Friday, September 2, 2011

lunch with the aunties (m)

The aunties call.  They are concerned about me.  "We read about your friend, Anne, in the Habituary page," which, given their daily obsession with this section of the newspaper, makes perfect sense they should call it that.

I tell them I can take them to lunch but have a narrow window of time given I have to run an errand and then take Harrison to an appointment.

"That's okay, we'll come with you on your errand.  We just want to spend time with you."

This ought to be a pisser.  My errand is that I have to return a tent to Costco.  You remember the tent.  I bought it in 2009.  We only used it twice.  Once at Sam's college baseball game and once at my home for my brother's 40th wedding anniversary.  It rained overnight that evening and the heavy rains bent the frame.

I first called Costco to make sure I could return the tent with no receipt.  They of course wanted to know how the frame got bent.  When I told them they told me I should not have had the tent in the rain.

Did you catch that?  I should not have had the TENT in the RAIN.

Then you should advertise it as a shade tent for sunny days only, I said.

They told me to bring it in.

Aunt Y cannot walk far, even with her walker.  It took forever to get from our handicapped spot next to the door to the person checking i.d.s.

Aunt Y stops at the first display and pretends to be interested, buying much-needed recovery time to catch her breath.  I know this because the display was for Lucky jeans.

I spot a wheelchair next to Customer Service.  I ask if we may borrow it.  "Of course, that's what it's there for!" the perky greeter says.

I plop Aunt Y down in the chair and off we go.  It's a whole new ballgame.

I don't think Aunt Y was been in a store in years.  She wants to see everything.  We go up and down every aisle, marveling at the new gadgets for the home, patio, etc.

Then we get to the food section.  Samples galore.  Chicken salad, lobster spread, salmon, popcorn chicken (regular and bourbon flavor), all beef hot dogs, Naan bread with melted Provolone cheese (a weird, but successful fusion of India and Italy), Tyson chicken sandwiches, granola with milk, cashew nut clusters, Pretzel chips, David's Cheesecake, Fuze strawberry-flavored drink.  And more.  She has at least one of everything and two of some things (bourbon popcorn chicken was a hit).  I look down at her.   She's a mess, crumbs everywhere.

Aunt X sees us and rolls her eyes.  " are not supposed to be eating that stuff.  You will spoil your lunch."

"What lunch?" she says.  "I'm full!"

And yes, I got a cash refund for the tent.

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