1865. Early shopping

(Dear Faithful and truly-tried Readers – sometimes it’s rainy and dull outside (it is winter here) and blogging takes on the flavour of the weather. So since I’m twiddling my thumbs I thought I’d go silly for a time – which is why my nomenclature on this blog is now Cloven Ruminant. (You can still call me Bruce – and anyway, Cloven Ruminant is better than Split-hoofed Cud-chewer). Quite a number of excellent bloggers are configured in a pseudonym so I thought I’d do the same and free myself from the shackles of expectation. Those shackles of expectation can at times be nullifying to ones creativity, so I’m breaking free! One never knows what riff-raff the cat might drag in when using another name. Incidentally, the goat gravatar is not a selfie but a picture of Billy my Goat. I’m younger and more beautiful. Anyway, here’s today’s story. Thanks – Cloven Ruminant).

Goodness! It was only July and already Malvina had finished her Christmas shopping. She had six children, five in-laws, and seventeen grandchildren. It was so much cheaper to buy suitable gifts throughout the year. Not only might they not be available closer to Christmas, but sometimes during the year things were on sale. Given the large number she had to buy for, every little saving was a great relief for Malvina.

As each gift was purchased, Malvina would wrap it carefully in Christmas paper and pencil the name of the person-to-receive. One year she had attached little cards to the gifts with the person’s name, but by the time Christmas arrived some of the cards had fallen off and she had to open the gifts to see who should get what. These days, as it neared Christmas, she would attach name cards.

And so it was! Here it was in July and already the Christmas shopping was done, the gifts were wrapped and well-hidden in a suitcase at the back of her bedroom closet. She had to hide things particularly well because all seventeen grandchildren were budding sleuths. So far, thankfully, they had never ventured into her bedroom closet.

Goodness! It was only September and already Malvina had finished her Christmas shopping. She had six children, five in-laws, and seventeen grandchildren. It was so much cheaper to buy suitable gifts throughout the year. Not only might they not be available closer to Christmas, but sometimes during the year things were on sale. Given the large number she had to buy for, every little saving was a great relief for Malvina.

Goodness! It was nearly Christmas and Malvina hadn’t even started her Christmas shopping. Usually she shopped for gifts throughout the year, but this year the time had flown. “I don’t know where the time goes to,” she said. She thought she had bought some gifts earlier, but she couldn’t find them. Usually she hid the gifts in a box in the cupboard in her garage but there was nothing there. How the years melded into one another. She must have shopped for the previous year!

37 thoughts on “1865. Early shopping

  1. João-Maria

    This could be a comedic prose, but, simultaneously, since I lost two grandparents to Alzheimer, it’s an awfully plaintive reminder of how quickly one can lose the grip of the most trivial of things, things which become themselves embossed and defined by a new pellicle of meaning when they are, concomitantly, nigh impossible to keep a grip on.
    Interestingly, my grandparents never bought me any gifts, they simple gave me a 20 euro bill. I remember with most nitidly how, towards the latter years, my mother would be the one to give us the bill, passing it as something of their initiative. I also remember, albeit with a heavier heart, how my grandfather couldn’t attend my grandmothers funeral, simply because he refused to attend the funeral of someone he didn’t know.
    What a refrain of heart-shatters.
    To lose oneself even before loss. To be just, and wholly, an engine of loss.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
    1. Cloven Ruminant Post author

      That is a very sad story, João-Maria, but lovely nonetheless, with your mother giving you their bill. I have been free of the experience of such a curse, but had a great great grandfather who, as was customary back then, died in the Lunatic Asylum where mad people were locked up away from society.

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply
      1. João-Maria

        I know it seems like such a strange “plug”, but I have a poem named “mum is a leopard” that is precisely about a conversation she once had regarding not wanting to die as they did.
        Those things are so hard to digest, I feel. It almost seems like one spends a lifetime digesting them. I’m sorry for your grandfather, that’s an awful thing. They did end up in care when they quite literally could not take care of themselves, and my grandfather had many strokes, so he also became quite impaired and completely blind. They spent as much as they veritably could in their home, and we waited until the very second before deciding for their care.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  2. noelleg44

    I think you’re writing about me! I do buy stuff throughout the year. Last year I bought two pop-up beach tents for some friends and when Christmas came around I couldn’t find them. Discovered them cleaning out a closet to get ready for our upcoming move.

    Liked by 3 people

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      1. Yvonne

        Our alpaca is enjoying his lush pasture also. Their digestive system is different than that of goats, but the details have slipped away from me. He is busy chewing his cud outside my living room window just now.

        Liked by 2 people

        Reply
  3. Herb

    This story came at a bad time for me, too. I had just gotten off the phone with my aunt who is not doing well mentally. It could be a telling of her going downhill as well. It is well written as your stories normally are, I just read it at a particularly melancholy moment.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  4. dumbestblogger

    Split-hoofed, four stomach, cud chewing mammalian herbivore has a nice ring to it. Perhaps better than your old name. What was it again? Brick? Brilly? Billy? Anyway, I find myself wondering if Malvina managed to misplaced a few children and grandchildren between September and December.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  5. umashankar

    The story is a psychological marvel. You have employed a powerful technique to capture the slide of the character into the mellowness of mental dusk. The amusing introduction in which you have rechristened yourself serves as a premonition of what is to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

I delight in having my dull life coloured by your intelligent perceptions, your wit, and your vivacity.

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