I don't enjoy the shopping process: the crowds, the merchandise, the process of picking something up, frowning at it, running through the mental rolodex of people you're shopping for, and then putting it back down and scowling as some fat man edges you into the display racks. Today I made two - TWO - discrete trips to The Strand today, where the clerks were full of holiday surliness. I bought a few books and unsuccessfully searched for a book I could read (I'm giving up "Pride and Prejudice" - the movie was great, but the plot is still very familiar and the book is not keeping my attention - I'm not in the mood for 18th-century subtleties).
Then I went to the holiday market at Union Square, where I picked up a picture frame that has a small sculpture of a woman sitting on a toilet (for my mom, of course). And a watch for my sister that is expensive but kind of trendy. Among the assorted Manhattan weirdos currently staking out Union Square, they had some animal rights people roaming around with actual cats draped over their heads and upper bodies. I laughed out loud when a woman working at one of the kiosks said loudly, "Those people have cats on their heads! I don't want to know them. I don't even want to know them." It was hilarious.
As I walked home, thinking about how much money I had spent in just 90 minutes, as if I was on a madcap shopping spree (when I was young that idea seemed so grandiose and appealing - for 30 or 60 or 120 seconds, you just sprint through a store with a shopping cart and get to keep whatever you can dump inside! Even the shopping cart?), bemoaning my poverty, I came across three dollar bills in the street.
I don't know what it is, but for the last few months I have been finding money all over the place when I'm out on the town. This is either a karmic reward or an insistant signal that my wallet is about to be stolen. Merry [holiday]!