By Robert William Service
I stood before a candy shop
Which with a Christmas radiance shone;
I saw my parents pass and stop
To grin at me and then go on.
The sweets were heaped in gleamy rows;
On each I feasted - what a game!
Against the glass with flatted nose,
Gulping my spittle as it came;
So still I stood, and stared and dreamed,
Savouring sweetness with my eyes,
Devouring dainties till it seemed
My candy shop was paradise.
I had, I think, but five years old,
And though three-score and ten have passed,
I still recall the craintive cold,
The grimy street, the gritty blast;
And how I stared into that shop,
Its gifts so near and yet so far,
Of marzipan and toffee drop,
Of chocolate and walnut bar;
Imagining what I would buy
Amid delights so rich and rare . . .
The glass was misted with my sigh:
"If just one penny Pop could spare!"
And then when I went home to tea
Of bread and butter sparsely spread,
Oh, how my parents twitted me:
"You stood for full an hour," they said.
"We saw you as we passed again;
Your eyes upon the sweets were glued;
Your nose was flattened to the pane,
Like someone hypnotized you stood."
But when they laughed as at a joke,
A bitterness I could not stem
Within my little heart awoke. . . .
Oh, I have long forgiven them;
For though I know they did not own
Pennies to spare, they might, it seems
More understanding love have shown
More sympathy for those vain dreams,
Which make of me with wistful gaze
God's Window Shopper all days.
On Thursday I went to a bunch of stores in a shopping center that recently acquired an Aldi, and I don't know whether it's the presence of the Aldi or the holiday shopping season in general, but the parking lot was so insane that I am seriously rethinking my plans to avoid shopping at Amazon wherever possible. The main reason I went was because Five Below, which recently moved to this shopping center from further down Rockville Pike, has very inexpensive cardboard scratching posts that Effie loves, but I also went to Michael's, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Tuesday Morning, none of which had anything exciting left on sale at this point.
It was a very shopping-focused day. When Paul got home, we went out to CVS (which sent me birthday coupons including one for free nail polish, which is odd since I don't wear nail polish -- do all customers get one? just women?) and to Giant (because cat food is an ongoing need), plus we ducked into Attman's to get bagels since Goldberg's closes in the afternoon. In between the beginning and end of the Bears victory over the Cowboys, we caught up on Black Lightning, which still could use more humor but at least is more focused on the main family again. From the Udvar-Hazy Center, here are several angles on the space shuttle: