In honor of both the end of the Shopping Season and Mon Mari, I thought I'd reprint this from 3 years ago…
For years mon mari and I traveled together. Then we moved to
Ireland/Andorra/France and it changed.
For the first five years I was
still working in the U.S. and flew back and forth 5 or 6 times a year,
by myself. Mon mari would join me every two years or so.
Since I quit working I still make two trips a year; mon mari,
every two years.
I have become accustomed to the way I do things on my
own. What I didn't realize before was how many things mon mari doesn't know about proper travel behavior:
He doesn't know how to behave on the plane.
He didn't have a single
glass of champagne or wine; didn't catch up on reading or napping and
didn't even eat the dessert (normally the only edible part of the
meal). What did he do? Found the computer games on the
monitor….Admittedly, it did keep him quiet for the entire trip….
He doesn't know how to shop.
Let's say that one wanted to buy a
lavender sweater: He is of the opinion that in the first store that one
actually finds a sweater in the requisite color that one should buy
it….and leave all the other shops bereft of one's patronage! I mean,
we're in Minneapolis! There have to be a million malls with a trillion
stores each! We have ground to cover; merchandise to finger; things to
look at! There are SALES everywhere! I don't shop in France; too many
things to do. But when I'm here, visiting, I like to do it right. I
don't actually buy much, that's not the point. One must look at
everything to be sure the actual purchase (should it occur) is perfect.
He doesn't know how to behave in malls.
Yesterday he suggested we
go to the Mall of America, you know, the one with 800 shops, an
underwater aquarium and an amusement park in the center (see my Photo
Album – 'Malls in America'). I was excited. Perhaps my first
assessment was wrong and he did know how to shop. No, he proved me
right (as usual). He wanted to see a movie, The MOA has 25 theatres.
We saw 'Deja Vu', which was great….but we didn't need to see it at
the mall on Thursday (a great shopping day) – we could have gone to the
neighborhood theater on Sunday (horrible shopping day).
He doesn't know how to have lunch when on holiday.
Here we are, in
the MOA, with 100 fast food restaurants of every nationality, 35 casual
cafes of every cuisine and 10 fine-dining restaurants. We have a
choice of everything from dim sum to lobster tails. Where do we go?
McDonald's. Need I say more?
Finally, he doesn't know how to go to the premier supermarket in
Minneapolis with a food blogger.
I planned on starting in the
right-hand corner closest to the door and carefully going through it,
aisle by aisle, looking, touching, drooling, making notes, etc. He
headed straight to the Chinese buffet for take-out (dinner) and was
ready to leave in 5 minutes.
Today we head over to Wisconsin to visit my family; small-town
Wisconsin. Resturants close, not for Monday night, but for the
winter. No cable T.V. and my cell-phone probably won't work. Maybe
I'll stop and pick up a video game for him…..