November 30th, 2003

Fishy Circumstances


I have nearly finished Christmas shopping and it's not even December. This would be more alarming to me had it not become something of a tradition to exhaust most of our shopping needs at the One of a Kind show every year, and today was the agreed-upon day. Cat and I have gone for the past 4 years, C. for at least 2. It was Sarah's second year and James' first. James was full of delight and enthusiasm at the fun of it all, since not only were all the merchants new to him, but he and Sarah arrived three hours after we did, so their feet didn't hurt yet. My feet hurt. They're all achy and tired from six and a half hours of shopping, up and down the aisles of the show.

The One of a Kind show is an enormous arts and crafts show held twice-yearly at Exhibition Place. There are 26 aisles, with approximately 40 vendors in every aisle. It's big. We pick up the map of the place at the beginning and wander slowly up and down the rows, meeting at the end of the next row to check in before embarking on the next row. When we find something we like but aren't sure about immediately, we circle the stall on the map and keep going. It took us four hours just going through all the aisles the first time around. We stopped for picnic lunches. We stopped for lemonade and chocolate brittle. We stopped to rest our feet.

All the effort seems worth it when I think that I'm largely done with Christmas shopping and all of December still lies ahead.