Earlier this week two of my mother's sisters stopped by for a short visit. They had arrived in the US after spending several days in Vancouver with a cousin, and spent the night at our place before heading down to Santa Cruz to visit another relative. The first place they wanted to visit? Costco.
My aunts are veteran shoppers. These ladies will literally shop from the time stores open till the time they close. I've accompanied them on numerous shopping sprees, from the time I was a teenager, around the malls of Manila, to weeklong junkets in Hong Kong, to day trip to the outlet malls in Gilroy and New Jersey. They do have enough money to fund their buying sprees, but they're also bargain hunters who think that the only thing better than the perfect pair of shoes is the perfect pair of shoes at 50% off. And for my aunts, they enjoy the looking as much as the buying-- so shopping with them is always a fun bonding experience.
Much to their sorrow, we weren't able to stay at Costco too long (only 45 minutes, a blink of an eye!) before we had to fetch The Pea from school. But after we got home, we decided to set out again and look for some things that another aunt from the Philippines had asked them to buy. 3Po and Jammy stayed home with my dad, who's also visiting, but The Pea decided to go with us.
We left home at about 4:30PM. I called Alfie at the office to ask him what he wanted us to bring home for dinner. He scoffed and said he would take the boys out somewhere because there was no way we were getting home before 8. We said we just had to buy a few things, of course we'd be back. Of course, he was right. We shopped till 8:30PM, and would have stayed longer (we only covered half the mall) had The Pea's bedtime not been at 8PM. Nothing out of the ordinary there, just another day's shopping for my aunts.
The surprise of the night was The Pea. She's never really liked shopping before. Usually, after 30 minutes or so at Target she's ready to hit the snack stand and go home, but that night her dormant shopping genes came out in full force. She discovered Marshalls and the joys of bargain hunting and window shopping. She tagged along and searched for presents for her best friends; even though she didn't buy anything, she loved looking at all the beautiful things on display and imagining how great it would be to buy them for her friends. Then one of my aunts gave her $20 and she had a grand old time trying out clothes and buying her perfect outfit. I had a coupon for 40% off our whole purchase, which made it even better. She kept saying, "Wow, I never knew shopping could be so much fun!".
Now she wants to wake up at 3AM tomorrow and join my sisters and me for a Black Friday shopping trip. What monster have we created?