Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Keeping a grip on that holiday spirit




Today found me at CVS looking for a Christmas card for my fella.
I’d already tried Walgreen’s, a favorite produce market, the garden supply place where I buy fancy-dancy dog food, a different CVS, and, of all places, a card shop. No luck.
          Too many cards have these long and saccharine verses. Verses that go on from one page to another, with To the Man I Love emblazoned in flowing script across the front. Definitely not our style, and unnecessary for a marriage that’s held together just fine for 47 years without depending on someone chained to a copy desk cranking out canned poetry.
          On a mission, I went straight to the card aisle. There was a reasonably good selection. Maybe this time I’d get lucky. Another person was there, a fireplug of a grandmother leaning on one of those miniature shopping carts that you find in drugstores.
          I took my place next to her, in front of the “To Her” section. I needed the “To Him” row but my fellow shopper had positioned her cart right against the rack so that over a foot-wide swath of cards was unattainable.
          I reined in my impatience. I told myself that since her cart was empty, perhaps she was using it for stability and I should therefore conjure up some compassion and Christmas spirit.
          I walked around her and her cart and started on the cards to her left. These were “To the Two of You” and “From All of Us”. Grandma settled more solidly in front of the exact spot I wanted to be, looking for all the world as though her purpose was to memorize each and every sentiment in each and every card.
          I mentally threw up my hands. Maybe I could wait her out. I went to inspect the As Seen on TV aisle. Nothing I needed. I peered back down toward the cards. She was still there, lifting out yet one more card with all the speed of a tree sloth.
          Forget it. I picked up some Pond’s cold cream but on a hunch, looked down the card aisle again. It was empty! I returned, found a card and walked to the front of the store to check out.
There were two registers going, with a line in front of each. Guess who was in the line for the other register. At least she wouldn’t be in my way here, I thought.
          The person in front of me finished and left and I stepped forward.
          The clerk smiled apologetically and said, “This lady was here before you.” and gestured to Grandma who wheezed up in front of me with her carriage.

11 comments:

  1. Jolly, jolly, jolly is the password.

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  2. Have to admit I keep driving if I seen a bus from a senior living facility parked in front of a store. Life's too short.

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  3. Right now I'm reminding myself to NEVER be that Grandma.
    I used to have the same trouble with mushy, gushy cards, especially Mother's Day and Father's Day. I never found a card that matched our very distant-emotionally family. Christmas was a bit easier, but still far too much on the lovey-dovey together-forever side.

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  4. LOL! We can all identify with THAT story. Whenever I'm in that situation I try to remind myself that someday I will be that old wheezy person. :)

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  5. Glad that they respected the challenges she is facing. It was good for all of us to remember that.

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  6. Hahaha! You told that story perfectly. I'm still smiling. Tree sloth, indeed. :-)

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  7. I am that wheezy old person. Careful, it sneaks up on you quickly.

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  8. Good gosh! Sometimes, don't you just feel like screaming? I like Linda's comment. Even though my sister and I are seniors too, we avoid going to the fair on "senior's day. It's funny...too many slow walking folks. We should be thankful.

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    1. Agreed. You and Patti are right - too soon that will be my shopping cart.

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  9. going shopping for anything is an exercise in patience.

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