Scenes from a Sunday

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Since football is now over, my Sunday afternoons have become wide open. Outside of a couple of spring previews, February has been mostly dreary. Seasonally cold but every day it seems it overcast and with some rain/snow/sleet. Nothing that adds up but just adds to the gloom of the day. Nothing worse than grey, cold and wet.

We did take Rocco for a walk this morning but that was going to be the limit of outside activities for the day. With an upcoming vacation, this seemed like the perfect day for shopping. You might think that as an introvert, the last place I’d ever want to be is a mall. And, when it is wall to wall people, you are correct. But we started early so it wasn’t bad.

It seems malls and retail in general are in trouble as more people opt for shopping online. I’ve done my share of that as well. There are just times when I just want to get out and look at and touch the stuff. May not buy much but it is still kind of fun to wander around and see what is there.

It was also a day of deals and savings. Our first stop was a discount chain run by an upscale department store. So when I say discount, it still is more expensive than other places but you are paying for the various names on the clothing. You can trick yourself into thinking you’ve got a deal if you just look at the discounted price and not compare it to shirts at another store.

The good news is that I have a credit card that gives reward points to this store. As a sign of how little I’ve used it, our entire purchase was free and we used less than half of what I had in store credits. As I said, we don’t buy a lot of stuff. And some of the credits were due to expire shortly (the typical shelf life is about a year so you can see that we haven’t been big buyers recently) so it was a good thing we stopped in.

Then we headed off the main mall. Stopped by our favorite skin care place. Yes, I use stuff on my face. Nothing wrong with taking care of your skin – even as a guy. Ever see someone who looks older than their age? Chances are you’re looking at someone who didn’t care about moisturizers.

This place also recycles and they give store credit for bringing stuff back. We’ve been stashing empties in our closet for quite some time. Probably because we’re not planners. So we just make a random decision to go to the mall and then when we get there, we say “we should have brought that stuff in”. And then we say “next time” and then we forget the next time. But today we brought it all in. Had over thirty things for them to recycle and 10 gets you a free travel size of certain products. We walked out with three free items and since we are traveling in two weeks, the timing was perfect.

But wait, there’s more. This place was running a special where if you spent a certain amount of money, they’d toss in five free travel size items. And if you spent even more money, they’d give you those and a full size cleanser. Plus a travel bag to hold it all. Such a deal! This is one of those things where you look at the free stuff and think you’ve gotten a great deal but you’ve left a sizeable amount of money with the store so they actually come out on top. Then again, it is all stuff we use and need so we were going to spend the money anyway so I guess it really is a deal.

Also stopped at the chocolate place that gives you a free piece of chocolate each month. They used to do that with no questions asked but too many people just came in for the free stuff so they changed the rules. You have to buy every so often or they’ll stop giving you free chocolate. Fortunately, buying chocolate is not an issue so I walked out with my free piece and a box of chocolates. Again, the store made out but I got my free piece!

Last stop was at another department store. Kind of a mid tier/discount place. To entice people, they send out coupons every so often giving you 10%, 20% or 30% off your purchase. We don’t bite unless it is 30% which is what they sent us. This place uses some funky prices as “retail” so it looks like everything is already marked down and then you add 30% off the bill and it looks like you’ve save a boatload. Again, the store wins but we think we do.

As we were walking around the main mall, it started to snow. This was not predicted and none of my weather apps gave me any warning. We were walking through parts of the mall that didn’t have a lot of windows so it was a huge shock when we saw these big flakes coming down at quite a clip. The temperature was hovering around freezing so it was just making the roads slushy but it just made the drive home a little interesting.

Then I needed to shovel the half inch of slush off my driveway. We got up OK but is was still snowing and it doesn’t take much to make the driveway difficult. Didn’t take that long but you’d be shocked at how wet heavy snow can be. Actually had to use a towel to dry my hair. (I should have a hat but I don’t believe in them)

Because it was nasty and we have just discovered meal delivery services, we opted to stay in and force someone else to drive through the snow and slush to provide us with food. We tipped nicely though. I’ll admit it is convenient but it feels a little strange. Yeah, the weather was nasty so we didn’t want to go out. Sorry you had to but thanks for dinner.

And on a totally random note, our three legged deer was back. First time he’s been around in several weeks. I guess when it snows he goes to the easy food source – trying to eat the birdseed that drops from our feeders. Naturally, I tried to toss some additional stuff down to him but that just brought out the raccoons who ate most of it.

The best part was then being able to stay inside tonight while it is wet and nasty outside. After a day of being out and about, it is nice to not have to be around so many people. And that was our day today.

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