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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Shopping for Her Sister’s Birthday

th“Mama, can you take me out to shop for Mashenka’s birthday? I have a gift card from Old Navy….” Sashenka asked.

She’s 13 and her sister is turning 16 soon. And since I have a great rental sportscar and have accomplished very little myself this week, why not?

“Sure, sweetie, we can go in half an hour–.”

Thus, we made our way to the shopping center, the credit card burning a hole in Sashenka’s bag.

Peasant tops, dresses, sandals, bags—nothing to her liking, naturally. At least I was confident in the fact that Mashenka had received about 20 bracelets over the winter holidays, and I wouldn’t have to worry about anyone giving her any more of those.

“We can make a swing through the store,” I suggested, “and if thanything catches your eye, that might be a good way to find something. Do you know how much money is on the gift card?”

“I’m not sure…” she hesitated, so we had a cashier scan it as we made our first circumnavigation.

“See anything?” I wondered on our second swing through the store, hoping to wrap up this excursion in under ten hours.

She kept gravitating toward the jewelry for some reason.

“I don’t know…. She told me she needed two new bracelets….”

thOf all the things-! Just shoot me. Bracelets again rearing their ugly heads. Probably jingly-jangly ones that I’d have to listen to rattling all day long before the gypsies kidnapped her and took her to their caravans circled round the campfire.

“She said big, she wanted big.”

I’m sure she did. Most likely that, and a matching sportscar, just like mine. I directed Sashenka toward the $5 teeshirts.

“She likes teeshirts, doesn’t she?”

This didn’t seem like the best direction, either. Sashenka went back to fingering bracelets, each larger and gaudier than the next, filled with rhinestones.

“Those are rather fancy…. Maybe something simpler?”th

At last she decided upon more modest and appropriate styles, purchasing… two… bracelets… just as her sister had commanded. What looks wrong with this picture? Yet, Sashenka’s joy over finding something that Mashenka would like made her ecstatic.

I took her out for a juicy drink on the way home, buying a coffee for Benedetto and myself. We arrived back and she stealthily pulled the bracelets from their tiny bag to show her father.

“Umm… very nice,” he admired.

thShe skipped to her room as he turned to me, “Mashenka’ll hate them.”

“What do you mean? I steered her in this direction as appropriate for a teen, whether casual or dressed-up when she indicated that Mashenka’s tastes tended toward all of that big, trashy stuff,” I shook my head no, restraining myself from making any gagging motions.

“Because that’s what she likes-!”

My past hour of taking out one little lady to get some cute birthday gifts for her sister suddenly bit the dust.

“Try to sell the idea when she opens them okay?” I shot a withered look in his direction.

He agreed.

So much for zipping around town in a sportscar with my can-do attitude, solving the world’s problems.


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