My downfall is REI. They opened a store about 2 miles from my home last year. Good thing / bad thing. I went in there a couple of days ago to buy my wife and daughter a few small items for stocking stuffers - maybe $40. I walked out $500 later and really hadn't dented my Christmas list, but had damn sure expanded it! I even bought some items for myself - took 'em home, wrapped 'em, then gave them to my wife to give to me for Christmas. Her response? "You went to REI, didn't you?"
It should be noted that I am (1) generally frugal, and (2) the antithesis of an impulse buyer - normally I'll walk into a store, buy precisely what I came for, and split as quickly as possible (I HATE shopping!). Walk me into an REI (or Cabela's or Bass Pro), and I'm suddenly in Oz. The normal rules no longer apply.
Before I got married to my current wife, I would go to REI with the intention of "just looking" and wound up buying this and that. GEESH! Now, I can restrain myself from making purchases.
BECAUSE I HAVE EVERYTHING REI HAS TO OFFER!
AND THEN SOME!
Now that I am married (again 3rd time), I am wearing some of my hiking clothes and gear when I am doing the "honey-do" projects like cutting the lawn or chopping wood. Who dah thunk!
Fortunately, REI opened up its doors in Fresno on September 15, 2007. How do I remember this? Cuz, I wanted to go to the Grand Opening, but then a hike to Mt. Whitney got in the way. And Wifey-pooh insisted I go (or else).
Never made it past Trail Camp.
The nearest Bass Pro is in Manteca, CA which is a two-hour drive. The nearest Cabela's is in Reno, NV. We literally live in the middle of nowhere.
Yes, REI is my favorite adult toy store
...er, I mean, toy store for adults!
I never tried the old "wrap-my-own-gifts-for-my-wife-to-give-to-me" ploy. Looks like a winner everytime!
See whatcha done, Bulldog34?