There are rules about going shopping. Never go to a grocery store when you're hungry, for example, is an excellent rule to follow. The other, far more important, rule is this: never go to a Kmart/Target/Wal-Mart when you are not on a very strict time schedule that requires you to run in, grab *only* what you intend to buy, and leave promptly. The problem with these stores is that there is just too much stuff available, and unless you slap on a pair of blinders and know *exactly* where your required items are located, you must wander through aisle after aisle of merchandise that you didn't even know you needed until you see it there on the shelf, and before you know it, you've got an entire shopping cart full of things when all you really wanted was just a new tube of toothpaste.
We went to Wal-Mart last night to look for curtains for the newly painted dining room. Yes, pre-made curtains, folks - I have my limits when it comes to sewing, and playing with lace fabric falls directly outside those limits. We ended up picking out a pair of panels and then attempted to make it to the checkout counters. However, our meandering path took us past the storage items, where I suddenly remembered that I really wanted to get some sort stacking shelf/drawer thing so that I can finally empty out my chest of drawers (I've been able to move most of my clothes into our huge walk-in closet, and the chest of drawers is now slated for the guest room, to help me organize my sewing paraphernalia). And then once we'd picked out just the right storage thing, we remembered that we needed to get replacement heads for the toothbrushes, and then there was this display of Count Chokula cereal, which not only contains chocolaty cereal puffs but also little chocolaty marshmallows, so a box of that had to be added to the stack.
Richard went off to see if they had rechargeable batteries while I stood in line to pay for the curtains and everything else. By the time he made it back through the maze of aisles, I'd already paid for everything, and we were nearly home free, until he mentioned the great prices they had on DVD players…
So needless to say, our trip to pick out curtains for the dining room ended up being a lot more expensive than we'd intended. But at least now we have a DVD player - and a spiffy one it is, too.
As for the curtains, we exercised a great deal more discipline today, returning the too-short ones and finding a selection of other styles at two different stores which we purchase with the sole intention of taking all of them home, hanging each set to see which one we liked best, and returning all the rest. This did take us not only into Wal-Mart again, but also Target and Mervyns. However, today we were safe from the seductive wiles of acres of merchandise because we needed to hurry and get home to do other things.
There are beautiful lace panels hanging in the dining room now, with a scalloped edge at the bottom. Richard says it looks very Bed and Breakfast in that room now, with the walls and the curtains and our odd little assortment of wooden furniture. I'm perfectly horrid at being able to envision things like decorations and such for entire rooms. But if I'd ever managed to come up with a mental picture of how I hoped our dining room would turn out, this would have been it.