There comes a time in every housewife’s life when she realises she’s behind on the birthday presents. And so it was today, when upon awakening I realised I must immediately go and purchase four presents. Immediately after making lunches, dropping kids at school, having breakfast, entering the orchestra cheques into the choir accounting program and going to the physio.
The presents are for a niece, a nephew, a Grampa and Muffet’s brainy friend. The Moose tells me that brainy kids get tired of receiving science packs for their birthdays but has nothing constructive to offer as an alternative, so I ignore him completely and head straight for Terrific Scientific. I pick up two packs, one for the brainy friend and one for the nephew who has shown a vague interest in science that must be pushed along.
Then I take a peek in the store next door. It’s one of those shops full of cushions, and pink and gold throws made by unemployed yaks, and jingly strings to hang on the curtain to startle the cat. Who shops there? How on earth do they stay in business? I can only imagine buying something there as in a last minute rush present for a husband’s secretary or a grandmother-in-law or something, and how often is that? Yet there must be people out there who stand with a hand on one hip and say to their partner “you know, what our house really needs is a verdigris donkey. We could put it next to our collection of oversized candlesticks”.
Next door to that was my next stop – coffee. You can’t shop uncaffeinated. This turned out to be a hipster cafe. I could tell because the (male) baristas were, reading from left to right, bearded with Buddy Holly glasses, dark and thin with a black beanie and a large hole in the ear, tattooed with long red hair tied in a messy bun. Also the counter was constructed from mismatched dresser drawers. I’m sure there’s a hipster term for that kind of thing. Ironic?, except it isn’t. Ecocycled? The word that sprang to my mind was rickety, but the coffee was good.
I thought I’d get the niece a funky item of clothing for her entry into teenagehood. You know how people talk about having a great novel in them? Or a long distance runner, or fashion designer or something? Well inside me is a crazy cat lady, and shops like the Tree of Life are very bad for that side of me. I did try on a gorgeous purple velvet jacket with a lace collar and through an enormous act of will managed not to buy it, even though it was on sale. I walked out of there with only a crocheted top in a colour the Muffet tells me is my niece’s favourite, so a success all round.
To finish it off I found a rather tailored grey cardy for Grampa, the man has really got to stop wearing beige. Now I have to talk the kids into wrapping my haul. It’s quite possible that I should have bought wrapping paper while I was out. But that coffee just wasn’t strong enough.