Thursday, November 25, 2010

Last Minute

"Excuse me! Where's the celery?" A young man just about the age of my students pummeled me with that question as I scanned the produce section this morning. I don't think I've ever been shopping on Thanksgiving day before, but lack of a crucial ingredient and the knowledge that this particular store was open sent me out around 10:30.

"I think it's over there," I told him, but I was too slow; he was already interrogating someone else. My encounter with this manic kid on his Thanksgiving mission made me curious about my fellow shoppers as I made a quick loop through the grocery, and I speculated about their traditions as I roamed the aisles in search of the things on my last minute list. Were they, like I, here for something forgotten, or were they, like that kid, just doing their holiday shopping now?

I reckoned it was about half and half with a small percentage of people buying nothing feast-related at all. At the check out I saw Mr. Excitable and his parents one more time. "This is going to be great!" he told them as they unloaded their cart full of fixins onto the belt.

I'm sure he was right.

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