Of stereotypes and luggage space snatchers

And so it is that when some people find out you’re going away on vacation, they’ll stay up nights to draw up their shopping list for you to take on your vacation so you can shop for them. It’s inevitable that something like this would happen. Growing up, I’ve seen often enough how the grown-ups have been “obligated” to take on such burdens for the sake of not offending someone.

I don’t like to impose on people. I say it’s their vacation, let them enjoy themselves without the burden of your demands hanging over their heads. Since I don’t do it, I don’t appreciate people doing it to me either. If it’s not out of the way and luggage space is not an issue, I might do it but no guarantees. I’m certainly not obligated to do anything on my vacation time except to have myself a great time. Fair?

Inadvertently the friend of a friend (Friend#2) who lives in the Bay Area heard about us coming to town and immediately informed us they had some gifts for us to bring back to our mutual friend (Friend#1). Apparently Friend#2 visits Friend#1 three times a year and he can’t bring those gifts himself? Amazing how some folks think nothing of inconveniencing other people!

Oh, Friend#2 offered to put us up in their home and show us around San Francisco. Being that we don’t know Friend#2 + wife from Adam+Eve, I’m not particularly keen to stay over at their house or have them show us around. This is our family vacation. If we’d wanted to travel with a bunch of strangers, we’d have signed up for a guided tour. And we know San Francisco like the backs of our hands so we really have no need for a couple of self-appointed tourist guides.

As expected, he insisted. We said no. How about lunch or dinner? he insisted. Obviously some people can’t take no for an answer. Finally we had to spell it out – we’ve planned our hotel booking and agenda, thank you very much. I know some folks are all up for exactly this sort of free ride with complete strangers anywhere in the world. I’m not “some folks”.

The issue remained that we still had to meet up somehow so they could pass those gifts to us. Friend#2 suggested we met at the Coach outlet where his wife wanted to do some shopping and where, he told Steev, he was “sure your mom would be shopping” too.

So here’s the thing. Without ever having met me, how could he presume to know me or what I like? Big question mark there! The only thing left to say is, so sorry to disappoint you, old chap, but I don’t do Coach! *faking a British accent, just for the LOLs*

Well, I do own one Coach bag, only one, which I bought wa-ay back in 1997 long before Coach was cool. Beautiful black leather! Classic design and very classy! Coach bags in those days were simple and classy, and rare, a far cry from what they are today. I’m so done with Coach!

But I’m glad he suggested meeting at Coach because it gave me the perfect excuse to send Steev as the messenger and not show up myself. Friend#2 had been insisting from the very start that he wanted to meet me. Unfortunately for him, the feeling is not mutual. I’m a very busy woman with a long shopping list to fulfill. At some store other than Coach, I’m afraid.

It was a bright sunny day but as soon as Steev showed up, it started to rain questions. Friend#2 wasted no time launching into a fullscale interrogation about our family. So typical. My kids know the drill. If you don’t make a hasty enough retreat, you might find yourself charting your family tree up to 5 generations back right there on the sidewalk.

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