We are done Christmas shopping, well actually we have been done for a few days. So when I asked Sweet Husband if he would accompany me to a smaller-ish mall his quick response was, “but there’s people there, and I don’t like people right now”. I whined enough that he came with me, but only if I would drive. So we head off to the University Village where parking, unlike most malls, is at a premium. I like an early start so we were there right at opening, which is 9:30am. Huh, so was everyone else. I started telling Sweet Husband that I was wrong in this choice to go participate in commercial holiday cheer and that I was sorry. I told him I would look for a parking space for approximately 3 left turns and then we were outta here. Lo and behold, Sweet Husband spots an empty slot, I quickly head for it and we are out of the car before you can say, “would you like rum in your egg nog?”
We head for the book store because frankly we like bookstores, SH heads for the potty and I start browsing the new paperbacks. All the while we know that we don’t need a stinkin thing they have, we are DONE. But all around us shoppers are politely frantic, with their lists and cell phones calling to check on things on their lists. More than once I heard a one sided conversation that went something like this:
Cell phone chatterer,” Hi Mom, it’s me,no Karen, I said Karen, you know your oldest daughter? Did Dad want the Gilligan’s Island full season DVD set or was it the Historical reference guide to Navy Battles in World War II? Yes, I know both have boats. Which one did he want? OK, (which sounded very exasperated to me, as I slying shadowed her so I could continue to listen)no, I got him the coffee table book of ships in a bottle last year. Yes, YES, I said yes, I heard you, I will get both the Gilligan’s and the World War II, because I’m obviously made of money. No that’s ok, yes I’ll see you later. Bye mom, old crank, I hear her say as she slams the phone shut. Ho-fuckin-ho, I think as I spot Sweet Husband and make a beeline to him.
I find a book I want and we wander around for a while and head toward a line when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, ONE cashier, at least 14 people in front of me and I hear, ‘the system is done so I can’t take cards’. bye buy! I leave the book and off we go to the next place. We wander around to a few stores make one purchase and then head back home. Of course we aren’t done, cuz there’s groceries and such so we don’t get home for another hour or so.
We fritter our afternoon away and find ourselves at the neighbors little party around 6pm, but as we already had plans to dine out with some friends we only stay a little while. But it was so nice to be invited over and meet some of their other friends.
In our normal everyday life we drive a convertible, so in the last 3 or so years if the weather is nice we grab a couple of blankets, our good friends “the girls” as we like to call them, and load up in the Sebring sleigh to go look at Holiday lights. We always go to the same neighborhood because they have almost the whole community lit up.
There are not as many cars as we arrive later in the evening for our festive drive. It’s not raining tonight and it’s not really even that cold, we are cozy and happy. We are dazzled with the array of holiday light variety and play our Christmas music and laugh and sing. When we think we’ve seen all the lights we stop at the very industrious kids cocoa stand and purchase a very rich and creamy cocoa. Translate that as ‘at the bottom of the container and it may have been a long while since it was stirred’. They’ve had a good night with lots of $$ and cocoa being exchanged. We ask if the drive up is still open and they are impressed that we are driving with the top down. One of the children is taking the opportunity to practice their clarinet and you haven’t heard anything until you’ve heard Jingle bells played on the clarinet. Honk honk honk, honk honk, honk, honkity honk honk honk….ah, pure holiday bliss. I’ve actually heard worse holiday songs in the grocery store. It was very cute and we laughed and contributed to their college fund. We sip our cocoa, put the top back up on the car and drive back to our own neighborhood, knowing that just a few holiday commitments await us. Only two more get ups!