Well I think I had to have been a little insane to even toy with the idea of going shopping just the weekend before Christmas, but Coralline wanted to see everything again.
Inside the stores it wasn't so bad even people were doing their best to be polite but trying to find parking was pure insanity, mostly male drivers---which is interesting when you think about it---all that tertoseron of "Gotta find a parking space".
There was one point were one driver nearly t-boned my Honda (I'd never drive my vintage car in insanity like this), and he said we were not looking---so I got out of my car, told Coralline to remain seated in it and I sat on the hood of my car, folded my arms and just looked at him, he kept ranting and ranting at me calling me names, his wife was pulling on his arm, finally when he looked exhausted I said to him "Now that you are done yelling at me for what was your fault I'd advise you to SLOW DOWN!!!! Take a Deep breath and realize that parking is going to be a Bi%*#, and drive defensively, you would have hit us and a court of law would have found you at fault and YOU would have to pay for damages. Be thankful that you reacted as quickly as you did or you would have injured my niece!!! and if that happened you would have a very sorry and in-jail Christmas celebration---REMEMBER THAT!!!"
I heard his wife saying to him "She's right you fool, I told you to slow down!" He looked at her, sputtering trying to defend himself and his wife said "The Lady is right you could have hurt her daughter!!" (well niece really but I did like the complement).
Then I got into my car, drove just a few stalls down and found a perfect parking spot. Coralline and I took a couple of deep breaths and I looked at her, evilly smiled and said "Now lets watch the Zombies play!"
I loved how she laughed at that idea. And in spite of the crowds we did have fun, Coralline fell in love with a soft red scarf that could double as a light weight shawl at Nordstrom's so I bought it for her as an early present, and we found matching black berets that had on one side decorations made of angular black beads in the shape of flowers, so I bought that for each of us and we asked the sales clerk to cut the tags and just give us the receipt so we could wear them right away.
We looked at jewelry, cosmetics, shoes and purses, clothing in her size and in mine but we felt everything there was picked over. I had taught her to be selective in shopping, then she confessed that she wanted to find something special for her mother and dad. So over lunch we talked about what her folks liked to do and what they wished they could do. Her Dad loves sports---and he had his favorite teams. That was easy, but she wanted something not sports for her Mother, and we found it, a pair of pink fresh water pearl earrings, just dressy enough but not over dressy, and we added a small bottle of Giorgio cologne for special times.
I did ask about her brothers and she said they have never given her any presents for Christmas or her birthday, so she wasn't going to "spoil" them. She wanted to get something for me, my sister and Doyle and I said that was not necessary, just by being helpful around the house was special enough.
Every so often we'd take a short break just to people watch and I was pleasantly surprised at how she gaged people by their actions and what was going through their minds. There is one coffee shop that although indoors is designed to give an al fresco appearance, so we stopped there for coffee for me and milk for her and a bit of pastry for the both of us and took our time people watching. Going by how she judged people by their actions and the accuracy of her in sight I asked her what did she want in the way of a career and she said she'd like to go into psychology, what makes people do what they do.
I asked her why and she said that she wants to see if there was a way of developing environments to make people calmer, to relax tension and create a creative, positive environment to increase co-operation and stimulate positive creativity and ideas, both in the work place, in science and medicine. She said that people are always frighten going to doctors or dentists what could be done so it's not so scary.
She told me that Miranda wants to be a writer and keeps a journal about what she sees around her and observes people, and she loves mysteries and she and Miranda talk about what motivates people and with that she wanted to find a good mystery book for Miranda. Going to a book store we found a book that talks about how to write mysteries and he had several chapters about motives, observing people and researching and learning from local and world events. And we found a mystery novel that was one of several Miranda said she'd like to read.
With that our purchases were complete, and we were going to go home but decided to wait a little longer because a tremendous deluge came down, the rain was so heavy that it looked like people were going to drown. We waited a bit back at the book store and Coralline became excited and asked if I would buy her a deck of Tarot cards she saw, the designs were beautiful based on a Russian motif, I was enchanted by the cards, but I had to "mock scold" Coralline that I was spoiling her by buying early Christmas presents but as 10 year old will do, it was "please, please, please". So I gave in.
The evening was quiet, Doyle sprung for dinner by ordering Chinese, much to both I and my sister's relief, she had a very hard and tiring day with her clients and all she wanted to do was relax and be numb. Coralline was having fun playing with Belladonna in a game of tug of war with Belladonna's new toy and talking to all three of us about the people she saw at the mall, Doyle asked her questions about how she came about her observations, and I saw him raise his eyes at her answers finally he said that maybe psychology might be the career for her to follow as she got older.
After a while as we all relaxed after dinner, read and listened to music I saw Coralline and Belladonna had fallen asleep in the big overstuffed chair, we let them sleep and know that they feel safe as Christmas draws near.