To celebrate finishing some stressful-but-important writing projects, I zipped off to Tysons Corner Center with my daughter and dear friend yesterday.  Now, Labor Day isn’t the greatest day to browse; there are sales and crowds and hip-hop songs and shrieking teens everywhere in a big, popular mall.  Still, my friend’s here from Indiana and we have a long tradition of shopping together, so we went.

Of course, we had fun.  I started Christmas shopping last month, and yesterday I scored on some gifts and ideas for overseas friends.  I was thrilled; these items need to be mailed early and I’m really, really early this year.  My daughter selected a Halloween costume; now I don’t have to sew her one while on vacation, like I did last October.

The real fun, of course, is the ritual of shopping.  I visit my Indiana friend twice a year, and she visits me once or twice, depending on her work schedule.  Each time we see each other, we head out to a mall and browse, checking out furniture and scarves and books.  We always visit a china department or two to see new patterns (this year’s results: disappointingly boring).  Sometimes it takes us years to find the perfect flatware pattern or bedspread, but we persist in our search for Just the Right Thing.  Now my daughter’s part of the Power Shopping Team…even better.

In another 20 years or so, my daughter will be probably pushing me around the mall in a wheelchair, but I’ll be there.  You’ll find me in the china department.