Christmas shopping isn't my bag

In a recent column, I said I wasn’t going to participate in Christmas shopping this year.

I lied.

Surely it’s a man’s prerogative to grumble.

I confess I went shopping with one of my adult daughters. Downtown Seattle.

I was fairly certain things were going to go badly when we pulled into one of the parking garages. The attendant insisted he would need to see my statement of net worth before allowing us to proceed. Luckily, I always carry a current one in my glove box. He studied it at length, all the while punching numbers into his laptop. He finally permitted us to drive on in. I guess he determined there was at least a remote chance I’d be able to pay the gouge when we left.

Daughter and I wandered around. Well, she wandered. I gimped along behind her. My back was out. That was from leaning down to look at an interesting book on the bottom shelf of the stacks at the library a few days earlier.

Periodically, she asked me if I was okay. However, I must report that not once did she offer to carry me piggyback.

She gabbed.

I whined.

We bought Christmas presents.

She swanned into Westlake Mall. I shambled along behind, grumbling. I can’t remember whether I’ve told you that I consider grumbling to be an honorable art form.

We had lunch in the food court. She purchased some sort of foo-foo vegetarian burrito. I love burritos. But not foo-foo ones, so I tried to buy a hotdog. The vendor said it would be 15 minutes before the next batch would be ready.

There I was. My back felt like Patton’s Third Army had used it as a pivot point when they wheeled around to head for Bastogne. I was so hungry I almost asked the kid who had acquired the last hotdog if I could have a bite to keep me going until I could find something else appealing.

After rounding the food court three times, I bought a bowl of chicken noodle soup. When I asked the lady at the counter if she could let me have a case of crackers, she gave me a funny look. Maybe she knew I live in Kent. I dunno.

Later, daughter wanted to go into an upscale cosmetics store.

She tried a sample of some kind of marshmallow hand cream, whereupon she was overwhelmed by an instant compulsion to go to her apartment and make a batch of s’mores.

At the parking garage, I fumbled around until I found one of the multi-carat diamonds I carry specifically for the purpose of extricating myself from such places.

My back was better. I’m pretty sure that was a result of my wallet being a good deal lighter.


Loren Fairman, anti-shopper, is a freelance humor writer living in the Federal Way-Kent area.

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