My best friend Darlene and I used to work together at a card, gift and office products store downtown. She left after a couple years to take a job as a medical receptionist and then was moved into he business office. I continued to work at the store until it closed in 2007. Three days after the store closed I was working at the same medical office as a medical receptionist. In July of the following year I too was moved into the business office. Darlene and I had cubicles on opposite sides of the office. Then Darlene was moved into a separate area. Recently I was moved into suite 2 and she was relocated in suite 1. So, although we again work together in the same medical office we don't see much of one another because we're both very busy at our desks. We have lunch together four days of the week.
Therefore, when she asked if I was free to do some Christmas shopping with her this afternoon I said YES! She picked me up and we went to stores in Holyoke, but not the mall where things were crazy busy!
We talked and laughed, and I helped her pick out gifts for all the kids in her life. I have no young children in my family but I still like shopping for toys as long as I don't have to lug them home and wrap them! We discovered an end cap featuring classic Fisher Price toys like the ones we had growing up! She grabbed the FP radio that when wound up plays The Farmer in the Dell, since she lives on a farm and her grandson lives just down the street. A woman who overheard us reminiscing about the toys we had came up to us and we chatted about classic toys for a few minutes. We didn't know her. she didn't know us, but we had had the same toys growing up and shared that connection. In this day and age of cellphone isolationism it was really nice to meet someone face to face and have a little real conversation with them, complete with eye contact, smiles and heartfelt "Merry Christmases!" wished to one another before going our separate ways.
Lunch was at Denny's and there we did some more talking, and much more laughing! Our waitress had recently had her long hair done in tiny cornrows. The woman who did it for her took only 45 minutes to do all that braiding and weaving! Amazing!
Then off we went up the hill to Bed, Bath & Beyond. That parking lot was all traffic controlled one way in, one way out with traffic cones, sawhorses and police officers, but still we found a fairly decent parking lot between the stores on the left and the stores on the right. Again we found what we were looking for fairly quickly. There was a clerk at the bed & bath store who, when asked, was very helpful, leading us directly to the over the door towel bar rack my friend wanted. He certainly was very knowledgeable about the products in the store. We never would have found this item because it was stacked behind other items, but he knew immediately where it was and took us there! Wow! Awesome customer service!
Crossed the sea of cars without getting rundown and ran into Barnes & Noble. Again we found what we wanted so it was a quick in and out trip.
Leaving wasn't as bad as we dreaded it would be, only having to wait two cycles of the stop light, and we were first in line during the second cycle. Zipped across the street to Pier 1 and poked around. Saw some nice things but nothing on our lists.
Sang country Christmas songs on the way home, because when you're with a friend it doesn't matter if you can sing or not, you just do it!
Home tonight, still smiling. I'm not a fan of Christmas shopping season, try to get my shopping done early...but it wasn't so bad going out today at the two weeks before Christmas mark.
Jingle all the way!