I did some Christmas shopping this evening by myself. I wanted to get gifts for family members, especially the nephews and nieces, without having to entertain anyone. And sometimes I like doing things by myself. It gives me time to think, ponder life, wonder what topic I will write about next on this blog and generally just give my mind a break from thinking and over thinking things.
There were lots of people everywhere. I don’t think I’ve seen this many people in the mall for quite awhile. There were people still pushing/shoving and grabbing. I thought this would be over after Friday’s sales, I guess this type of behavior carries on for awhile.
After getting tired of searching some piles of sweaters and scarfs, and placing my packages in the trunk of my car, I went back into the mall and found a cafe which was semi-empty. I made a bee-line to the cashier, ordered something and looked for a table. A voice from behind me called my name. I looked back to see a high school classmate point towards an empty seat across from him.
He smiled and made comments about holiday shopping and the crowds. We talked about what we’ve been doing since graduation and the new things in our lives. He and I actually haven’t talked this extensively since high school–except for the passing “hellos/goodbyes” said to one another in a shop or a restaurant when we both were home for the holidays.
Chris was one of those extremely popular students. He was at every party, every social gathering and if memory serves me correctly dated a cheerleader. Yes, memory did serve me correctly (just looked him up in our yearbook)–he did date a cheerleader (not that our yearbook had that information, but his girlfriend put her warm wishes for my future endeavors under his signature and doodled their names together). Anyhow–way off track there, he was one of those very outgoing, very outspoken, extremely active and popular people.
While I was updating him on how my life was going, he gestured emphatically to someone behind me. All I could think was “great, a class reunion”. I turned around to see another guy walking towards us, only I didn’t recognize him.
Chris said, “Johnny, this is my boyfriend, Phillip”. They embraced and Phillip held his hand out to me and shook it.
I must have looked shocked because Chris said “My brother made that very same face a few years back”.
He laughed and said…”it’s cool if you have to go”.
I told him that no, I wanted to have more coffee and that more slices of cake, cookies or pie would be on me. I pulled out a chair for Phillip and smiled at Chris and said “my turn to tell you something too”.
The hassle of the register lines, the half-hour wait for a parking space and even the stale tasting coffee no longer left an impression on me last night. All I remember was having a good time with an old friend who suddenly became a new friend.