cindy's two-wheel drive Dodge Dakota pickup, and slid into a snowbank on the side of the road in a place where they had no cell phone coverage. Stuck in the snowbank, Cindy flagged down a passing motorist and asked the driver to call her dad for help when she got to town.
When we got the call, Cindy's dad, Fred, and brother Jimmy left to rescue them. Jimmy's son-in-law went too, and he and Jimmy got Cindy's truck out of a snow bank, driving it over a hill that the Highway Patrol insisted they could not make without chains. Cindy argued with the CHP while her brother headed forward with the truck with the son-in-law bouncing on the bumper to offer necessary traction. Then Cindy and her mom hiked over the same hill to get to Fred who was waiting on the other side.
The truck was almost out of gas because they had sat with it running for 2 hours, so they could have heat while they waited for Fred and Jimmy to come. Since they had sent word with someone in another car, they had no way of knowing if the people had called us and if Fred was even coming. They got home at 11:30, wet and freezing.
It was an adventure that years from now will be a family story, but it's one adventure I'm happy to have missed. Cindy thought I should have exhibited more concern, but I was admittedly feeling a little smug about being warm and comfortable rather than weathering the adventures of Chrismas shopping.