While the gasoline on my rental car  dwindled further and further towards empty, it was my responsibility to drive four ladies to all of the open thrift stores in Steamboat Springs in order to hunt for various items, once we finished the ice skating and bumper car activity this afternoon. In fairness, there are few times where I find anything that I am looking for at a thrift shop, unless it is a particularly unusual one. For example, both of the thrift shops we went to shared a few basic similarities, among them the disparity between a few items that were drastically overpriced, a certain downscale clientele, and very few items of personal interest. Nevertheless, I was glad that I was able to get the tchotchkes I was looking for for one of my lucky young friends for the post-feast pot luck and games night, assuming I can get a suitable bag to put the lego box in. I hope that the parent(s) of said lucky child will not mind the fact that there are so many legos in the box that will have to be gathered together, not an easy task.
I was successful in my own hunting, but for the most part, others were not as successful. In our various trip, which involved a substantial amount of driving, parking, turning around, going in the wrong turn lines and having to make our way out again someway, there was only one other item bought at any of the thrift stores we went to (at least two of which were closed at least one time during the day), and that item carried with it something that is either a bit of a joke or an accidental reference that was not intended to be made in my company, as there was a lot of joking about the plates and cups being used for a family wedding, when it appeared as if no one in the family, either by blood or some kind of informal adoption, was anywhere remotely close to marriage at all, or even in a romantic relationship of any kind, unless I am terribly uninformed and other people are being very secretive. The fact that today seemed to be a day of much teasing about my own lack of success in relationships did not help matters, even if it is a common area of teasing in my life. I was told, alternatively, that the cups and plates would be useful for the Northwest Weekend, presumably the adult dance, which has a classy French cafe theme.
At least my hunt for tchotchkes was successful today. I am a person of fairly plain and straightforward tastes, and while others are more demanding, they will have more time to buy the little items to trade with others who went to other feast sites. I’m not sure if I will be unlucky enough to end up with a Duck Dynasty deck of cards or something like that like last year, but time will tell. One thing that is pretty likely is that I will be doing a lot of the driving around. It is striking that all three of the vehicles and their drivers among my party at the feast this year are men. Three-fifths of the men and none of the women have their own cars to drive at the site, and since the women in our group have been doing most of the purchasing of clothes and groceries and the like, among other items, this has required a lot of grocery shopping with a guy serving as chauffeur. Of the at least four times that grocery shopping was done, I have been the driver three times, including two of the three times grocery shopping was done today. The only time I did not drive someone grocery shopping was when I was too busy in choir practice and driving back the others in practice back to the condo, so I was already too busy to drive. The amount of grocery shopping we have done in a few days is pretty staggering, I must admit, and it has given me a lot of room for pause when it comes to the logistics of large families with various and demanding tastes in food and the desire to frequently shop, a desire I do not tend to have personally. As usual in life, my experiences and observations lead to a lot of pondering about whether experiences like this are mocking or some kind of preparation for actually having a family of my own to help take care of. God only knows I have waited long enough.