After my dad left, getting Christmas presents became an event at my mom’s house. Each year a couple weeks before Christmas, my mom would drive my brother and I to Denver where we would spend the day walking around the mall and outside shops buying presents for each other.
My brother and I would go off on our own and buy a present for my mom from each of us and then meet up with her who suddenly had arms full of bags with gifts for my brother and I. This year was no different.
My mom handed my brother and I a 100 dollar bill and told us she would meet us at the food court in an hour. She looked me in the eyes and said, “I’ve always wanted a burberry scarf.” Turned around and walked to do her shopping.
“Well, I guess we know what mom wants.” I said as I grabbed my brother’s hand.
“She will be so excited!” He squealed as we started walking to Burberry.
“I don’t think that this is enough money,” I looked down at my little brother attached to my arm. “Burberry is expensive.”
“It’s A HUNDRED DOLLARS.” He said it as though my mom had given us a million dollars.
“I know, but just in case, start thinking of something else you would want to get her.”
“Ok, but it’s a HUNDRED DOLLARS.” He was practically skipping feeling like a millionaire.
We walked directly to the Burberry store with my stomach in knots. I didn’t know much about designer brands, but I knew that one hundred dollars was not enough to get anything from this store. I also had the image of Vivian from Pretty Woman walking into the stores and the snooty attitudes of the workers. Not that I resembled Vivian, but we were two young kids, walking into a designer store with only $100. We walked into the store and were immediately greeted by a cheery worker.
“Hi, um how much for a scarf?” I was trying to be confident.
“Well, we have several styles, it depends on what you want.” She walked over to the scarves with my brother and I following her.
“She will want the traditional one.”
“Wonderful!” The worker started pulling the scarf from the rack.
“Uh, how much will that be?” I was nervous at this point.
I don’t remember the number, but it was a lot more than $100.
“Oh, no, we can’t afford that. Do you have anything for $100?”
My brother had pulled away from me and was looking at a table full of handkerchiefs, gloves, and key chains.
“What about a pair of gloves? Or a-well one of these!” My brother was lifting the items into the air with a smile so wide it almost reached both of his ears.
“No, no,” the worker started rattling off high price tags.
“Thank you,” I looked from the lady to my little defeated brother. “We will try something else.”
We walked out of the store with his hand in mine and walked into the stores nearby. My brother was absolutely defeated that $100 wouldn’t get mom the scarf she wanted. There was really no way to rectify this but I assured him we would get her something great.
We walked into the BrookStore full of gadgets and fun things. This would work. I let my brother pick a gift for my mom, and I picked something too. There was couple dollars left over from or score of a bookmark, a pair of socks, and a back massager. It was time to meet up with mom and we made our way to the food court. I saw her before she saw us. She scanned our faces and then her eyes trailed down to the bag in my hand and he face fell. The disappointment that we weren’t holding a Burberry bag was visible from across the room.
My brother didn’t notice her face and I was thankful for that. I was sure if he saw her sadness he would be crushed. The three of us made our way out of the mall to the outdoor shops. The Christmas feeling of the day was suddenly clouded with disappointment.