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Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Black Friday or How I know I’ve become my mother...

It’s interesting how the different stores chose to handle the Black Friday crowds. The Walmart I went to was open 24 hours so no lines. Sale items were sealed in plastic on pallets throughout the stores, with no regard to what actual department the items “normally” would be found in. People were staking claim to televisions by draping their bodies over the plastic encased stacks until the 5am sale time. It didn’t look like it was going to be pretty and since no staff was able to properly direct me to the $8 plus size womens jeans, I gave up and headed to my real destination, which was Target.

Bravo to Target. They had staff handing out maps to those waiting in line. The maps denoted where some of the more popular items were located because they were not in their normal departments. Staff had strategically placed rows of carts in the middle of certain aisles to slow down the shoppers and make maneuvering with shopping carts slower and difficult. It was impossible to break into a run because of how the carts were positioned. I managed to get what I set out for on that initial visit. Later in the day I returned with Anastasia and she picked out her birthday present and we shopped for a few more items together.

I waited outside in the cold for 50 minutes for Target to open. Herein lies my realization that I have become my mother, rest her soul. Strangers would always walk up to my mother and start conversations. This was facilitated by the fact that my mother never learned to drive a car, so anywhere she took us, we went by public transportation - bus. We met more than our fair share of strangers this way. We went to the movies, the zoo, the museums and shopping malls by bus. It never ceased to amaze me that no matter how briefly we waited for a bus, someone would strike up a conversation with my mother. I dreaded catching the bus at Paul’s Hamburgers on 27th Street and Forest Home in Milwaukee because we would inevitably run into people who were visiting family at St. Lukes Hospital. Those were particularly long conversations. I was a terrible little twerp and teased my mother incessantly, telling her she had too kind a face and disposition and told her she needed to discourage the chit chat. (I took my stranger danger indoctrination seriously!) My mother was pleasant and cheerful to everyone, no matter what their walk of life. It made me nervous. I was always scared she would get her purse stolen, but thankfully that never happened. I was always super vigilant, keeping a close watch on her when any of the more sketchy individuals struck up conversations.

Today after about 5 minutes of waiting in line at Target, the older woman ahead of me started chatting with me. I learned that her children were my age and that she was shopping for a television for her daughter who was home sick with a cold. I also learned that her 35 year old son surprised everyone at Thanksgiving dinner with his engagement announcement. She described the engagement ring with great detail. You could tell she was really proud of her son’s taste. I also learned that her youngest grandchild is 7 and she can’t wait for her newly engaged son to be married and give her more grandbabies. She said she will never visit her 2 spinster aunts for a holiday again because the one time she did she found it to be so pathetic because there were no children afoot and her aunts just treated the holiday like any other day of the year. She said you have to have young children afoot to feel the excitement of the holidays. We talked about the GPS’s, ipods and video games on sale. She marveled at the technology today and wondered what things will be like in 20 years. “Will we be watching television virtually by tapping in to a signal/channel of our own choice no matter where we are?”

As we talked and laughed the time passed quickly. I failed to notice my freezing face (now still chapped from the cold) and my sock-less feet freezing in my Topsiders. A few people cut us in line as the doors opened because we were still chatting. We wished each other good luck as we passed through the doors and went our separate ways in search of our bargains.

The time passed incredibly quickly and I have to say…

It was quite enjoyable.

It’s official.

I have become my mother.

And I have to say...

it's not a bad thing.

1 comment:

Babette said...

My mom is the same way. No matter where she is, you'll find her talking to strangers. :o) you are right, it's all good.

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