Menu

Here & Now 187: Merry shopping

Here & Now 187: Merry Shopping

Here & Now 187: Merry Shopping

Lismore. Tuesday, 4.35pm

I’ve made a Christmas resolution.

Yes, I know, you’re supposed to make a resolution on New Year’s Eve, but I gave that up years ago. It was always the same. By the time the midnight countdown had hit liftoff and I’m kissing a woman whom I’ve never met and then hugging a hairy man pressing his body a little too hard into my mine, the fast disappearing euphoria of drinking so much red wine always created the same resolution: I’m giving up drinking. This new year, I’d promise myself, I’ll be slimmer, superior, and will wake up in places I recognise.

The next day though, after a cleansing morning of orange juice and Panadol, I’d be offered a cold luncheon ale fresh from the bathtub. Inevitably my year’s resolution would have a lifespan of about eight hours.

So, I gave up New Year resolutions.

But this is Christmas.

Here, in Lismore Shopping Square, with a Christmas gift list in one hand and a hemp shopping bag in the other, I’m stalled in an eddy of shoppers outside the homewares shop. Where do I start? When do I stop?

If I buy a present for my grandchildren, should I buy a present for their parents (my son and his wife)? If I buy for my grandchildren, what about the children of my son’s half-sister?

It’s not that I hate shopping. I find it quite rewarding sometimes. I can spend an hour in a health food store pondering if the organic cheese covered in plantation wood ash would be better than the one marbled with Tasmanian ginkgo. And are gluten-free toasted bagel crisps the right accompaniment for such cheese.

After an hour I can happily walk out with my wallet $150 emptier and my hemp shopping bag almost a third full.

But that’s shopping I choose to do. I’m not being pressured to buy a lot of stuff just because Santa was born in a war zone manger the day after the last shopping day. I get anxious. My heart races and I pop too many Valium. Then I have to lie down.

So, I have just made a resolution: no Christmas presents this year.

Already I feel a sense of relief. I reckon I’ll wander over to the food court for something Japanese – and then get the hell out of here.

But it won’t be easy. Between me and the tempura vegetable nori, there is a jam of shopping trolleys. Some are laden with carefully wrapped presents. One carries a huge cardboard box with a picture of a curved flatscreen TV on it. One carries children with antlers pointing and crying, pushed by a woman who would gladly swap her screaming cargo for the curved flatscreen telly. Men, happier shoppers, push trolleys full of booze.

Ah, but not for me the gross consumerism of a fabricated festivity.

But wait… What about my mum? Sure, she always says not to buy her a present, but that’s a trap. If I don’t, she’ll give me that look.

And the girlfriend. She’s already given me a gift. (She’s so organised.)

Maybe I can give something that helps the planet. But, on Christmas morning, opening her envelope, will the nine-year-old granddaughter appreciate that she has helped save the last orangutan in Borneo?

I’m stuck. What to do? Like a polar bear treading warming water, time is not on my side.

An item catches my eye. Outside the homewares shop, there’s a cooking thingy designed by an ex-boxer.

Sure, my mum can’t cook much anymore and my girlfriend doesn’t want to, but the damn thing is right there.

I can give up Christmas presents next year. (I’ll go overseas.)

Maybe granddaughter would really appreciate fat-free grilling…

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers and is brought to you by this week's sponsor Enova Energy.