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My latest reconnaissance
mission - Jason Smith

I've always hated shopping. For the most part, I avoid that particular activity at all costs. I've always felt that there wasn't much purpose in looking at things I had no intention of buying.

The way I see it, there are two kinds of people in the world, when it comes to shopping - two "models" of purchasing behavior, each of which can be described in military terms.

First, there's the "reconnaissance" model, which goes from venue to venue looking at various items, with no desire to spend money. For this person, buying the item is merely an incidental component of the shopping experience.

Then, there's the "seek and destroy" model - the kind of person who goes into a store, knowing what he or she wants, heads straight for that item, picks it up and goes to the checkout line. If the checkout process takes more than five minutes, this type of person is less than thrilled.

I have always been a "seek and destroy" kind of guy.

However, when I went shopping last weekend, I wasn't afforded the luxury of going to a store and seeing how quickly I could escape. This shopping experience was a different animal entirely.

You see, I was shopping for an apartment.

I've known for a while that I would need to take the shopping trip. Having lived in Covington ever since I got married, the commute to McDonough, while not unbearable, is such that moving closer to my work is much more convenient. Factor in the current price of gasoline, and it's pretty much a necessity.

I still wasn't looking forward to the shopping trip.

My wife and I went to a few places in McDonough Saturday. Since she had already seen all the complexes on our list except one, she had already formed several questions in her mind.

I, on the other hand, was essentially flying blind and trying hard not to confuse the various aspects of each complex.

I was, however, trying to focus on reconnaissance, because I knew we weren't buying anything that day. With that pressure off my mind, a strange thing happened. I was able to enjoy the experience for what it was - an opportunity for my wife and I to communicate about what's important to each of us when considering where we will make our next home.

When all was said and done, we received some valuable information that will aid us in our apartment-seeking efforts. More importantly, we managed to have a good time with each other in the process.

Imagine that - me, shopping and actually enjoying it. All it took was a little reconnaissance.

Jason A. Smith covers crime and courts for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161, or via e-mail at jsmith@henryherald.com.