Jabberwocky for 2003 December 9 (entry 1)

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[Comments] (10) : Today I braved the commercial consumer world--not out of holiday joy but in search of a wedding gift for Alysha Jones. I note in passing that many of us give wedding gifts on the strength of our affection for our friend, the MOB, not because we know the girl well. Well. I had my heart set on a Lennox vase for Alysha. I started at department stores, knowing exactly what I wanted. What I did NOT want was some little mass produced gift boxed tacky trinket, which was all I found. I wanted the real Lennox, but apparently it is not to be had in Baketown.

To shop in china departments here is an interesting experience. Does anyone sell anything well designed, balanced, and beautiful anymore, or is all china and crystal glopped up with overdone froufrou nowadays? And what's up with this crystal that features impressed patterns painted in garish colors? It looks like some kind of nightmare project from a surreal Homemaking Meeting held in Dante's Hell. Hand-painted one of a kind art, my patootie!

After Gottschalks East Hills, I went to the [shudder] mall. Horrible place. All the stores were heaped with red sweaters and reeking of artificial holiday scent; it was making me squirrley. Music, we won't mention. After the mall, with no results in sight, I sank to the level of Bed, Bath & Beyond and Linens & Things. Ha. At Linen's & Things there was no Christmas muzak--they were playing rock and roll.

Finally, in desperation, I drove down to The Marketplace and went to Olcott's, an independent fancy china shop. Gaaaaahhhhh! NO Lennox! The manager gave me to understand (without her saying so) that much regular line stuff is not in stock as their inventory is tied up in "holiday" merchandise. Such as the 65th anniversary edition of the Spode Christmas Tree pattern, I guess.

I gave up. I bought a Beleek vase.

As a side note, I shopped at each of these places for a straight-sided, tube cake pan (NOT an angel food pan) because I dreamed up an idea for Christmas baking. We've been having a discussion on Mollybluestocking about bundt pans--Sue Chapman says she has seven or eight of them. I wondered how that could be possible until I started looking. There is an unbelievable variety out there. At Olcott's, they even had a square one with impressions of snowflakes on it. Wouldn't it be fun to set out a dessert table with several different kinds of gorgeous cake, pies under crystal domes, mousses, cheesecakes... (I actually did this once, for Thanksgiving, and it WAS fun. I would do it every Thanksgiving, but we usually go spend it with the Richardsons, and I've been led to know over the years that cooking is Not My Job.)

I do own one bundt pan. I got it at a garage sale.


Posted by rachel at Tue Dec 09 2003 20:54

Believe it or not, Bakersfield is not the mecca of Culture and Shopping.

Posted by Alyson at Tue Dec 09 2003 21:21

Tell me about this Mollybluestocking e-mail group that you often mention.

Posted by John at Wed Dec 10 2003 00:19

We still have a lead crystal ice box from our wedding if you want it.....

Posted by Rachel at Wed Dec 10 2003 02:07

I am ROFLing re: John's comment

Posted by Francs at Wed Dec 10 2003 12:43

You have a lot more than the ice bucket in your pile of reject wedding gifts! I seem to remember a clock, a picture frame, pots....

Posted by Leonard at Wed Dec 10 2003 14:01

Mom, let's you and me make lots of desserts when I come to Bakersfield. I have a stocking stuffer along those lines that I know you will love!

Posted by Susie at Wed Dec 10 2003 17:40

MMM, we want to help, count us in! There is also an electric knife in the trunk of John's car.

Posted by Alyson at Wed Dec 10 2003 21:04

While you are at it, make sure and double your recipes and package them for travels to SA for New Years! By the way, will you be joining the caravan, Leonard?

Posted by Leonard at Thu Dec 11 2003 12:57

No, I am flying back to save time. I wish I could go, though!

Posted by Rachel at Fri Dec 12 2003 23:28

No, actually, *I* took the wedding-present pots. They are now practically ruined thanks to les roommates.


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