The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 1, 2012

Mike Pound: Shopping companion knows how to spot a good deal

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

When I first volunteered to take our 14-year-old daughter, Emma, shopping at the large outlet mall at the Lake of the Ozarks on Saturday while my wife was attending a conference, I assumed it would be the longest Saturday of my life. But sometimes the things we dread the most wind up not being as bad as we thought they would be. The exception, of course, would be watching a Kansas City Chiefs game.

Ha. That’s just one of my annual “The Chiefs aren’t very good” references, and from what I saw Sunday, you can expect several more of them before the football season ends.

I suppose my shopping experience wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be because we sort of got a late start. See, my wife’s plan called for us to get up around 6 a.m. Saturday and head to the Lake of the Ozarks around 7:30 a.m. But when 6 a.m. rolled around, my wife decided that she didn’t need to get to the lake early and that she needed to sleep a few more hours instead. I would have argued with her, but at the time, I was asleep.

So instead of getting to the Lake of the Ozarks around 10:30 a.m., we got there around 1 p.m. By the time we had lunch and my wife hurried off to her meetings, it was after 2 p.m. when Emma and I headed toward the outlet mall. And when you factor in the 20 minutes it took me to find the mall because the Missouri Department of Transportation moved it, we didn’t begin our shopping experience until 2:30 p.m.

I expected Emma to be upset, but she was strangely calm about the whole thing.

“Sorry it’s late,” I said to Emma, even though I really wasn’t sorry.

Sometimes it’s OK to lie to your children.

“That’s OK, I don’t mind,” Emma said, even though she did mind.

It is also OK, sometimes, for children to lie to their parents.

The name of the first store we came to sounded like the name of a store that is located at Northpark Mall. When I mentioned that to Emma, she said it was the same store, but the store at the outlet mall might have better deals.

I told Emma that she was giving me a headache. Emma told me to be quiet.

When we walked into the store, a nice lady greeted us and said something about something being “half off.” Emma nodded and began shopping while I looked for somewhere to sit. When I discovered that all the good seats were taken, I looked at some of the male-related fashion. Then I went back to looking for a place to sit.

A few minutes later, Emma told me that she found some jeans that were “only $25, which was a really good deal.”

I told Emma to try them on, and if they fit, she could buy them. See, Emma has very long legs, but she weighs only, like, 6 pounds, so she has trouble finding jeans that fit.

When Emma came back, she told me that the jeans fit, so we bought them and went on to the next store.

When we entered the store, a nice lady said something about something being “half off,” and Emma and I did pretty much what we did in the last store. We repeated that same process in about 10 different stores, and then Emma was done shopping.

As we made our way back to the car, we stopped so Emma could get a glass of lemonade. When we got into our car and started to drive away, I apologized for not being a fun shopping companion.

“Oh, I like shopping with you,” Emma said. “I didn’t do it today, but when I shop with you, I know I can say, ‘This is a good deal,’ and you won’t know any better and will let me buy it.”

I wasn’t sure how to take that, so I took it as a compliment.

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