Story Weekend: Most Memorable Shopping Trip

 I was going to post a more substantive theme for this weekend but decided everyone is probably out shopping anyway, so I might as well join the fun. I’m not a fan of shopping, but I’ll do my best to contribute.

If you’re new to Story Weekend, here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme, however you interpret it. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. I’ve loved reading your stories. As always, there are a few “rules”:

▪   The story must be true.

▪   Try to keep it under 100 words. Embrace the challenge! That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.

▪   Avoid offensive language.

I’ll start us off with my own shopping story.



  1. Diane Chamberlain on November 25, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    The town I grew up in had a sweet little downtown where the stores stayed open late on Thursday nights. When I was about ten, my mother took me–just me, not my siblings–into town to go Christmas shopping. It was the Thursday before Christmas and a soft snow was falling, dusting the streets and the sidewalks and our noses. It was so beautiful. I don’t remember what we bought, only the joy of having my mom to myself on one of the most beautiful nights of the year.

    • JoAnne on November 25, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Beautiful; I can VIVIDLY envision it now!

    • Joann on November 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      It’s funny, I remember the same thing only it was just me and mom. I wonder how she managed that to make it special for two daughters. I don’t think I ever gave mom credit for the things she knew to do for all of us. I’m so glad I got a chance to give some of it back.

  2. Christina Wible on November 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    I have no memory of my first black Friday in retail. My father, who worked in Tepper’s, a locally owned department store with merchandise roughly the quality of Lord and Taylor, had gotten me the job as cashier in the children’s department so I could pay for college. My starting day was black Friday. I don’t actually remember the day. I came to in the living room sitting side by side with my father on the couch. Both of us had our feet in hot water and Epsom Salts. I must have done all right. They hired me as a permanent employee after Christmas. I still am unsure, however what I did to deserve it.

    • Diane Chamberlain on November 26, 2011 at 10:40 am

      Christina,, I forget. Did you grow up in Plainfield, too? I was supposed to work Christmas season at Tepper’s but ended up having my tonsils out instead.

      • Christina Wible on November 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm

        Yes, I grew up in Plainfield and I remember those streets at Christmas. It was indeed beautiful (when I wasn’t soaking my feet).

  3. Sheree Gillcrist on November 26, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Most memorable shopping experience must be when I was six and my mom who looked like a 40ties movie star took me ‘To town’. Her life was a menagerie of wringer washers, stretching a penny until it squeaked, and tending 4 small children a year apart but when it was time to shop it was an event. She sat on her padded seat before an oval mirror in her dressing table and dabbed on Evening in Paris perfume and lined her lips with a brush. She matched her earrings to her dress and placed me in all of my finery completing the look with patent leather shoes and we headed off. She turned the heads of every man who saw her as we strided with purpose to our uptown expedtion. On our return one day she glanced down to see her panties had chosen that moment to have their elastic give up the ghost and they settled like a waddling duck around her high heeled ankles. With the grace of a divine shopping goddess , she swiftly removed them and put them in her purse, completing the task with the satisfying click of it’s metal clasp. and we continued on as if nothing had happened and that is why to this day, I always shop in jeans.

    • Diane Chamberlain on November 26, 2011 at 10:34 am

      Lol! A shopping trip you’ll never forget.

  4. Martha O'Quinn on November 26, 2011 at 11:04 am

    My f;irst-born grandchild, now 29, loved shopping – just the two of us. It was our special time and she learned early on that Grandmommy would let her have chicken nuggets and Sprite for lunch. She would order for herself as soon as she began talking. The drive-throughs soon became associated with PA systems everywhere. It did not matter where we were, in the mall, in a store or even at a service station – when a voice came over the PA system for whatever reason she would break into a smile and say, “i’ll have chicken nuggets and Sprite please.”

    • Martha O'Quinn on November 26, 2011 at 11:08 am

      Oops, sorry for the typos – my keyboard is not a reliable speller!!!

  5. Marlene Rosol on November 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    When my twin sister and I were little girls — maybe 6 or 7 years old — our mother took us on the subway from the Bronx into Manhattan (or as we would say, ‘We went downtown.”). This was in the 1950s, when going downtown was an occasion worthy of dresses, coats and hats. Real dress-up! Our mother, who we always considered a fashion plate, wore her Persian lamb coat and high heels. She took us to Macy’s, where amid the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers, we oohed and aahed at all the glitter, saw Santa, and enjoyed the beautiful Christmas displays in the windows. It was a magical day for us, and it started my love affair of Manhattan at Christmastime.

  6. Dena Walton on November 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    What wonderful memories you all have. I wanted to tell you Diane that I love your new website design, very beautiful.

    • Diane Chamberlain on November 28, 2011 at 11:35 pm

      thank you, Dana.

  7. Margo on November 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    LOL, Sheree! I can just picture that scene!

  8. Margo on November 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Not a fan of shopping, I knew I would want something special from Nantucket. Upon arrival the most gorgeous bracelet stared at me from the window. After buying the simple silver band with the gold sanddollar, I knew my real love would be to find a conch shell from the sea. The beaches had lovely clam shells I picked up but I still wanted to ‘shop’ for the conch. Standing at Great Point Beach, the furthest & most primitive part of the Island, I searched to no avail. From nowhere an Albatross flew above me & hovered. I looked down & there it was…a large conch looking very ancient. Mystical…Yes! Magical…Definitely! Memorable…Absolutely!

  9. Cindy H. on November 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    My daughters and I were at a local mall. I allowed my 12-year-old to go browse alone; my 8-year-old stuck with me. I decided to eat at The Cheesecake Factory. I anticipated a long wait. Instead, we were seated instantly. However, I was missing my tween. I left my 8-year-old at the table to search for her. Once found, she was excited. “I got you something!” Instead, I greeted her with exasperation. We walked back to the restaurant in silence. Later, she showed me the mug she bought for me. I will always remember how ashamed I felt that day.

  10. Cindy H. on November 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    First time poster. I loved the challenge of keeping it to 100 words. I felt like I was tweeting, trying to shorten my story. I had to resist the & and acronyms. 🙂 I wanted to introduce it as: some memorable ones don’t always start off good. This one is one of those. I can’t put into words how bad I felt about it but it turned out to be a great lesson for me to learn.

    • Diane Chamberlain on November 28, 2011 at 11:37 pm

      Welcome to the blog, Cindy. You got your lesson across beautifully in your 100 words. Thanks for taking the challenge!

  11. JoAnne McCrone-Ephraim on November 30, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    It was my aunt’s birthday, December 23, 1960. In the same sweet little town as Diane’s, with the spirit of Christmas all around us, my aunt and I had just finished some last minute shopping, a guise so everyone could gather at home to surprise her. While waiting for the bus in front of the music shop, I realized I had not bought the record album I intended for her birhtday gift.

    Attempting to keep her gift a secret,, I insisted my aunt go home without me instead of asking her to accompany me into Gregory’s. The look of disappointment was apparent as she boarded the bus alone. My perceptive little sister later shared our aunt had shed quiet tears of rejection. Thankfully there was a house full of birthday cheer to greet her until I arrived to explain however, I know I did not erase the pain she had suffered. Youth; mistakes made become haunting lifetime regrets!

  12. Diane Chamberlain on November 30, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Since I knew your aunt, JoAnne, I feel sure she forgave you the second she realized the ruse. I understand though. It’s one of those “wish I could take it back’ moments. I have a bunch of them!

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