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Yesterday I put new snow tires on my truck. To do this I needed to visit the planner's hell (Vermont Journal of Envr. Law prefers montrosity) that is Taft Corners in Williston, VT. I drop my truck off at about 9:00 Am. I am informed that it won't be ready for 2 hours. Ok fine, thats cool, I can deal. So I venture out into stripmalldom armed and ready. It's about 20 degrees or so but I have a nice jacket and a hoodie so I'm good (I know MMM I forgot my hat and gloves) and my book to kill time.

After braving the 3 lanes of traffic I am safe on the other side and ready to trek the 2 miles to big-box-megahaven. The traffic is moving incredibly fast but I can't complain because there are actually sidewalks something void in many big-box-metropolis around the country. Anyways, it takes me 20 minutes or so to get to my destination...I am in search of coffee and since its a big-box-hell-hole the place for coffee be the almighty Starbucks mon (which coincidently has nothing to do with Jamaica). I order up a hot Peppermint Mocha which is lovely, but very sugary. I read and sip my beverage (convinced its rotting my teeth as I read). I hang in SBs for a good hour. I would have chilled longer but my scrawny backside is planted in a wooden chair and can only take so much.

So, I journey along to another big box staple...Best Buy. I kill a good 30 minutes there looking at all the cool TV's (envisioning my father telling me how the price of flat screen tube TV's has really dropped and they are practically giving them away), and marvel at the amount of Xbox, PS2, and Gamecube games being purchased by middle aged women. After perusing the video game section I make my way to the DVD section and debate if I can afford picking up all four of Curb Your Enthusiam seasons (120 bucks or so). I decide I would rather use my money for some other frivolous good and leave (oh one side note is I can't believe they sell all the Sex In the City seasons for 199 bucks! Seems outrageous. I love me some Sex in the City but that price just seems obnoxiously high).

I am back into the elements and all this time wasting has gotten me hungry. This is where I come to the main theme of this tale and a first in my life. I have no eating choices but Chili's and Longhorn Steakhouse, both sit down restaurants. I have never in my 26 years of life dined alone. I have always had a co-pilot or a place to take my food to eat in solitude. But I have no choice, I am hungry and for some reason feeling adventurous and willing to break my insecurity of dining alone. Well, I date a vegan so I dismiss the steakhouse right off and move to the familiarity of Chili's (that is why so many Americans dine there I am convinced!). I take a seat at the booth in the bar area, order one of my favorite brews and lunch.

And there you have it, not only did I start a paragraph and a sentence with "AND" but wrote an essay about dining solo. I know you are saying I read this stupid story and this is it? Well if you feel that way I am sorry. But, I did try and mix in a bit of planning, hardship, consumer culture, and suspense...hey what can you do? It was a trip to a strip mall.

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