The times, they are a-CAMBIANDO

I had a few errands to run at lunchtime today – mainly picking up more Christmas lights because as it happens every year, last years dont seem to work after being stored all that time. So I head over to the nearest Target at noon and the place is packed, seems everyone was trying to get some lunchtime Christmas shopping done.
I make my way to the Christmas section and find the lights aisle looks like the bottled water aisle at the local super market pre-hurricane. The shelves are basically empty with just a few boxes of lights left in weird colors like pink and purple. (Who decorates for Christmas in purple?)
I start digging behind the purple and pink lights just in case someone hid a few boxes of clear lights back there. As I straighten up, having found no hidden light gems, there’s a woman standing right next to me obviously looking for lights as well.
“No clear lights left back there?” she asks in Spanish.
“Ni una,” I say. Not a one. The woman frowns and is about to complain when she suddenly interrupts what she’s about to say and asks “Is that one of those CAMBIO wristbands?”
“Si, señora,” I say.
“I’ve been wanting to get one but havent been able to find them,” she replies.
I take my CAMBIO wristband off and hand it to her. “Here, you can have mine. I have a few more in the car.”
She thanks me and quickly slips the wristband on. We say our goodbyes and I head out of Target, aiming for a quick stop at Walgreens in search of the ever ellusive clear Christmas minilight strings.
Walgreens only has the weird colors left as well, including multi-colored icicle lights which make no freaken sense to me at all. I’ve never seen any multi-colored real icicles hanging from people eaves. I decide to dig behind the front boxes and lo and behold, the last two 100 light clear minilights strings, 30% off, are right there ripe for the picking. I grab them and head for the cashier.
Unfortunately, there’s a line and this particular Walgreens has many, many elderly patrons and they always, always decide to do their shopping when Im there and in a hurry. So I hurried up to get in line and wait.
There’s an old woman in front of me who has apparently done her week’s shopping at Walgreens. She’s got a little bit of everything in a cart – A CART at Walgreens! – and im thinking to myself it’s going to take my entire lunchtime to buy these two boxes of the ellusive clear minilights. Plus, if she whips out coupons, which the person in front of her has just done, that’s it. I wont have time to hang the lights before Noche Buena.
As we wait for the cashier to be ready, I notice the woman kinda trying to check out the CAMBIO wristband – the new one I just put on in the car – with the corners of her eyes. For a moment I think about bribing her with it – Here, take the wristband but gimme a butt. But then I just take the thing off and offer it to her. Her wrinkled eyes open wide, her face lights up. Her hand trembles as she takes it.
“Ay, gracias, mijo.” she says. It was one of those that you could tell came from the heart.
“De nada,” I say as I watch her slip the CAMBIO wristband onto her thin, frail wrist.
The cashier says “next” and the old woman smiles, grabs my upper arm and leads me ahead of her in line, as if Im some kind of Saint or something. I thank her, she thanks me with a big ole smile on her face and I pay for the lights and head out.
I get back in my car, toss the Walgreens bag with the ellusive clear minilites in the back seat, turn the ignition and slip on the last CAMBIO wristband I have left onto my wrist. I sit there for a few seconds before pulling out of the lot staring at the word CAMBIO etched on that little white rubber wristband. “Coño,” I think. “Maybe this time around there will be a change.”
I haul ass out of the parking lot and have only a few minutes left to grab a bite so I fly down to Wendy’s, hit the drive thru, place my order, move up and pay, then stop at the pick up window. The Wendy’s woman hands me my soda, grabs the bag and tosses in the salt and ketchup I requested before handing me the bag. I take the bag from her and as Im checking to make sure the order is correct, guess what she asks me?
They say everything comes in threes. Today, I believe them.

9 thoughts on “The times, they are a-CAMBIANDO”

  1. Gracias Val te le enviare inmediatamente ponme tu direccion de reply te enviare $ 20.00 para que me envies 10 cambio wristbands..Los quiero regalar todos menos el mio para Christmas..Yo no uso Pay pal te lo enviare directo

  2. Let’s see, target, walgreens and wendy’s …were you at Kendall drive?
    Man, I bet the expression on the old lady must’ve made you want to give her your lights.
    Nice that you had three to give away!

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