They understood the reason I wanted them to stay together! But you're right, they did probably feel pretty confident navigating the store and meeting me where they are supposed to, and that's good...and it's not a store they have been in very many times, simply because I don't bring them shopping with me if I can avoid it (can't imagine why, right?). I like what you said about honoring feelings in our family. That will resonate with them. And I think you are right, too, that a pair is probably easier to keep together than a threesome. We will try again. Maybe when it's time for Christmas shopping. ugh. I dread it already.