My family didn't take vacations when I was growing up. Ever! I know! You're all saying "Aww!" and wishing you could adopt me and give me the childhood I so desperately needed, like I'm one of those poor kids they show on television in the middle of the night. The irony of my stagnant childhood lies in the fact that for a large portion of it, my mother worked for a travel company! So close, and yet so far! Going away to college a mere two hours away was like entering a foreign land where no one would speak my language and swindlers would take me for everything I had.
And because it was Missouri, that's partially true.
However, because Missouri holds a soft spot in my heart (which is more akin to a bruise on a rotting banana than an actual bosom clutching love), it's there that I return for a week every summer to spend time with my sister and her family. Because basically, my sister hounds me every June about when we're all coming and we just give in because she has the ability to track us down and will do so if provoked.
(OK, that part, along with any perceived annoyance I have with the state of Missouri as a whole, is probably a bit exaggerated. But only a bit)
So, because I've built up this little adventure I just enjoyed for the last couple of posts, I figured I'd share a glimpse of what I enjoyed last week with you all. Consider it my "wish you would've been there" postcard, broken down for you in small chunks, because you don't really get a lot of room to write on the back of one of those postcards. According to the map above (notice, btw, that keen ability to match fingernail polish with surroundings also never takes a vacation!), the new Super Walmart is approximately two blocks from "here." Trust me. I know this because I was there six of the eight times visits to the place were made by members of my family. SIX! I live ten minutes from a Walmart and I maybe go there once every three months. Because in all honesty, I'm a dirty Target whore, and if Target had the knock off version of Goldfish crackers I've pawned off on my kids, I'd never set foot in Walmart. Sometimes you just have to take it from someone else to realize how good you got it.
Because you can get almost anything at a Super Walmart, including a beat down in the parking lot by the looks of the security guards foisting their muscle on a shoplifter which we witnessed on visit number one on hour two of the official visit, my sister and I scurried over for the third visit in one day (Day 2, for those of you keeping score) and got manicures and pedicures. Because we're classy. Aside from feeling like my kidneys were being kneaded in preparation for harvesting while seated in the massage chair (honestly, for a time, I thought the staff at the nail place intended to chloroform us and drag our bodies to the back of the shop for some makeshift surgery - because soon, I think you'll be able to have that done at Walmart, too), it was money well spent. Actually, I'd pay to have someone follow me around and rub my feet with lotions every time I sat down. But I'm broke most of the time, so therein lies the real rub. Come sundown, my sister's lovely home took on the air of a senior citizen's center, and with it came lights out at 10:30 p.m. I'm usually still at work at that time of night, so my body doesn't even begin to shut down until close to 1 a.m. Forced to wind down and stricken from a DSL connection to the outside world, I was compelled to turn my reading away from a computer screen to books. These wacky paper things I used to have more time for. I kicked out three while I was gone, and dove into two more. I'd have probably finished those, too, but as soon as we were loaded in the car to return home, my mom telling me the same stories I heard on the way down. By the second hour, I slipped out one of the remaining books in my cache and started flipping through it to cut her off. If I'm not careful, I'll soon be able to make actual book recommendations to customers when they corner me at the customer service kiosk rather than fumble my way through some half truth before dashing away to the reference section to hide out.