Let me let you in on a little secret: the Happy Boondocks is in the middle of nowhere.
The nearest not-quite-a-city, but with some amenities, is Waldorf, an hour away.
When I was a kid, growing up outside of Annapolis, we laughed at Waldorf. It was the boonies. There was nothing in Waldorf. It was the kind of place you drove through, on the way to Florida for vacation, and wondered at all the old places that Used To Be Something Special, Back In The 60s When Gambling Was Legal And Headliners Came. There are still several crappy shops and bakeries and such, inhabiting odd buildings that used to be casinos.
Then we moved to the Happy Boondocks. Waldorf instantly transformed into A Place That Has A Mall and A Red Lobster.
Honestly, I am not all that impressed by the presence of a mall or a Red Lobster. But, that is the difference between the Boondocks as we know it, and Waldorf. People actually make plans to go to Waldorf, to eat at the Olive Garden and shop at the mall.
OK, so tomorrow I will be in Waldorf. It is kind of a midway point between my house and my parents', and my mother is going to meet me there to return Sons #3 and 4, who are spending the weekend with their grandparents.
As a non-shoppy, non-materialistic person, my first inclination is to just head to the bagel store where we're meeting, grab the kids and head back home. But then again, I will have already used all that gasoline...maybe I should go a little early, and hit the mall. Because, you know, I usually only do that once a year, when I take Son #1 clothes shopping at Hot Topic. This time, I'd be alone. I could look at...I dunno, whatever catches my eye, I guess. Maybe I'll bring my camera and take pictures of the place.
Eh, if any of you are in Waldorf, tomorrow, you just may run into me. Wave. Say something. See you there! Maybe we can get Orange Julius, or something.