Oh. I hate shopping.
Walking round a department store looking at stuff.
Specially with Okaasan.
But. We had to do it. Shortly after 9 am we were in the car and off downtown as a family to go hunt down a winter coat for Okaasan. She was so chatty in the car to me, I think she thought it was the day service car and driver - so she chatted away about her husband and his golf playing. Kind of unusual to chat so much to me!
Got to the store too early and had to wait 15 minutes for the doors to open, get to the 5th floor and Okaasan suddenly says she wants to drink a coffee, so she and I sit down while Dear Son goes and buys can...and THEN she needs the toilet, so he takes her off for that and I sit deleting old messages on my mobile phone.
Finally. At 10.30 am?
We are ready to start shopping. Wandering round the designer shops of the store. Trying to get Okaasan interested in a coat.
This? no. This? no This? no.....
Trying to get her to say what she wants: a red or pinkish half length coat, wool?, with a certain collar, and slightly shaped at the waist etc etc etc. Okaasan has a very hunched back. I think it's why the 5 years ago coat split at arm seam.
Aghhhhhh. That'll be my hell, if I'm not a good person in this life. I'll be doomed eternally to following Okaasan round a department store of coats.
At one point she doubled back and started retracing her steps.
"You've looked there already!" I gasp.
"No, no, this is how you shop - you go and look again and see if you missed anything...!"
"No, no - I don't need a thick coat because the car always comes for me for day care. I don't walk outside. .....Sapporo isn't so cold...."
After 30 mins of wandering I spotted a reddish coat and a friendly saleswoman. We got Okaasan into that shop to try it on and finally Dear Son and I sat at the counter while the whole sales routine chat started. Went on for another 30 minutes.
But the best saleswoman. So, so patient....trying endless variations and suggestions.
There was a warm red cardigan too, which was also on my Must Buy list, because Okaasan only has thin little cardigans and shirts suitable for the Tokyo area in winter.
Then Dear Son glanced at the price tags....
Y150,000 for the coat! That's over $1,000. And the cashmere cardigan? Y100,000......
Oh My God.
But. Okaasan was slowly edging towards agreeing to buy the things. And we certainly didn't want to grow any older by going to yet another shop....so.....
I spirited her away to the toilets and a seat near the escalator while Dear Son paid (and said "no" to the vastly expensive scarf that the saleswoman was also promoting to Okaasan)...and we went off to lunch. Exhausted.
After lunch Dear Son went to get the coat and cardigan and I took Okaasan to the nearest toilets. I waited for her outside on some seats. After a few minutes she came and collapsed on the next seat.
"Tired. My legs are tired. I need to sit down......(five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten)....are there any toilets near here? I need a toilet?"
"You just went in there - look - 30 seconds ago you came back from there...didn't you go?"
"I don't know. Did I?"
"I don't know, I took you to the door..."
But. Mission a success. If she wears the coat that is. We sure hope so.
It's a huge amount of money. My monthly salary is about Y250,000....so Y250,000 on a coat and a cardigan is a crazy amount. It's an air ticket to Brazil to see the soccer world cup.
"I don't think I've paid that much money over the past 20 years for ALL my clothes!" Dear Son muttered to me as we waited for Okaasan and another toilet stop.
He's loaned money to Useless Older Sibling in the past year, and it hasn't been paid back yet....I guess we'll be borrowing some of my money....
"Can I have the cashmere cardigan when she dies?" I mutter back.
We head home for well-earned beers, TV watching and family duty done.