Window Shopping

by Laura

I hate window shopping. I’ve never seen the point. I mean, I don’t even like shopping shopping, even when I actually require something, so shopping with no intention of buying seems utterly pointless to me. Also, it seems like a reminder than you don’t have the money to spend, and who needs that?

Oddly, I do like planning vacations. I’ll spend hours finding the best flight at the best price and the perfect hotel room. I research the local restaurants and plan daily activities. I get right to the end, stopping right at the Click To Purchase button. But somehow that seems to have a purpose, because it could happen. It has happened. I used to travel all the time. And who knows? A bank error in my favor, a larger than expected tax refund… It could happen. Also, it’s made me a great resource for friends in need of travel recommendations. I’ve seen a great many friends take the trips I’ve meticulously planned, and have been pleased to see they had as much fun as I would have anticipated. After so much planning, I feel as if I’ve been there myself. I’ve smelled the night blooming jasmine in the courtyard, taken a nap under the world’s most perfect olive tree, been enamored of, and quickly irritated by the monkeys outside the temple. Only, I haven’t. But that’s a technicality.

I woke up this morning after dreaming about my mother. Usually I wake to a harsh alarm and remember the dream, but it immediately feels a million years away. This time I had the opportunity to remain in the groggy semi-dream state, with one foot in and one out. It was spring (which it is, but only technically). It’s full bloom spring in my dream, with soft, pale grass and azaleas. The kids are bounding from our car, my four year old kicking his legs in anticipation of taking flight, like a cartoon character (please let him never outgrow this, even when he’s 45). My eleven year old a little slower, rolling her eyes at her brother’s squealing. My mom is opening the front door of my childhood home and saying their names. My boy charges up the small hill like a sturdy little meatball, practically knocking my mother to the ground to get his hug. My daughter, rigid and frail, grudgingly accepts my mother’s embrace and tries to hide how much she enjoys it. My mother gives her a compliment and she smiles. My son demands to know if my mom has any presents for him. My daughter reprimands him, rolling her eyes again. My mom is happy. I am happy watching them. This is how it’s supposed to be.

Is it window shopping? Pointless and a little painful? Is it travel planning? Is seeing it so clearly almost as good as having lived it? I don’t know. It’s both. And the truth is, it doesn’t matter. Dreaming is something my brain does without my permission.

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I would like to take a moment to remember Oren Miller, the writer at http://www.bloggerfather.com. He was diagnosed with lung cancer less than a year ago, and lost his battle earlier this month. Bloggers are a dime a dozen, but the man could actually write. His infrequent posts were poignant, yet never cloying. They stayed with me long after I’d read them. They were beautiful. His wife, Beth, is equally talented with words, although I suspect she would argue with that statement. My exchanges with Oren were brief and mainly superficial, but I was pleased to know him even that much. I was extremely upset to learn of his passing, and wish his beautiful family all the best.

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