Tag Archives: shopping

xmas shopping sorrows

There’s a nursery/gift shop/very cool (but too expensive) place called Waterloo Gardens where I love to Christmas shop. It’s just up the road apiece, walkable distance but best to take a vehicle with cargo capacity.

Every year, Waterloo Gardens transforms the gift shop, green houses, nursery and numerous nooks and crannies into a true winter wonderland. Outside, you can find every tree, shrub and evergreenish thing bedecked with lights of prismatic colors. Squint and you see the aurora borealis — wide open, elves hiding. At Christmas-time, the inside heaves into alcoves of seasonal, cultural themes…Victorian, Italian, German, Pagan, country, sophisticated and others not easily named.

I’ve found the most amazing ornaments and decorative items in years past: velvet pomegranates, gravely grapefruits, demented snowmen sporting tartan scarves. But not this year. This year there were no nooks, alcoves, crannies or secret corners. No ethnic themes or oddball Santas and snowmen.

I spent two hours looking for the most amazing things and found uninspired displays of average offerings.

what happened?
did the buyer die?
did all the cool craftspeople move away?

ahwell….

end of an era

ho


Jesse’s birthday

My younger son, Jesse turned 25 years old on Tuesday, September 19. We got together on Wednesday to celebrate in our own low-key way. For his present, Jess wanted to be taken clothes shopping. Apparently, everything he owns has holes in revealing places and needs replacing. His uncle recommended the Nordstrom Rack in King of Prussia.

Neither Jesse nor I like shopping for anything, but we especially hate shopping at the mall, so we figured this store might be a way out of that. No such luck. The Rack is a great square warehouse-type place jammed with racks and racks of the most awful looking clothing I’ve ever seen. The colors were nauseating, the styles from somewhere deep in the well of bad taste and the stuff just looked dirty. Lennie had told Jess that you had to really look through the jammed racks to find anything decent, but we found that just too traumatizing. Maybe if you are the kind who loves both shopping and the thrill of finding a bargain in a tacky haystack of textiles, but not us.

So, appalled and broken, we headed to the mall. We went to Penney’s and grabbed a pair of jeans, 3 pairs of cargo pants, socks and underwear. We tried to find shirts of the long-sleeved tee variety, but they all had messages written on them in large letters and Jess dislikes wearing other people’s words. We got out of Penney’s for under $200 and figured we’d find shirts and one of those warm, fleecy jackets for Fall at EMS, but alas, EMS is no longer living at the mall. Fine store. I’ll miss it.

Arriving home, Jesse felt the need to wash the mall off, so he showered and changed into his new jeans. His food wish for his birthday was sushi and sake, so Brni and I took him to the Hana. Jesse downed 3 spicy crunchy tuna rolls on his own, plus some sashimi, miso soup and other fishy delights. The boy was hungry.

It is becoming a rare event, spending time with either of my children. Michael is in Japan for the next two years and though Jess only lives about 10 miles away, I hardly ever see or speak to him. I miss being a part of their lives and they of mine. But that is the way of things and there’s not much use in bemoaning what can’t be changed. Children grow up and parents blink back the years.

But, we had, I think, a lovely day.

Happy birthday, Jesse. Your mother loves you dearly.


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