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8

Love to Shop (and Rake)


The holiday season is a great time for fun and cheerfulness for all, until I get to the part of shopping.


Mr. Blunt, the hand-held censored swear machine that bleeps every other word (as seen in Spencerís stores across the country) intellectually describes my role of shopping as a near- 15-year-old. He uses philosophical phrases to precisely describe my shopping experiences.


A difficult aspect of shopping is that Iíll walk into a large clothing department store and make about 15 nanoseconds of progress looking at very dull sweaters, outfits and such, then stray off in an unpredictable direction. Usually in that direction happens to be a Spencerís or some sort of a music store, where Iíll get an ear-to-ear grin and see something that I want.


Now the temptation rises, with a little angel telling me to "buy for others" on my right shoulder and a tiny devil on the left whispering at me to "buy for myself." Much to my regret I brush off my right shoulder and keep walking.


Another difficulty is that my "funding" is limited, even though my current employers shower me with gold, frankincense and myrrh. Solely because of this Iím usually reduced to the dollar store and later on kicked out of the house on Christmas morning.


Hey, when you spend hundreds of dollars on your kids and in honor of your generosity they give you ... a handmade Chinese finger trap, it turns into a great Christmas, eh?


Even though my parents are into the holiday season, I bet they like Christmas morning as much as they like scud missiles being launched into our house. Every Christmas from the past years, Elizabeth, Glenn and I ally (and this is for only one hour of the year) and raid my parents room at 7 oíclock, jumping on the bed, rolling them out and down the stairs (HA HA revenge!)


Then we take part in the Ritual of Opening Paulís Cheap Gifts, from which I forget to take off the Dollar Store price tag on everyoneís present. Needless to say, everyone but my dad, happy as a clam, hated theirs. The rest of the family soon allies against me and I am homeless with not even our extensive supply of Christmas oats and barley to eat.


One little happy note actually ends this shopping disaster for me. This year I have learned a lesson over my last 14 years and I know exactly what to get for everyone, including my dog George. When we take our yearly trip down to Portland on my dadís birthday a little before Christmas, I think that weíre going to the Mall there so I can fulfill my large familyís list. For my dad, I think Spencerís will be the way to go, and for everyone else... "Hey, I hear the dollar storeís having a sale!"


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© By Paul Adams