If I had written the first draft of this column at home (local) and not at work (definitely not local) I would have a better start today. Suffice to say the copy I brought home (local) was lost in the deluge of papers on the desk that I share with my spouse and child. Eventually I hope to shop (locally) for three desks instead of the one that holds not only all of our important papers (columns to finesse reports to study and Jump-Start 1st grade discs.) but three computers as well. Whew!
Anyhoo the column was a tribute to my gal pal Mandy and shopping local. It went something like this: I had a free weekend (thanks again to Chief Brett Gold of the YMCA Indian Princesses!) and convinced Mandy’s husband, Jeff, to baby-sit their two kids for just 24 hours. Mandy and I were breathless with anticipation and hurriedly sent several e-mails back and forth to plan ahead how to make the most of our 24 hours.
First there was to be copious amounts of shopping, just like in our younger days when we were rival assistant managers at Contempo Casuals. When we coupled our employee discount with the gift certificates we were awarded for high sales we were able to keep a small portion of our paychecks for room and board. The larger balance went to trendy fashions and “hair prods”. It was an exciting time to be twenty years old and spend all of our money on clothes, just like the ads in Cosmopolitan told us to!
The other item we did a lot of in our twenties was drinking and dancing. That had definitely changed in the last twenty years. Heck if we went out dancing now it would be with forty-year-old men. And they wouldn’t be our husbands. Attractive as that might sound (to anyone?) it didn’t sound so good to us. We decided to shop ‘til we dropped and then head home to have a glass or two or red wine and watch and old movie.
When the eventful day came I spent most of the time driving Mandy to shoe stores on Lyons, the Old Road and the Town Center Mall. Her feet slipped in the loafers, slid in the boots and she hadn’t worn the right socks to try on shoes anyway. Anyhoo, I was pretty bored by shoe store #4 and even though we were doing our best by “shopping local” I wanted a break and my first glass of wine at about noon. We had purposely planned a little wine in the middle of our shopping day anyway, once we had reached the mall, so that we would have a few hours before driving again.
That’s when we discovered the wine tasting selection at our own local Sisley’s restaurant. There were three or four different groupings ranging from light, medium and heavy-bodied red wines. For about seven or eight dollars we received three half glasses of the best wine I had in my life! Now maybe it was probably due to the fact that I HADN’T BOUGHT A SINGLE THING YET, or to the fact that the waiter was quite so darn cute. I didn’t really care which. All I knew is that I felt the same euphoria when he served our wine, twinkling at us from their customized rot iron holders, as Mandy felt when she finally succumbed to that last pair of black leather boots. We were sated. For the moment.
More local shopping was to be had! Everyone has some kind of a sale or another going on right now. And even though we don’t have a Contempo store in Santa Clarita we have plenty of other stores to make us feel like we’re still twenty: Forever Twenty-One, Rave and the Disney Store to name a few. At the end of the day, and yes I did finally spend some money locally, we were both satisfied with our purchases and were ready to drive home.
We stopped at the Video Depot on Lyons and Apple and Mandy found a Dean Martin Debbie Reynolds movie I hadn’t seen yet. I, finally in the shopping mode, delivered my payback to Mandy by searching through their wide selection of previously viewed movies and DVD’s for stocking stuffers. I left there with about four films for about twenty bucks!
We toyed with the idea of having a Scorpion for two at the Chinese restaurant adjacent to the video store but decided we didn’t want to drink and drive, even a little. We applauded our idea later as we had to swerve around another driver that hadn’t thought ahead. Safely at home, with all of our unpacked goodies around us, we decided that in the morning, after quick Eggs Benedict at The Way Station we had to make a stop at Target. You know they open at 8AM and that way Mandy would still get home within our twenty-four hour allotment.
So we shopped local, didn’t drink and drive and didn’t kill each other in the process. And, when I think back on my twenties, I was never good shopping with someone else, slippery feet or not. That one you’ll have to figure out for yourself. Grab a friend or go solo. It’s time to shop. But don’t call me. I, the eternally anally retentive, am completely done shopping. In fact after my spell checker does its job I’m off to sort. You know, make sure Ed and Sam have exactly the same number of presents, or else I’m back to the stores. Does anyone know where I can buy two small desks, locally?