Christmas Shopping with Max

  Like always, Christmas shopping turns out to be not as done as we thought.
  However, i really thought Max was done with his.

  Maybe he was, and buying another gift was a way to get into a store to buy another movie.

The Haircut

  Yesterday i took him for a haircut.  Should've done it last week or before, but that's how it goes.  Sigh.
  We arrived without an appointment, which is unusual, but i figured that if we arrived when the door opened, we shouldn't have to wait long.
  We got there at 10:15.  And they opened at 9:30, not 10.
The Wait
  Still, we only had to wait through 2 and a half other clients, not bad.  But since we go to Cookie Cutters, and they've installed a cool video game, it was noisy.  Max doesn't wait well, and the noise was annoying him also.  (And by the way, we LOVE Cookie Cutters, and Cookie, though we haven't seen her for awhile.  We've been going since practically they opened!  And there's ups & downs in any long-term relationship.)
Then & Now at the Stylist's
  But these days Max can tell his stylist what number he wants his hair buzzed to, and whether one length or two (yesterday it was 2 all over), whereas in the beginning we went to the other side of town and had every employee there hold him down & try to distract him while one stylist cut the hair.  This was an every month ritual, followed by Ben & Jerry's. 
  But yesterday he didn't want ice cream.  He wanted to shop. 
  Did i mention he was way stressed by this point?

"Store, please."

  He did actually tell me the name of the store, but i would prefer to not mention it here.  We went to a big-box chain, not my idea of a good choice, under the circumstances, but it was his choice.
  Traffic, of course, was abysmal, but. while there were lots of people in the store, it wasn't wall-to wall, and i think i was more stressed than he at this point.

In the store

  First he led me to the movies, and showed me a new Thomas DVD that i hadn't yet seen.
  "Who do you want to buy this for?  Here's your list."
  "But i told you.  We aren't buying anything for you today.  Remember?  Christmas will be here soon.  There will be gifts, and gift cards.  You can shop for you later this week.  OK?"
  Frustrated, Max wandered away from Thomas.  i asked if it was time to go, or if he was going to buy a gift.
  "For whom?  Here's your list."
  Now every name on the list was already checked off, except mine.  i wasn't about to suggest looking for something for me.  i had suggested that MyGuy or Boom take him shopping for me if they wanted, but i wasn't doing it.
  We went over the list.  i suggested that maybe his gift for this person or that person was on the small side, & he might want something else for them.
  He chose to buy something else for one.  i suggested a favorite kind of candy.  So off we went to the candy.
  Of course, that kind was nowhere to be found.  But we found something else we thought this person would like, nicely boxed and at a good price.  That is what this store is known for.

 Checking Out

  i asked Max if he had more shopping to do or if he was finished.  He was finished.  So we went to the checklanes.
  Definitely needing a fastlane, we approached one with three people in line.  And the one being waited on must've had 50 items, though the sign said 10 or less.  (There's always one!)  Max was breathing huffily.
  But once the first person was finally done, the line moved quickly.
    When it was our turn, the checker loved our purchase.  At least, i figured that out later.
The Checker's Joke
  The checker loved our purchase.  At least, i figured out later that she did.  At the moment, i didn't have enough mind to absorb what she was getting at. 
  She said, "This is poison.  I'll have to keep this."
  i smiled vaguely.  She continued, "These are great.  I love them."  Oh.
  i guided Max through getting his money.
  "Give her a ten?  Ok, five ones.  She's got change for you."
  i doubt that her employer would appreciate the joke, but i liked it.  When i got away from the checklane & could think about it.

In the Car & After

  Max's agitation grew as we walked to the car. 
  The next event was supposed to be meeting the other guys at our favorite Chinese restaurant.
  i called Boom.  "How are you coming on getting ready?"
 "I'm getting up.  I could be there in maybe an hour."
  Not doable.  Need to eat Chinese another day.  (Max will be having a cheeseburger anyway.)
  i parked again & asked Max if i should talk to him or write.  "Write."  i started writing furiously.
  "This is a special place.  But it takes a long time for them to cook the food for us.  Should we go there ___today  or ___another day and eat somewhere else today?"  Max checked "somewhere else."
  There was a Wendy's behind where we were parked.  i offered him the choice of Wendy's or some other place.  He asked for Wendy's.  So i called MyGuy & explained the change of plan & Max & i went directly to lunch.  MyGuy & Boom went out some time after we got home. 
  But Max & i both felt a LOT better after we ate, even though the traffic didn't get better as we headed home.

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