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Thursday, December 6, 2001

How do people shop, if they don't know what they're looking for? If I have an idea, I'm pretty good at finding stuff. Then I get in line, pay for it, and go home. I don't understand how someone can just wander around a store with no goal except to fill the basket. Don't you end up with a bunch of things you don't really want?

I got a good start on my Christmas shopping this morning, but only because I had a list. I wrote down what I wanted to get, and that's what I bought — plus a few little trinkets that caught my eye. I spent a pile of money without buying a single thing for myself (not that I wasn't tempted).

And I could have done it all in about half the time if it weren't for the folks strolling up and down the aisles, looking at displays and fondling the merchandise. I didn't shove anyone out of the way, but I did have to step over a few people, when I couldn't find a way to go around them.

You can't go over people in the parking lot, though, and you almost can't get around them. My philosophy is that if people don't know how to drive, they should either stay home or take the bus. Obviously, that's not a popular opinion, because the streets are filled with drivers who were never taught that if you signal before you turn, other people will know what you're going to do! That would prevent so many bad feelings, and the bad language that accompanies them.

If I wait too long to make another list, the stores and streets will be even more crowded than they were today. I didn't have the good sense to do any online shopping this year. I guess I just didn't get into the mood in time. Now I don't think I want to take the chance of packages not arriving on time. I've had too many close calls in past years, when I did start earlier.

So I'll brave the crowds again, a few more times. I do enjoy picking out gifts for people, although it gets a little harder every year. Some day, I think, everyone I know will already have everything they want, and then where will I be? I'll have to start over with repeat presents. Either that or find some new friends.

more clouds

I had to look east to see any clouds late this afternoon.

The sun made a rare appearance today, and it was still shining when four o'clock came around. I'd been hoping for a calm Thursday, since this was the night the trash and recyclables go to the curb. I couldn't take anything out last week because it was storming.

After I finished that chore this afternoon, I was even a little flushed. I've been hot and cold a lot this week, regardless of the weather, so I don't know if I was sweating from dragging bins of old papers down the driveway or from trying to fight off this cold.

The late afternoon sunshine didn't last long, though. By the time I'd parked myself in the loft with my book, the pages were already looking dimmer. (It occurred to me later that I'd just come in from outside and my glasses were still tinted from the sun. That's probably a big reason I couldn't see well enough to read.)

So I just looked out at the fading day, hoping for a colorful sunset. Tonight, though, the really good clouds were in the wrong direction. So all I got in the western sky was a flash of yellow on the horizon just before it got pitch black out. It wasn't worth scrambling downstairs for my camera, but it was a pleasant sight to end the day.

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