The ladies in the house have a phenomenal capacity for shopping.
I claim to be a walker and boast that I can walk ten kilometers with ease. Put on the sidewalk with me, the ladies tire out before they cover two. But put them between the shelves in stores like Kohl’s, J C Penny or BBB (Bed Bath and Beyond) and they beat me hollow!
Every morning before my sister in law leaves for work, there will be a stock taking session as to which store/mall is left un covered, which are all the items from the previous purchases, to be exchanged? What is to be returned? (The ‘no questions asked’ return policy of US stores is a big boost ) etc etc. and plans are drawn for the evening. I overheard a conversation yesterday morning where in my sister in law said that she would leave for work around eleven and would be back by five. She was suggesting her mother and sister to be ready by then. Her office is in a place called Warren, about an hour’s drive from the house. Since she would not be staying long in the office, I thought I could tag on to her and look around Warren while she attends office. Warren is not a great place for sightseeing but having finished everything in a five mile radius around the house, I felt that I could do with a change of place. I packed a light lunch, put the bicycle in the boot of the car and went with her to Warren. Warren is a sort of industrial city and also has large business establishments. There are more trucks on the roads but they do stop at signals. I could ride without the fear of being mixed with the asphalt. Loitering is not an offence and use of public spaces is free. It was not difficult to while away four hours.
The shopping destination this evening was IKEA. It is a huge store (you can easily cover few miles inside the store and my wife says she exercises inside the store when it is cold/raining outside) selling everything from a pin to penthouse, which will make you feel ‘can’t do without’ while being inside IKEA and which turn out to be mostly useless and make you alter your feeling to ‘could have very well done without’ once you reach home. ( Disclaimer: The above sentence is according to my perception. Perceptions are known to vary from individual to individual and vary greatly between individuals of the same family. More so if the individuals happen to be husband and wife)
The route to IKEA from home is through the city of Plymouth of which I had had a fleeting glance while driving through, during my last visit. I had liked it but had not been able to go there again. So I requested the shopping party to drop me at Plymouth on their way to IKEA and pick me back during the return trip. They were reluctant but relented after I assured them that I shall have no claim over my place if the same was occupied by shopping bags during the return trip. I spent an enjoyable two hours roaming the Plymouth Downtown and they did pick me up on their return trip. But I could not help overhearing them repenting about miscalculating the space available in the car!