Reconciliation

For those of you desperately waiting to learn what happened next in the Walmart Saga… I found the receipt and got the money back.

The price difference for the car seat was more than $80, so understandably Walmart was initially reluctant and pointed out their 10-day-price-adjustment policy.  So Wife pointed out their 90-day-return policy and suggested she just buy another car seat and return it with the original receipt… And they relented.

Victory against the Faceless Corporation!

 

You Broke My Heart, Walmart

Walmart exteriorcropped

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday at Walmart while my wife and I were restocking a bunch of baby supplies we walked past the car seat department.  And noticed that the exact car seat we purchased a month ago had its own display.  And was fully $80 cheaper than what we paid.

Do you think I can find the receipt?  No, I cannot is the answer.  I’ve been scouring the house for it, and I’ve found dozens upon dozens of receipts.  Not the one I need.  If I ever need to prove that I bought Imodium, I’m set.

The thing is, I was just talking to the church yesterday about how destructive and selfish an attitude of consumerism can be, trying to get as much as possible for as little as possible.  Wanting to get everything we want for as little cost, as little investment as possible.

Stupid car seat ruined my day.  I literally went through the Five Stages of Grief while walking the aisles of Walmart.

Denial: “That can’t be the same carseat.  Look… I don’t think ours has the little thing that sticks out here.  Isn’t ours a different shade of grey?  Maybe they forgot to add a ‘1’ in front of the price.”

Anger: “This is ridiculous!  If they can afford to sell it this cheap why was I paying so much a month ago?  I bet they were laughing at us when we bought it!.  I’m going to poop right in front of this display.”

Bargaining: “Please, I can show you my bank statement.  I promise I just bought the thing.  Come out to our car.  It’s in the car right now… It looks brand new, except for a couple goldfish cracker crumbs.  How about we split the difference?”

Depression: “Think of all the things we could have bought with the $80 we would have saved.  How come nothing ever works out for us?  Why does the universe plot against us?”

Acceptance: …

OK… evidently I have yet to reach the last stage because when Thea gets home for work I’m searching every inch of the car for that receipt.

This is what I actually said to the girl at customer service when she told me I needed a receipt:

“Walmart is literally breaking my heart.  Literally.  Do you want to listen to my heart?  You can’t.  It’s broken.  Walmart broke it.  I want to tell you that we’re never going to shop here again, but we all know that it’s not true.  Because you’re Walmart.  We’ll probably be back before the week is done.”

Stay At Home Dad

Tomorrow I begin life as a stay-at-home dad.

Not really, cause I’m still working.  But since Wife starts teaching full-time again tomorrow and I can do a big chunk of my work from home… I’m the guy.  Mom will be helping a couple days a week with the Boy… But for the most part, during the day till Wife gets home it’s just the boys.

The Boy is so low-maintenance that I’m not dreading it or anything, and it’s not like I haven’t spent time with him… The only thing that I’m not looking forward to is the feeding.

Bottles: great.  Spoon-feeding: hassle.  It’s not enough that it’s a sloppy sticky mess and gets everywhere… but the kid can’t focus.  He wants to look around, grab his spoon, play with toys and you have to continually get his attention between each spoonful.  “Nathanael!  Hey!  Whoooo!  Hello!  Yum Yum!”  And you get his attention, swoop in with the spoon and he turns away at the last minute and it’s in his hair.  Honestly, I’d rather change all the diapers than have to feed him.

On the up side, I’m amazed at how long he can sit and watch a movie with me.  Tonight we jumped through to all the best parts of Superman and he was engrossed.  Which is great because Wife doesn’t care for rewatching movies.  Fortunately, it looks like I can train him to love the movies I love.

Rewind

VHS casette

Image via Wikipedia

“You’re watching that again?”

I’ve heard Thea say it… lots.  Because I rewatch movies… lots.

I don’t really understand people who can watch a movie once, thoroughly enjoy it, then never care to watch it again.  Mediocre movies, fine.  But I could watch my favourite movies over and over again… and I do.

I’ve probably watched the Godfather two or three times a year since I first watched it in 1998.  That’s… 25 to 30 times.  Same goes for my other favourite: The Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, The Silence of the Lambs, Alien, Jaws, When Harry Met Sally, The Abyss, Raiders of the Lost Ark.  All inherently rewatchable.

