I just don’t care how many shopping days are left; the TV can count it down until the kalabow (carabao) comes home, or when pigs fly, or ducks sing. I’m done! Malls, night markets, or the guy with the overloaded kalesa, parked in front of my house with his kabayo dropping piles of free fertilizers on my drive. Or if all those pretty brown eyes, pleaded with me. I am done shopping for Christmas 2010.
It’s not the money that’s flying out of my pocket like a drunken’ sailor on liberty in Bangkok Thailand, (I can speak to that first hand, by the way.) nor the carrying of bag after bag of purchases to the car like a pack mule, and then trying to fit them all in. It’s the act of shopping itself, here in the land of the Philippines.
Saturday morning at Casa De Mayang, my Daughter came by to bring me to the mall for a fun day of “Mall Adventure”, The usual suspects were with us, My Granddaughter Colleen, my niece Shay-Shay, my wife’s twin, Clara, and of course my wife Maria AKA Mayang, and my son-in-law Chrisanto AKA Chris.
Chris is driving, and we’re all in his new Toyota Innova. 9:00 AM, and it’s on the road we go. Due to my big mouth after the last mall trip in November, Chris was now restricted to a max speed of 110 KPH. (Will I ever learn?)
At the mall, I break from the pack, to take care of a few items I need, the second hand bookstore and pick up 10 novels, off to Vision Works, and get my new eyeglasses adjusted, up to the computer store to pick up a new external hard drive of the One Terabyte persuasion, and lastly to pick up another pair of Chuck Taylor All Stars by Converse. Plus the secret Christmas present for my darling wife. I’m done; my work there was over all by 11:30 AM. It’s now time to wait, and wait, and wait some more.
I call and locate the group after putting my treasures in the car, and then I joined them. They were not even one forth done with their list. I get that far-a-way look from my son-in-law, and we both nod, as we know our day is screwed.
Select an item; discussion of said items among the ladies, purchase the approved items, Chris & Paul, tote items to the car, this process was repeated over and over.
As the day progressed, the trip to the car took longer and longer as the mall was swelled long past its maximum capacity. Since I know that mall shoppers walk as they drive, changing lanes and stopping for no good reason that I could ever figure out. I can only describe it as attempting to swim down the Columbia River, while all the salmon on the planet are trying to swim up the river.
As we re-entered the SM Department Store I used my cagey brain and noted that the time was well past lunch. It’s not often that the urge to eat can be suppressed by the ladies, except during a shopping frenzy. The ladies decided to eat. Off to Kenny Roger’s for Baby Back Ribs, and a well needed rest.
So now its 2 PM, the ladies are back shopping once more, and all the planets are aligned. Chris and I sneak off to Starbuck’s, for a much needed coffee break. Short lived as it were, a new type of shopping was soon to commence, and since it involved TOYS, Colleen and Shay-shay, were relegated to the care of the guys. We are buying ice cream and letting the two girls lead us around by our collective noses, until, Chris was called away on toting detail, leaving the care of the mini-ladies up to me.
My granddaughter is on the phone with her mother many times, trying to glean information about, what’s happening in the land of toys.
This is the part where the two girls gang up on their grandfather/uncle, and tell me that I’m supposed to take them to a place called Tommy’s. Without a second thought we’re on our way. Then I see that Tommy’s is a game arcade, and that I’ve been hoodwinked by an 8 and 11 year old respectively. Whoa Nellie Belle, I might have fallen’ off the turnip truck, but it was not this morning. I made a phone call and discovered that they were at the main entrance waiting for us. Back up the Columbia River with two girls in tow, at that point I’m thinking that I’d rather be taking a righteous thumping by two very large men.
Foolishly I thought it over and we were on the way home. I’m smiling. But! Nay, not by a long shot are they done. Food must be found, purchased, and carried home to be consumed after the arrival back to the house. I went to the car and waited one more hour until they arrived and said it was time to depart. I pulled Chris aside and informed him that 150 to 160 KPH on the return trip, would be looked upon with favor from his father-in-law. He smiled, and forty five minutes later, I had a very cold SMB in my hand, and now all was well on planet Earth once more.
After all the presents were wrapped, I noticed that the bicycle I got for my granddaughter was still in the box and wrapped also. Rule Number 14 from my Father, no child wakes up on Christmas morning and finds his or her present disassembled. Gather my son-in-law back to the house and he (with supervision and encouragement from me) assembled the bike. My wife and daughter are in full agreement with me on rule No. 14.Chis is still up in the air over that, but he’s young.
So I’ll reiterate: “There are NO shopping days left ‘till Christmas for me.”
I’ll still enjoy the Holidays, with everyone here at my house for the party Christmas Eve, my Christmas Cheer, will be in full swing and a BBQ’ed pig will be served along with other food and beverages. And I’ll attempt to forget that next September; it will all start a new! So you go finish your shopping, and I’ll be thinking about you all, and that next cold beer.
I wish our friend here on Lip, a most Joyful Holiday Season, and a Great and Happy New Year!