I can’t explain the why, but a couple of years ago Ayala Corp and SM Corp (Someone told me they were the same, but what do I know) built two new malls here in Olongapo for our shopping pleasure, and no doubt to make a few Pesos, on the positive side they brought a lot of employment to our fair city and the restaurants and other stores in the area also benefit from those malls. Prior to this from Iba (Our Capital City) across Zambales and Bataan to Pampanga and the City of San Fernando, the SM mall in Pampanga for years was our only Mall, but no longer is that the case. (Or is it?)
So this past Tuesday my Daughter, her husband (Chris) and my queen of the world Granddaughter Colleen (That’s three) show up at my door to pick up my wife and her twin sister Clara my two nieces and my cute little grand niece. (That’s 5) remember this is an Inova they are driving, not a Victory Liner. And off they go on a day of Christmas Shopping (Bob and the new US Government both allow the use of the term Christmas again, Oh Joy!) I can’t go, first because of my travel problems and second no more room in the Toyota unless you also hire a truck or not buy anything. The old never try putting 50 kilos of rice in a 5 kilo sack rule does not apply.
They are going to the SM mall over in San Fernando, why? Because the two new malls here in Olongapo for reasons not explained are not as good. Because the Payless shoes there is far better than the Payless store here! Hell everybody knows that.
Whatever the reason really is, here is what I know, they were all extremely happy, the same amount of money was spent, a great lunch was had, and they all returned both safe and happy. Only an old fool would open his mouth and interfere with that. That night they went until 1: AM wrapping presents and putting them under the tree.
Now my shopping, Mayang picked up her brand new Samsung Smart Phone while at the Mall (Gift from me) I got the make, model and style 100% correct as I told her to put it on her Visa and I’d pay it off in the morning online. This is how my other shopping will go on 17 December. at the mall, Paul will go to each store get in and out in the shortest time possible having asked each one of my family what they wanted (Why try and guess when they already know.) My Granddaughter figured this out about me years ago so she has pictures, the name of the store and color options all written down for Lolo Daddy Paul knowing that will insure a perfect Christmas morning. Next I transit to the booth that wraps presents for cash, and also has someone to carry it all to my car. Last year when cocktails were still available to me I would have Mrs. Thompson drive me to a watering hole where I’d wait until she came to get me. I will never move a car if I’ve had any adult beverages. Because even old retired Merchant Marines know that one DUI anywhere on earth and you never sail again (Exxon Valdez is the reason for that)
What all this is Proving to me once more, that Christmas shopping is only as stressful as you allow it to be. With me it is always chill.