The mall in early November is glorious.

Ahhhhhh. I JUST finished the last thing on my “to-do” list for the week – other than writing this post – and I feel the way you do when you’ve been on your feet wearing super high heels all day, and you get home, and you take them off. It feels exactly like that. Ahhhhhh.

This week has been very busy with deadlines – baking, photographing, and writing – and preparing for next week’s book fair. I was kind of running a bit behind on Wednesday, what with one thing and another, but I thought if I buckled down enough Wednesday afternoon, I would be back on track. Wednesday at 11:52, not 3 minutes before I was leaving the house to pick up the boys for lunch, I got a phone call from the school. It was one of my children, who said he wasn’t feeling well. On further questioning, it turns out that he had thrown up.


I immediately went into batten-down-the-hatch mode, recording when each subsequent barfing episode took place (only twice more), spraying doorknobs with bleach and washing my hands until they started to crack. So far – SO FAR – no one else has gotten it, and the sickie recovered very quickly, but my to-do list took a bit of a beating, which is why I feel so relieved to actually accomplish everything I needed to this week.

Plus, did I mention it’s book fair next week? A stomach flu is really going to cramp my style.

Today I went to the mall to do some Christmas shopping, and although I’m not one hundred percent done, I’m pretty close. Before you say how can that be on your to-do list this week, well, it is. For my own mental health I need to have my shopping done by mid-November. After mid-November, the mall turns into the seventh circle of hell, what with the parking lot road rage, and the crowds and the horrible people, and the completely defeated seasonal staff.

The mall in early November is a very pleasant place to be. The feeling is festive and happy. People smile. The clerks and cashiers have not hit the “I hate everyone” wall that everyone who has ever worked in customer service hits. Some of the stores play Christmas music, but many are still on the regular radio stations, which had me humming along to “Brian Wilson” this morning. “I love this song!” I said to the sweet young thing at one store. “It reminds me of being sixteen again.” She blinked a couple of times, probably a little unsure what to say – maybe wow, that’s a long time ago, or, my mom likes this song too! – but she just smiled and said, “I like it too!” Bless you, child.

I have reached the stage in my life where, when asked by the cashier at Bath and Body Works if someone had helped me with my selections, I reply “Oh yes, that cute little girl with the blonde hair! She was very helpful.” CUTE LITTLE GIRL. She was probably twenty if she was a day and I just referred to her as a “little girl.” I think I’ve turned into my own grandmother, and next thing you know I’ll be asking for Isotoner slippers for Christmas.

I saw the sweetest thing today. I was behind an elderly couple on the escalator at The Bay, and the old man groped his (presumably, although not positively) wife’s bum. She smiled at him and said – wait for it – “Oh, YOU.”

I was so close to either dying from the cuteness or high-fiving both of them, but, of course, I did neither. It just made me so happy, and I hope it makes you happy too. Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. I love isotoner slippers! They remind me of my grandma, who always pulled out a pair shortly after arriving at our house, and I don’t even care. BRING ON THE VELVETEEN SLIPPERS, I say.

    Your story of the cute older couple reminds me of something I read once, about how when little kids have a boyfriend/girlfriend we think it’s so cute, and then teenagers/young people make us smile at how they are starting a lovely new life together, then somewhere in the mid 30s to the 50s we get totally grossed out at the idea of people that age having sex, EWWWW, and then sometime around 65 it gets back around to being cute again. I’d Google for it but I’m not sure what to type in…middle aged sex is gross but old people sex is so cute? Hm.

  2. I totally agree. I’m about 80% percent done my shopping with a goal to be done Dec. 1 every year. Some people laugh, but who wants to be part of that madness? Thank goodness for online shopping as well.

  3. I can’t shop yet. It’s not possible in my brain. I can’t do the mall either except at say, 10 AM on Tuesday a month away from any major holidays…so, maybe April? Thank goodness for Amazon dot com!

    That couple is the CUTEST. And that will so be my husband. I hope I’m the sweet kind of old lady who says fondly, “Oh, YOU” and not the kind who whacks him with my cane.

  4. That story DOES make me happy. I am a shop-sales-year-round for Christmas person, and my husband is a last-minute shopping person. We make it work.

  5. And I was feeling all on top pf things because I bought B’s birthday present last week. (Her birthday is in late November.)

  6. bibliomama2 says

    I can’t do Christmas shopping this early, but I do most of it online, so still avoid the December Mall Madness (I’ve worked retail at Christmas – I can’t do it from the other side, I KNOW what they’re thinking they’d like to do to me).

    Best wishes for a no-barfing book fair week!

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