Sunday, December 09, 2007

One of the Best Gifts

Yesterday Craze and I made our way to a suburban shopping mall to jump into the Christmas shopping thrall. I had painstakingly compiled a gifts-to-get list and felt particularly flush because I had a Bloomingdales coupon for an extra 20% of sale items AND a $250 Bloomingdales gift card that I got before leaving my old job by cashing in accumulated AMEX points. I was good to go to score some bargains. . . or so I thought.

Before we went too crazy, I decided to find out how much money was on the card (I thought it was mostly unspent) only to be told the card had expired and I was sent to customer service. Up on the third floor, a young, bespectacled woman was happy to help re-instate my cash. But sadly, I had clearly gone shopping in a now long-forgotten spree and only $62 bucks was left on the card. Can you say Christmas buzz-kill?

Nevertheless, we soldiered on and found some good bargains that should make everyone happy. When we tired, I cashed in a Starbucks coupon for a free "get a friend" coffee I've been carrying around in my wallet for weeks. I had the usual, Venti Skim Latte. Craze prefers the more extravagant fare and ordered a Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha. With whipped cream, thank you very much.

What I love most about these shopping expeditions with Craze, which don't happen very often, is that we work as a team. He carries the heavy stuff and never loses patience even though he doesn't love shopping. He doesn't mind when I spend fifteen minutes perusing the clearance racks in every department and holds things, even my purse, while I scout out bargains. He happily follows wherever I lead with never any rolling of the eyes or loudly expressed sighs of exasperation.

What a difference from shopping trips with old boyfriends and even some girlfriends.

I guess in the end, what I bought doesn't really matter. But the trip does reiterate that when it comes to really great gifts I've gotten in my life, my husband was and continues to be, one of the very best.

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