I hate shopping. It's a known fact. I don't like grocery shopping and do it largely alone on Sunday afternoons - I trapse in with my 'green' shopping bags and can't find what I'm looking for and always forget something vital because I don't take a shopping list.
I can't stand shopping for clothes and shoes, nothing fits, the change rooms are hot, the shop assistants are snooty and the prices are inflated. I come away feeling fat, and depressed and ripped off. So I avoid the feeling by avoiding the activity that leads to it. But this afternoon, ClareBear's very generous employer Australian Radio Network (thank you guys) let my little chicken have a half day for Christmas shopping and since I am still yet to get behind a wheel . . .we went together. Now this is a whole different scenario, shopping with company!
Normally if the two of us shop together it's usually me dragging her under duress to wheel the trolley while I reach for the bottles of Morning Fresh and the tins of Tomato with Basil and Garlic or me taking her to buy something special, but today, it was shopping for others . . Christmas shopping and we resolved to nail as many family members as possible within the 4 hour timeframe. I'm still feeling a little tired and am not permitted to carry more than 6 kilos so poor CB was the packhorse. And a mighty job the little trojan did!
We started, well - we got a parking spot. Miraculous given the amount of people buzzing around Castle Towers our mega maul . . I mean mall. There's everything you need there in 2 kms of enclosed shopping mall complete with Christmas durges (seriously, one store was playing a musical version of the Lord's Prayer!) and the usual rocked up Mariah Carey "All I Want for Christmas" kinda stuff. Even Santa was sitting on his throne looking rather bored becuse nobody wanted a picture with him. There are specials a plenty, lots of shiny things which are a constant distraction - "Oooooh look, . . . .LED lights for Christmas Trees . . .ahh . . . a Santa train . . .I've always wanted a Lava Lamp . . .oh look at those retro toasters, they're so . . retro " Back to business girls.
The power shopping began in Target because we get Fly Buys and they have pretty good homewares stuff. And Dunlop Volleys and Sandwich Makers . . . we nailed a few there but they were heavy so needed to procure a trolley . . .I didn't buy much but souvenired two boxes of Lindor Balls . . .Chocolate? What Chocolate?
We stacked the car and went off for round two. Into Priceline. A discount pharmacy and gift store where we were distracted once again by chocolate. EVERYTHING from chocolate shoes . .( yes shoes) to Belgian truffles and macadamias and . . . .then that bitch with the three wheeled stroller just left her toddler bang slap in the middle of the aisle to go browsing . . .I hate those things. We even have parking spaces for "Cars with Prams" What the? I had to lug a heavy Aprica stroller and two toddlers from the roof top parking and these days yummy mummies get to park right near the sliding doors with their lightweight moon buggies and their designer babies and stroll into the shops. *Grumpy Old Woman moment*. Spoiled young biatches! They should do it tough like we did and soak their nappies instead of buying disposables and walk the distance and negotiate escalators with one in tow and one in the stroller!
So we walk another kilometre to "House" fantastic housewares and we're distracted by Piggy Banks . . these are the hot item this Christmas. Pigs with polka dots, gold crowns, green stripes . . . they're sooooo cute!
Into Peter Alexander the pyjama king. Oh my God . . they have ruby slippers. Little sparkly red sequined pumps and boxed pyjamas and paper cups with noses on them so when you drink you can pick your nose because the cup has pictures of noses on the side (not pick your nose literally) and more chocolate with obscenities about men driving you to cocoa on the pack. Fabulous! Out comes the girly Virgin Mastercard . . yes it's pink . . it screams 'use me' every 30 seconds and shop assistants squeal "Oh my what a pretty credit card . . . that's $98 please"
I'm getting a bit tired and hungry by now and Clare being the trooper she is, carries the heavy shit while I ponce down the mezzanine with my flash Peter Alexander bag with nothing more than a singlet top in it . . we head to Wendy's . American hot dogs . . .chocolate milk shakes and a quick sit before I notice that Strawberries and Mangoes are on special. My nether regions are now reminding me that I'm less than 2 weeks since major surgery but hey, it's Christmas . . .must press on . . must finish shopping . . .into Uncle Petes for a squizz at toys. Nemo fish that you put in a bucket of water and they triple their size. How do they do that? Gotta have 2. Bendy swords, Barrels of Monkey's remember those? Robot dogs and Star Wars models . . . Whoooaaaa. . another twin stroller with whingeing 2 year olds blocks our exit. I find myself unconsciously holding my abdomen in the event a wayward 4 year old careens into me.
Onward and upward into Diva . . cheap jewellery but hey, it's waaaaaay schparkly and Fringelet loves that stuff so we ponce with the younglings and pick out more glitz but we don't want the $7 lip gloss that's being foisted on us by the pubescent shop assistant who's obviously been coached to flog as much of the stuff as possible to everyone presenting at the till.
Then a bit of class . . into David Jones for a handbag. Red, practical . . trendy but suitable for a Granny (it's OK she doesn't read the blog). AND it's 20% off . . perfect. Snuck some Bonds coloured socks in there for ClareBear too . . .crazy colours and she'll prolly never wear them but I thought they were cute.
So we're almost done. We've bought all we need for everyone with the exception of BabyBro who wants a Led Zeppelin DVD and some Golf Balls . . .fuck that . . boring as batshit . . the jury is still out on what he is to receive this Christmas but it won't be balls and a DVD.
Last port of call, the Reject Shop . . full of westie housewives buying light em up santas and cheap wrapping . . . nothing in here for us this year although we did purchase our bouncy Santas from them last year. Again a stroller cuts us off at the pass . . and a rather rude "Excuse me" from the driver because we push past before she can manouvre us out of the way. By this point I want to behave like Herod and eradicate all two year olds and their chatty non concentrating mums from the planet.
So, exhausted after carrying well . . not much of anything . . . Poor Clare is absolutely bedraggled with tons of shopping bags and a sore toe that she stubbed yesterday so we mosied back to the car and sojourned home. All in all . . proof that Christmas shopping can be painless. It can be achieved in 3 hours flat with some dedication and aggressive shopping, proof that Wendy's hot dogs are still delicious and that sparkly things still attract. I'm done! With the exception of that pesky BabyBro . . . so any ideas what to buy a sporty, musical, fidgetty 48 year old, 6 foot male? Please . . I need some clues.
Ahh, tis the season to be exhausted and exhilarated . . .now where's that wrapping paper? Buried under this lot somewhere . . .