Sunday, March 1, 2009

A shopping day

When I was little, my parents frequently took me to San Francisco. We did some fun things there, like staying at the Palace Hotel and eating in the Garden Court. We went to Playland at the Beach where we ate salt water taffy and cotton candy. We went to the Cliff House and the zoo. But the primary activity seemed to be shopping. I went with one parent or the other, and when I went with my mother, it was not fun. She was a real clothes horse, and until her dying day, one of her favorite activities was shopping. I have vivid memories of sitting on a couch in I. Magnin’s, tortured by boredom, while my mother tried on one outfit after another. She loved to go into a store and look at every single thing. My father, on the other hand, knew what he wanted and went into the store and bought it. None of that looking about nonsense. Since we didn’t have to waste so much time in the clothing stores, he had time to take me to much more interesting stores, including those in Chinatown, which was where my shopping interests lay. Two of my happy purchase memories are a white mouse finger puppet with real fur, and a porcelain Chinese baby doll with a lovely silk brocade outfit. One of our dogs later ate the doll, and I was devastated. One day I will tell you the story of a bad thing I did with the mouse. Once when Rebecca was little, my mother dropped by to see if I wanted to go shopping with her. I said I did not. She pleaded and promised to be quick. I finally relented. We passed that section with all the “lady-attracting” gewgaws – makeup, jewelry, etc., and she was lured in. I grew more and more impatient as she delightedly looked over the vast collection. Finally, I started to whine and complain, but she was unmoved. After quite a bit of moaning on my part, she said, “What’s the matter, Joanna? I only came because you wanted to.” I was outraged. Anyhow, yesterday, I had to take John, the fellow working on my house, to Home Depot. On the mistaken theory, that being a boy he would be like my father, I brought neither book nor knitting. It was torture. I read about six magazines about how to paint your house fabulous colors or how make a bedroom in the little space under your stairs. Or how, if you are a zillionaire, you can convert your beach house into this chic marvel. He was like my mother lingering lovingly over the costume jewelry counter. I was shattered by the time we got home.


Knitman said...

Oh when I was a child I HATED shopping and felt just as you did. Now I am a SHOPPER and love it.

joannamauselina said...

My girls are both shoppers, and love it, but I still hate it. In and out as quickly as possible is my motto.