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Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Shopping Like a Man

So my 15 year-old son comes home from a school trip a couple of weekends ago telling me he's discovered the perfect place for us to do our Christmas shopping. He promises me that it's not too far away; just up I-20 a piece. From that point he nags and nudges me about going there until my knees buckle and I find myself in the driver's seat of my minivan heading west on the interstate.

As the speedometer needle swings over to 75, I ask about exact location. "I don't know," he confesses, suddenly not so full of himself.

"What's it called," I say.

"I don't know," he answers again. "But I'll know it when I see it. The sign has cherries on it . . . or maybe those were apples. It's something like the Country Store, I think."

"Is that country with a K or a C?" He ignores my joke and assures me this will be worth the trip. They've got the coolest stuff there; something for everyone on our Christmas list. Approaching every off-ramp, he announces, "I think this is it," then as I make ready to exit, recants, "No, it must be the next one." It goes on like this for miles.

Finally, he commits to an exit and we leave the interstate. He cranes his neck looking in both directions. "Left," he says. "I see it over there."

"Where," I ask, turning left, not seeing anything that looks remotely like a gift store.

"Down there on the right," he points. "Mama, you're going to love this place."

Following his insistence, I pull in and park:

Yes, those are gas tanks you see on the left side of the picture. And yes, again, my child has taken me to a gas station for travelers and truckers and, might I say, 40-something year-old suckers.

He enthusiastically escorts me in the doors and begins pulling items from displays, demonstrating what they do and how they work and making suggestions for recipients. The jar of water labeled a Georgia tornado would be perfect for his sister. It would entertain her for hours. One of his uncles would be beside himself to open some beef jerky and a Budweiser can cleverly converted to hold a hidden water bottle on Christmas morning.

He has his eye on the 5 lb. candy bar for me (you'll hear no complaints) and an enormous Rice Krispie Treat for his father. Birdhouses of every sort, including an Elvis with the entry through his mouth, catch the boy's attention, making him think of his grandmother. For the relative who has everything? A license plate Christmas tree ornament that reads Luv Trucker, packaged with a Sprite and a Snickers Bar.

He's right, I'm fascinated. I feel like a voyeur looking into the twisted mind of a teenage boy, a road-weary salesman or a typical male at Christmas time. I even find myself thinking that we'll have to check back for specials on Black Friday.


PJ said...

If there isn't beer in the can, I don't want it.

Lucy Adams said...

Beer in a water bottle in a beer can can be arranged. It might be flat by Christmas, but I get the impression you don't mind.