Bells are ringing!

Planning a final shopping run to the mall.

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Days away from Xmas.

Because of Covids latest attacks, my plans for x- mas shopping dashed. My plans were to sneak into the big mall in the city, buy two items for my wife, and get home. That all changed in a few days.

Had I had the cash I hold at the moment four days ago, I would have completed my shopping mission. But as I didn’t have the necessary cash, I had to stand by and bite my nails. Then Covid struck again. Oh, you know, this is the ‘second wave’.

This time it’s coming through with a whole new and more devious attack plan. My older boys’ best friend has come down with it, forcing my boys to take the damn test yesterday. Too close for comfort. My wife and I should too, but here in Guatemala, it’s ridiculously expensive. I think we’re distant enough from the original infectious event to have caught it. We did a sort of tracking analysis. Scary how adept the populace, us, has become at handling this modern-day scourge. So we watch for symptoms, my wife and I. My boys by the way are negative but are under a semi-official self-imposed quarantine as ordered by their mother.

As a consequence to this: ‘stay in your rooms’, order guess who gets to take out the trash, water the yard, feed the damn dog, wash and store the never-ending dishes, clean out the chimney, haul the firewood, haul the dirty laundry downstairs, haul the clean clothes upstairs, fill the water pitchers in the rooms… right. Oh, I’m good for it.

Of course now my younger one, hell, they’re not young at all, one is 21, the other 23. The younger one is going to a five-person beach party. He assures us he will practice good hygiene. Were it any other kid, I wouldn’t believe him. This kid is as trustworthy as they make them. When he on rare occasions steps out of the house, he looks like he’s dressed up for a hazmat convention. He takes it quite seriously.

I’m still stuck with this shopping conundrum. You might ask: why whine about this considering that most children on this planet will get nothing pal.

How true. But the fact that most don’t get gifts is not my damn fault, and I can live my life as I wish. Sort of. Plus, if you had any idea how much I worked with the less fortunate for twenty years in Honduras, okay?

So back to Xmas shopping. Yeah, I bet those who live near the famous stores in Manhattan aren’t whimpering about buying gifts. Hell no! They’re out there buying out the stores, and we’re talking ultra-expensive shit, like pearls. Just because they buy their sweety a new set of pearls doesn’t mean they don’t help the more needy either. Okay, okay, I now want to slowly back away from the social/economics bull shit about buying versus being unable to buy whatever the hell I want.

You already know that I’m not Bill Gates from having explained my plight on no cash because of no incoming cash. At any rate, yesterday the money came in. Monthly payments for a big sale I made which will hold me and my family for another five years, after which we’ll be out in the street. But five years is five years kimosabe. Live it large whilst you can, baby! Haha! Yeah, I know, I know, you need not remind me, just like the poor sobs playing violins in the Titanics’ ballroom. That’s for another post.

So! I need to buy my wife something. She pretends to like Occitane soaps. Don’t tell me you don’t know about Occitane soaps! C’mon! That’s one of those chain soap and creamery places that ply consumers with all manners of soaps, lotions, body lathers, etc. Lots of pink and lace, votive scented candles, and incense that is of course not like my Nag Champa from the sixties! She really doesn’t like anything unless it’s Channel, which I bought months ago when a previous deposit came in.

She also likes ropes, thick ones made outta gold, she’ll accept silver if it’s real thick. But interestingly enough, she will accept Occitane soaps. Plus, my boys assure me she likes a jewelry place called Pandoras in the mall. So I’m thinking a bracelet like the sort she used to swoon over when we dated. Jesus, she used to moan in delight when she’d unwrap a flimsy affair made from shiny oyster shell and almost silver, hearts. Hell, back in those youthful and physically flush days, a delicate bracelet was in a word: in the bank, guaranteed. Roll my eyes back into my head good time… That was twenty-five years ago. She hasn’t swooned over shit in that many years.

But still. It’s the gesture that counts. A bracelet, silver, not thick. Oh yeah, and the damn soap. That should do it for Xmas shopping.

But now the Covid hits town again, and everyone is in a panic. Like I said, even our neighbors’ kids, our sons’ pals get the virus! My wife has declared no one, meaning me, will go shopping. You’re thinking what I’m thinking, I know. After all, she’s the one putting the kibosh on any further adventurous shopping. Look at shopping like playing Russian Roulette, what with the Covid. But! As she’s officially shut down shopping, maybe I don’t have to feel guilty about not getting those last two items for her. Pocket the money man!

I owe her so much money as it is. You see, we split costs. Everything, yes. Down the line. Oh, we like to show our prowess and perhaps an inflated sense of magnanimity by announcing that I’ll pick up the tab for the pizza delivery. Good feel there, though fleeting, yet appreciated. Somehow she always has more than I do. No, I don’t know why. No, don’t go there. I know that fifteen years ago when I was making a good salary; she invested in land. My guess is that she’s turned these around, giving her bank accounts a boost. You read right: bank accounts.

Why does she have not one but like four accounts? She has money; I tell you. Yeah, so yesterday I borrowed a hundred and fifty bucks from her. She growled first, followed by clear pain in her eyes. It hurts her! Then I think she realizes that she was gonna have to sleep with my sorry loser mug later that night and loaned me the do re mi. I suppose too; she remembers who was there the first many years, never once groaning about giving it out. I was always happy to do that. Oh, you know. Makes you feel complete, makes you feel like an hombre, yeah my wonderful wife is a Latina. ‘Hombre’, Latina dig…?

What, you might ask, does her being a Latina have anything to do with cash, etc? Absolutely nothing. It is a simple fact; she is Latina damn it. That’s all. Sorry I even brought that up.

For those who might feel I make too light of a deadly issue, (Covid), dear readers, if you had any idea what I’ve been through… I should add that Covid has taken several close to us, including family. One thing I learned amongst many a scary moment is that humor is a gift, it’s a human thing, though I know my dog loves to play tag with me if we can smile, nay, laugh, then by all means have at it and consider yourself blessed.

We move on now. Now I have to figure out how to decoy her away from catching me making a run for the mall, which is all the way into the city an hour away. How to do that this morning. I think this will not end well. It’s her concern for me that she doesn’t want to permit me to go shopping. The Covid. After all, she’s just trying to protect me, us, our family. If I get Covid, at my ripening age of seventy could be curtains for me. Sorry about that.

Always wanted to say: curtains…

This is my sort of roundabout way to wish you a:

Merry Christmas, Holidays, Season, whatever…

Oh yeah, most importantly: Blessings and take care.

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Tom Jacobson

Tom Jacobson

Discovered the world of Medium some years ago. Amazing! Published first book, romantic adventure in Guatemala and Nicaragua, on Amazon. Title Lenka: Love Story.