So today I got up early (7:30am) to go do the Christmas shopping. I ate breakfast with my mum as she gets up early to go to work, and after consuming a piece of toast and an alarmingly huge chunk of feta cheese, I dressed and got my wallet.
The postman rang the doorbell just as I was getting ready to open the door, and I nearly dropped my heavy boot. I hate opening the door for people other than relatives. So I didn’t. I stood there, looking through the peep hole and silently laughing at the man’s impatient face. After a few seconds he uttered a loud and exaggerated sigh, storming off. Well, someone’s been dumped.
A few minutes later I bid farewell to my cat and set off. I was the only one at the bus stop, so I had to awkwardly wave for the bus to stop, and clamber on without looking too relieved at the warmth. You know that moment when you try to not look bizarre, but you end up looking even weirder? That was that moment. I plopped down onto a seat and rang the bell when the bus reached Tesco.
I got off along with some other late Christmas shoppers, and accidentally went through the exit door instead of the entrance door of the shop, nearly getting whacked in the face with metal doors.
I looked at the X-mas list I had devised earlier. Diary (mum), calculator (dad), knitting magazine (mum). First stop, diary. I charged around the supermarket looking for the stationary stand, and ending up at the chocolate section instead. Ooops, back up.
Grabbing a purple diary, I smiled and set off to search for a calculator. My dad, always calculating the bills and his earning, needed a new calculator as the other one had kicked the bucket early last week. You have no idea how long I looked for that wretched piece of mathematical device. And guess where it was? The opposite side of the diary section. Right where I got my mother’s diary. Grabbing the thing, I unfolded my shopping list and sighed. Knitting magazine.
My mum wants a knitting magazine for Christmas. Is that a sign she’s getting older? I don’t know. But it was as awkward as hell, trapezing around the magazine section, trying to look neutral as I browsed the ‘Knit Now’ and ‘Knit Today’ magazine stands. People my age looked at me and tried not to stare.
How awkward must I have looked? A diary and a calculator in one hand, the other hand full of knitting magazines. Finally, I settled on a Knit Now issue, and went to buy everything.
I started counting my money, and it must have dropped about 14 times. Before paying, I glanced at the 3D TVs one last time, one day, maybe one day I’ll get one.
Saying no to the ‘Have you got a club-card?’ question a quadrillion times, I shoved the presents in my Next shopping bag I had brought along (I simply cannot pull off plastic bags from the counter, they end up tearing or getting jammed. I just bring along my own bags to save the trouble and embarrassment), ignoring the smirk the lady was giving me, watching her eyes shift to the knitting magazine.
I caught the bus again, nearly tripping over an elderly man, and earning a ‘how rude can she be?’ glare from several passengers. I got off at the right bus stop (thank God I didn’t end up 50 miles away from my home, like last time I traveled on public transport). The bus was in the way, so I couldn’t cross the road, and I pretended I lived somewhere else and took an entirely different path. The path to the hobo people’s homes. Great, now everybody thinks I’m poor. Nearly getting run over by a Fiat 500, I crossed the road and nearly ran back home.
I live in an apartment, and I took the elevator because I wanted to reward myself for getting through shopping. My phone rang in the elevator, and I tried to get it out of its case and press ‘accept’, but ended up locking it instead, earning 4 missed calls from my mum.
I put down the shopping bag on the ground, took my gloves off, shoved my keys in my pocket, threw my wallet on the ground and raced to call her back. It was all very fiddly. She picked up the phone exactly when I was in the corridor of the block, and the walls are very thin. Everyone can hear you talk from there. Every neighbor could hear the ‘Yes, mother, I’ve finished shopping for your Christmas presents, yes, I’ll remember to lock the door and not to open it for strangers.’ convo.
After picking up everything, I unlocked the door, tried to stop my cat from zooming out the apartment, and plopped myself down on the sofa. After dressing and all that, I ate 3 roasted cashews and sat down to write this blog post.
And I still have the Christmas cards to make, as my parents like homemade things.