It was quite the weekend at the Mendell’s with several baseball playoff games, my Mom’s retirement picnic (30 years of teaching nursery school), a pilgrimage to ToysRUseless, and Noah asking me what the word c%$# means – some of which will be featured in this week’s posts. So when Jennifer asked if I would take the MWF duty this week, I said sure – the material is swirling around in my head anyway. Stay tuned – you know the c-word piece is on its way.

But for today, I share with you our ToysRUs pilgrimage on Saturday. You see, my boys are Pokemon boys. Those of you who have these boys know exactly what this means. For the uninitiated, Pokemon is like a modern day Dungeons & Dragons. There are thousands of characters to trade and battle on a hand-held Nintendo DS. The creatures have names like Wartortle, Venusaur, and (my favorite) Regigigas (sounds like Reggie Kickass). Noah is a particular die-hard. I listen to him and his brother and friends talk about this imaginary world with sly grins and sparkly eyes and pray that he grows out of this phase before high school. Because he will never get a date.

So late last week Noah goes apoplectic upon finding out that there is a free download of Darkrai at ToyRUs from 12-4 on Saturday and Sunday. From what I can gather from his mutterings, this is a good thing. I know Dave will have nothing to do with this as he hates Pokemon (even cute little Pikachu) so when the Saturday afternoon baseball games are canceled due to rain, I offer to drive the boys over.

Me: It’s free. It’s raining. We’re going.

Dave: You won’t get out of there without spending money. I guarantee you.

Me: I’m not buying anything. Just the download.

Dave: $24. I bet you spend $24 dollars.

Me: Grumble. Bite me. Smile. LET’S GO FELLAS!

The conversation on the way over is filled with anticipation on what exactly must transpire to achieve the download. I am praying to God that there is some dorked-out ToysRUs associate who will guide my kids through this process. We dash through the pouring rain into the store. My kids have their DS’ ready to go!

Apparently, the PokeMon leadership forgot to send the software to the Middletown ToysRUs. Faces fell and I looked around. I saw dozens of little boys wandering around aimlessly with their handhelds – like ghosts who haven’t crossed over into the light. There was Austin from karate…and over there was James, Noah’s best friend….and our old next door neighbors – they brought the entire family. We had all traveled separately to this single destination of despair. It was a little creepy.

To ease the pain, ToysRUs gave each kid a $5 dollar coupon for any DS game (which start at $20). I went willingly – baited and switched. Noah, Chase, and best friend James each shopped happily for a new game. Turned those frowns right upside down.

I took pride in the fact that Dave was wrong. I did not spend $24.

I spent $40.


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