just call me Grinch

Shopping ten days before Christmas in Grenoble comes complete with all the same thrills as in the United States.

Traffic crawled along outside the mall. Bon chance finding a parking place once you get into the lot. Lines to pay for stuff wound through the stores like giant worms, only slightly more unappealing than the lines to wait for the free wrapping offered at each store. Some stores had up signs letting you know that they’ll be open the next two Sundays for your shopping joy. Normally, nothing is open here on Sundays except for the Petit Casino and you have to get to that before noon. (To make up for it, it doesn’t open till 3pm on Monday!)

I was so proud to have done most of my shopping for Kaitlyn weeks ago. I got my packages off to the United States on Monday. So what on earth dragged me to the mall after my French lesson today? Bill. I need to get something for Bill.

Now I’m thinking to myself, how hard can it be to find a really cool gift? I mean, after all, we are in France, for heaven’s sake. Ok. We’re in a house in France with little to no storage, so anything that needs kept somewhere is a bad idea. There’s no real display area so anything to just put out and look out is another bad idea. Wall space is taken up by the massive windows that allow us the lovely view of the valley, so anything to hang is still another bad idea. A couple of weeks ago I saw some neat looking signs in French, they wouldn’t take up much space. But I didn’t know what they meant and didn’t feel like pulling my big dictionary out to translate. (Yes, I carry a big dictionary with me everywhere. And, yes, then I complain about how heavy my purse is.)

Normally, I give Bill clothes for Christmas. Sure, it’s boring. But I never said I was interesting. Anyway, he said he needed new shirts. So that is why I was at the mall. For shirts.

There are only four men’s stores in the mall here. I don’t count Foot Locker or the electronics stores in that. Clothing stores. They had shirts. Purple. Black. Red. And shiny. Yes, shiny. I found one that wasn’t shiny. It looked like a tuxedo shirt. It was ridiculous. I’m sure I’ll see someone wearing it next week at Carrefour.

I hope Land’s End delivers to France for his birthday next month!

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