Took Wil and Timmy Christmas shopping at the mall, yesterday. Mind you, not the one closest to our house, but the one furthest. First stop: Babies R Us to buy Baby Magic hair and body wash - the purple kind. The other stores we've tried on the latest wild goose chase, did not carry purple. Purple is a must. Purple is the preferred color of all things these days.
Timmy found a rubber duck he needed, we found the purple Baby Magic, and on we went to the next leg of our quest. After getting the boys fed and going to the first store all together to help navigate, we found a meeting spot with comfy chairs, right outside a candy store. I sat there with my book while they took off in search of gifts for others. There were two rules to the plan: stick together, and don't buy anything for yourselves.
A text from Timmy arrived moments later, with a photo. "For Mom?" I won't tell you what it was, because Kim is reading this, and we want her to be v surprised on Christmas morning. But, I was proud of Timmy for finding something for his mom, first thing. I texted back that I thought she'd love it, and didn't hear from them for another half hour.
Deciding they were good for a little bit, I roved around the mall just browsing. Didn't know if I had two minutes or two hours before they'd be ready to go, so didn't want to get too invested in what I was doing. Having the mind set of window shopping was surprisingly peaceful, I wasn't there to buy, or find, or accomplish anything, I was just there to observe.
Got back to the comfy chair, and the candy store clerk didn't have any customers, apparently. She was outside the doors with a tray of samples. Her white apron, pulled-back hair and gloved hands made her look very official. "Hi! Would you like to try a sample?" she asked each person or couple walking by. "Would you like to try a sample?" "Hi, would you like to try a sample?" Over and over again she asked, with very few takers. She got a few no-thank-yous, but mostly she got hurried people passing by, totally ignoring her.
The mall was busy. Her question, constant. Impossible to read my book and I didn't want to move spots, so I closed the book, and just watched the whole thing. About every 20th time she asked, she got a taker. Sometimes, someone would even cross over the path of shoppers to seek her out, and she seemed thrilled to offer them a cherry-flavored gummy bear. Never once when I was watching, did her sample turn into a sale. Nobody entered the store. She was, by many accounts, unsuccessful in getting business.
Sometimes trying to get what we want, or think we want, feels futile. We turn over rocks. We make attempts, tweak our approach, try again. Nothing. Sometimes we get a taker, someone that throws us a bone to let us know that Universe hears us, our efforts are not all for naught. Sometimes we even get those that go out of their way to cross our path and make our dreams come true.
The boys bounded back and interrupted my reverie. Timmy had the gift for his mom and one for himself. He had, however, resisted buying several more things for himself that he really, really wanted. Wil had bought Kim a present, also. And four for Jer, his two-and-a-half-year-old "son," the bear. "You know he's stuffed," he responds when people ask if Jer is real.
But Jer is real, and Jer is going to have a great Christmas this year. So is Kim. I hope the lady at the candy store does, too.
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