I may be a strange American but I have never–as far back as I can remember–ever gone Christmas shopping on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I might have gone with my mother or my sister years ago, before it acquired its name and reputation.
Shopping has never been a favorite pasttime of mine, again unlike other women. I tend to know what I need or want to buy and try to find it easily. Going to shopping malls is fruitless, requiring trying too many stores and too many departments within the stores. None of which ever had exactly what I wanted. On the other hand, catalog shopping is easy these days, even if I sometimes send half the items back the day after they arrive.
Perhaps I was spoiled because my mother, who only had two daughters, was a dressmaker and made our clothes. She also made clothes for wealthy, and not so wealthy, women in our town. Sometimes she’d take us shopping to Marshall Field’s--we lived in a Chicago suburb--and try on very expensive dresses, which my mother could then copy. She also copied beautiful clothes worn by movie stars in films.
Because of that I had many outfits my friends didn’t have, but when they wore cashmere sweaters to school, I had to make do with sweaters knit by my grandmother. She meant well, but “ugly” doesn’t begin to describe how I felt about them at fifteen.
I finally got my first cashmere sweater, made in Scotland, when my husband was sent to England for his job and I got to go too. I bought my second on sale in Canada while visiting relatives. In recent years, a friend and I went shopping at Macy’s the day before Christmas, because all their cashmere sweaters were on sale. I’d buy one, she’d buy three. So my collection isn’t as extensive as hers, but now that I live in the desert, it’s hard to find occasions to wear each of mine even once in a season.
Because my mother was savvy about fashion, my sister and I soon learned how to choose attractive clothes that looked good on us. We did not follow fads unless the current style or color happened to suit us. For instance, I don’t wear brown, beige or orange, never wore leggings, or huge bulky sweaters, or skirts that ended mid-calf. As I told someone once when asked why I wore my skirts at the knee, “That’s where God wants us to wear them because that’s where our legs bend.” By the way, floor-length skirts are okay (legs bend at ankles too), and I love them for fancy occasions as well as long cotton sundresses in summer.
I don’t wear fur or much jewelry. I never wear earrings, which I consider a nuisance, although I do wear the string of real pearls my husband bought me in Hawaii, and a silver chain from Taxco.
While on the subject of “strange,” I dislike war, horror, animated or pornographic films and don’t read horror or erotic books. I do like jazz, most classical music, and what are called “standard” pop songs. In food, I like American, Italian, Chinese and French cooking, but not anything spicy, or unusual. (No hummingbird tongues or truffles–except the chocolate kind–for me.) And make that dark chocolate, please.
I expect a traditional turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce dinner tomorrow, followed by my own super Pecan Pumpkin Pie. Whatever you’re having, I hope you enjoy it and have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.