Today’s the day. I’ve been trying to avoid it, I’ve done all I can to make it unnecessary, and yet, it has come.
I am going to the mall.
I made one last ditch attempt yesterday to shop in my neighbourhood, on foot, but I couldn’t get everything, and now there are five things left on the spreadsheet that Joe cannot get, that I can’t find, and even though five items is the smallest number ever, it means that I am going to the stinking mall. I am going to get in the car (that alone is remarkable. I drive my car about once a month. I am not fond of that thing either) and I am going to go to the one place where all the things I need are in one place, and I am going to go in, get the stuff and get out. The mall is the opposite of everything that I like about the world, and bad things have happened to me at the mall before, and so this year, I am taking extra precautions.
1. Last year (every year) I cannot remember what bloody door I came in and then I can’t find the car, and this ends up with me sobbing through the parking lot and I only find it right before I take the bus home and tell Joe to work it out. This year, I am taking a picture of where the car is, and of the door I go in, so that I have an escape route well planned.
2. I am leaving my coat in the car. It is better to be freezing for the three minutes that it takes to walk from the car to the door than it is to be sweaty, overheated in the mall for two hours while still trying to be nice to the lady in front of me in The Bay who is paying for her foundation garments with dimes while complaining about the quality of service. I want to extend her patience, but I just can’t do it with my coat on.
3. I am taking hand sanitizer, because other people don’t wash their hands, and a few years ago I got Noro Virus, and I’m sure it was at the mall, and it was the Nightmare Before Christmas. (I’m not a germaphobe, I swear. I don’t use seat protectors in the loo (because there is nothing you can catch through your thighs) and I don’t use a disinfecting anything in the house, but I know some of you are not washing your hands after the loo (or you are, but then you’re touching the taps and door handle again) and this year I’m just going to use the hand sanitizer a few times, and that way I can feel less nervous about the worlds hygiene. (If you care, turn on taps, wash hands with soap, get paper towel, dry your hands, turn off the taps with the towel, use the towel to open the door, discard towel. If I’m in a bathroom where the bin isn’t by the door, I know something.)
4. I have a list of the stores I have to go into. I am not going into any other stores. I am not adding a single thing to the list, I am not being swayed by panic, nor 50% off signs. I know what I need. I do not need more than that. I have enough wrapping paper (I checked) and everyone on my list has plenty. The list is all I am getting.
5. I am not even looking at the food court, never mind trying to find something to eat there.
6. I am taking my knitting in with me. It’s not like there’s knitting time, and it will be too crowded to knit while I am walking, but it’s a small comfort.
7. I am not going to let the way things are marketed to me shift the way I think Christmas should be, by wool. I am not going to be tricked into thinking that I’m not doing it right, that I didn’t buy people big enough presents, or that I need to buy them more for them to be happy. I am not going to be convinced that this family needs to dress differently, value different things, or stop baking our own cookies, and giving little kids books as presents. No matter how this season is presented at that place, their goal is to make me feel bad enough about what I have that I give them all my money so I can have better stuff, and therefore be happier. I will keep it in my mind the whole time I am there that I am not unhappy because I don’t have that stuff. I am unhappy because I am in a mall.
8. I am going to be like the wind. I am going to go in, strike like a ninja, and get out. I am going to be extra crazy nice to every other lunatic in there, and if I start feeling bad about it, I am going to remind myself that when I get back home, you can stick a fork in me, because I am done shopping.
9. I am going to smile, and be the nicest stinking lady in the mall. In the name of merino, I swear that every person who encounters me is going to have a better day for it.
10. I am putting a beer in the fridge for when I get home.
What’s Luis hanging today?
This morning there was no text from Carlos, because he had taken a picture of the thing, and sent me an email because (while he liked that ornament) he didn’t know the word for it in Spanish, because it’s not really a Spanish thing. “El Circulo de ramas?” he suggested – a circle of branches? We eventually settled on “Corona de Navidad” which is close enough. This one has no pattern either, though I was inspired by these ones, for sure. I cast on, worked in that pretty blackberry stitch for a while, then cast off, folded the knitting edge to edge, to make a tube, stuffed it lightly, and sewed it into a ring. Then I knit that bow to cover my seam.
Gifts for Knitters, day 17
Another simple one, though it can be hard, because to do it, you need to go to a yarn shop. Knitters well, like people who have a pub they always go to, a lot of knitters have “a local.” At this local, they might even know your knitter, and know what they would like. (Big tip, some yarn shops have gift registries – just like when you’re getting married, and you go the The Bay and put everything you would like on a list? The yarn shop might have that. Ask them.) If they don’t have a registry, and your knitter isn’t a frequent enough flier that they shop can advise you on what to get (because if they know your knitter, you should just give them a dollar value, and then step off. Take the bag they give you. Smile. Leave.) then you should get a gift certificate. Your knitter will like it a lot, and they’ll really like that you went to their local. It’s nice that you know where it is.