Monday, May 12, 2008

Eating & Shopping

Yesterday, I spent my Sunday afternoon doing one of my favorite activities:
Having lunch and shopping with Miss Healthypants.

It was a nasty day – raining, cold and horribly windy. At one point, I swear I saw Elmira Gulch on her bicycle fly past my balcony. But we braved the weather and trooped on anyway.

We had lunch at one of our favorite places – the Elephant & Castle Pub. It’s really more of a nice restaurant and not that pubby at all. They have a few English pub items, but mostly it’s just nice restaurant fare. She had a Ceasar salad with blackened salmon. Very healthy-pantsey. (See? Nice un-pubby food). Miss Healthypants, of course, had her usual side of extra dressing. Food has to be “moist” according to MHP.

Since I want my pants to be healthy too, I had the same thing, minus the extra dressing. What I really wanted was the roast beef & Yorkshire pudding with fish & chips for dessert.

Then, it was off for a mad afternoon of shopping at one of downtown Chicago’s most popular establishments: Target.

Since this particular Target is downtown, it has two levels. What I love about this Target are the contraptions next to the escalators which carry your shopping cart up and down. They work exactly like a chain lift on a roller coaster which is really cool. I had to examine the mechanism that enables the cart to connect to the chain lift, (I have to know how everything works. It’s my “thing”)

Here is the lovely MHP with her cart about to demonstrate the procedure.

There. The chain lift has nabbed the cart and away it goes. . .
Up. Up. Up. There is MHP ascending next to her cart, striking a demonstrative pose.
Isn’t that just the coolest thing ever?

Right after I took that last shot, I was immediately surrounded by a flock of Target employees telling me that no photography was allowed. I don’t know why. Perhaps they want to keep their cart-mechanism secrets safe from Wal-Mart or something.

Anyway we headed up to a department I was totally unfamiliar with -- the Baby Department.

MHP had been invited to her niece’s baby shower who had, apparently, registered at Target for all the necessary baby-things. The concept of “showers” and “registers” and “babies” was totally unknown to me. It was a whole new world, let me tell you.

She had the list of baby items that her niece had previously selected and we went to work seeking them out.

Now, I realize that a baby shower is a girly, bonding-experience, It Takes a Village type of endeavor. But to me, it just seems like it’s announcing right off the bat:


I don’t know. I guess I’m just really a private person and know that babies take up every waking moment you’ve got. If I-and-whoever were having a baby, the announcements would probably say something like, “We’re having a baby. Don’t call us for the next eighteen years.”

Anyway, everything Winnie the Pooh seems to be in vogue for babies these days. I didn’t know that. When we arrived at the baby department, MHP was saying, “Where’s the all Pooh stuff?” and I was thinking she meant “poo” stuff.

“Here’s some diapers.”

“No. Winnie-the-Pooh”


MHP was coo-ing over every thing, saying how cute it all was. The only thing I thought was cute was a little blue one-piece that said, “Warning: Automatic Sprinkler” on the front. It wouldn’t do. (Her niece is having a baby girl).

We acquired an appropriate number of things from the register list and then headed over to another department for a gift bag to put it all in.

“Here’s one,” I said.

“No! Let’s find the aisle for the baby gift bags.”

“There are baby gift bags?”

Sure enough. In the next aisle were a whole bunch of gift bags for baby showers. Who knew?

After a suitable baby-gift bag was procured, we continued on with the rest of the regular shopping. As we passed by the men’s department, I tossed a pair of khaki cargo pants in the basket.

“Aren’t you going to try those on?” she asked.

I hate trying things on at Target.

First, you have to spend 45 minutes trying to find an elusive staff member to let you in the changing rooms. The thing is, Target has no staff members to help with anything. (They’re all downstairs, watching out for errant photographers). Finding a sasquatch is easier than locating a Target employee to help.

Then, you have to try the pants on. If they don't fit, you have to put your old pants back on, plus your shoes and socks, schlep back out only to discover that they don't carry your size.

No way. I hate that. I avoid trying things on at all costs. I just buy it. Then if doesn’t fit, I just throw it away. That’s how much I hate trying on clothes.

We finished up our shopping and grabbed a cab back to our respective places. It was a wonderful afternoon.

Oh, and the pants fit perfectly.


At 4:39 PM , Blogger Mom said...

That shopping cart lift is just so cool. Chicago must be a very innovative place.
Baby shower shopping is very wonderful thing for a single guy to do. You must be very nice.

At 5:26 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

Ok, so seriously, next time you are shopping at Target and you need a salesperson just whip out your camera and start snapping away. Make sure the flash is on.

At 10:31 PM , Blogger Iwanski said...

I heard if you try to take a photo at Costco, they shoot you on sight.

At 11:22 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

Aw, Dooder, I had a fabulous time, too! And this blog entry made me giggle! :)

Also, I like Lorraine's suggestion, and I think my hubby is hilarious.

I'm just sayin'.


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