Part of it is the combined memory of when I first saw it or when I first showed it to friends or imagining what it would have been like to see it for the first time with a theater audience during its initial run (for movies I never saw in the theater, obviously…).  I thought The Exorcist was terribly creepy and unnerving when I first watched it on VHS many years ago… Then I forced Thea and Dan to watch it, they hated it… And I couldn’t watch it anymore.  I saw it through their eyes and it seemed boring and cheesy.  Then I got it for my birthday on Blu-ray this year, the picture and sound cleaned up for high-definition, and it’s creepy and unnerving again.  I rewatch it through my thirty-one-year-old eyes and I can appreciate it the mastery of it again.

I guess what I’m trying to say through my rambling is that the joy rewatching a favourite movie is a combination of memory and changing perspective as we age.

And once you’ve seen a movie 20+ times you’ve gone beyond plot and characterization… It’s all about the details.  Finding things you never saw before.  Understanding nuances of motivations based on your own growing experiences.  Watching the scene from The Godfather of Don Corleone lamenting the hopes he had for his son… I have a greater depth of perspective now that I have my own son… and my own hopes for him.

And in a way it’s kinda like visiting old friends.  As silly as it might seem, I find that I have genuine affection for fictional people played by people paid to pretend to be someone who they’re not.

Rewatching movies teaches me about the technical aspects of how movies are made and how ideas are conveyed visually, but I also start to pick up the strands of themes and the intentions of the filmmakers and actors.

I can’t think of a time when I got sick of watching a favourite movie repeatedly.  I remember when I ate too much shrimp in one sitting and I’ve never really recaptured my love of it.  Although, I’m well aware that Thea does not share my love for repeated movie watching and I have to be careful not to saturate her.  Because it’s more fun to rewatch an old favourite with… an old favourite.  I should insert a little smiley face there.

🙂

Inept

Taking a break from the mind-numbing sermon prep for this Sunday, I thought I’d fold some clothes.  Actually I went to lie down on the bed, but earlier had cannily dumped all the clean clothes on said bed so one of us would have to fold before going to sleep.  And since I took a break before Thea… I get to fold.

Let’s make it perfectly clear that I have no talent for folding clothes.  I’ve been doing it for some time now… have not improved, and have come to the conclusion that I have reached the pinnacle of my clothes-folding-prowess.  Seriously, I’ve watched Internet videos on how to fold clothes and they haven’t helped.  Somehow my clothes still end up bunchy and lopsided.  And I know what you’re thinking, Internet.  I don’t rush it.  I’m not only quite bad at folding clothes, I’m super-slow.  I take my time and still get it wrong.

Thea on the other hand is amazing at folding clothes.  Which is the real tragedy of this story.

But my whole point is that girls’ clothes are weird.  I ended up tossing half of Thea’s clothes back into the clean hamper for her to fold herself because I’m unable to discern what branch of the clothes family they belong to and thus have no idea how to fold them.  Half her stuff has like ribbons or belts built into the very design of the garment.  How do you fold that?  And some of the other articles of “clothing” have no holes… Like nowhere through which to shove an appendage or buttons that don’t button or buttons that don’t unbutton.  I picked up this one black flowy thing that I can only describe as Ringwraith.  And to my knowledge, Thea is not a Nazgûl, one of the nine kings of men who succumbed to the temptation of power and now serve the Dark Lord Sauron.

Duling

I’ve taken to calling the baby “Duling.”  Which is Tagalog for “cross-eyed.”  He’s got daddy’s close-set eyes and from certain angles… well… he looks cross-eyed.

I actually just like the sound of it: Du·ling’.  Emphasis on the ling.  I don’t really think about what it means.

Makes me wonder about how much influence we have on our kids.  Clearly his cheerful and buoyant personality have nothing to do with me.  But will he end up sarcastic because Thea and I can both be sardonic?  Will he appreciate movies because… he has watched so many with me already?  He loved Blade Runner.

Then again, my dad likes the sports.  Me… not so much.  But there’s a good chance I don’t like sports as a reaction to my dad’s competitiveness.  Which, coupled with my incompetence, made for a pretty miserable time.  The only times I ever scored goals in soccer were on my own team.  Note the plural.  And my dad was the coach.  Tried to trade me.