It was the second day of Hannukah when I realized I did need to do the whole ritual. I went to a show in the evening, then went to Target for the menorah and the candles. It happened that way that I left my menorah at my mom’s place. And only on day two, I realized I wanted a miracle.
I thought – okay, not a big deal. I was sure I was able to buy a menorah and candles in Target on the way home after a show.
I got to Target. I got the menorah.
There were no candles…
I thought – okay, not a big deal. I was sure I could get candles somewhere else. Hannukah is a popular holiday!
Walgreens was closed, and there was only Christmas stuff in Rite Aid. Who could imagine that?!
I thought – okay, not a big deal. I was sure I could get home and drive to another Target.
I visited three Targets… I drove from downtown LA to Eagle Rocks, then to Glendale then to Burbank… I was desperate to find the candles… I wanted the lights, I wanted a miracle… I wanted a holiday after all those busy days at work and worries about everything and everybody.
There were no candles…
It was a half past 11 when I got to Walmart in Burbank. I checked the website. There were Hannukah candles. I went right to the Celebrations aisle.
– Hello! – I said to the Walmart guy. – Do you have Hannukah candles?
Then there were minutes of a weird conversation when I tried to pronounce the words ‘Hannukah candles’ so he could understand… I gave up. I showed him those worlds on the phone. Oh, thank you, the 21st century, with all the tech!
– Oh, yea… – he said. – It’s in the Candies aisle.
Candies aisle?! For Hannukah stuff?!
Hannukah candles are in the Candies aisle?!
I mean, seriously, near Twix and M’n’M’s?!
I thought – okay, not a big deal. I was sure I could ask the guy near Candies aisle so he would point me to my candles.
Oh god, how big my mistake was!
I did ask a guy near Candies aisle. He didn’t know what Hannukah was! He was SURE (at least, he said so) the candles were NOT in Candies aisle. He transferred me to another guy who first, googled what Hannukah was, then checked the candles aisle, then confirmed that the store DID HAVE Hannukah candles, then said he was SURE the store DIDN’T HAVE any Hannukah candles.
I couldn’t handle it anymore… I walked away to explore tons of Candies in endless Walmart aisles myself. Solo…
I sincerely almost cried when found plenty of the candles boxes near huge bags of Twix… The boxes were so small and so easy to miss among… the candies.
That’s how my celebration of the lights started. My miracle almost walked away. I had to fight for it. But my fight wasn’t over that soon.
I put some gas in my car, got onto the freeway. It was past midnight so I didn’t expect any traffic. So naive… Soon, I was trapped in a stand-still traffic caused by a major accident.
I was lucky not to be the cause of that traffic.
While I was sitting in the car surrounded by the red stop-lights on the cars around me, The Gospel Choir of Luisina started singing in my head:
'Let the sunshine... Let the sunshine in...'
The melody in `my` version was slower. And voices started quietly… and then sang stronger and stronger.
I thought it’s all wonderful that I now I had my piece of Hannukah, that I drove places and saw people – all in one night. And that I’m safe in my car ready to light up the candles.
After all, if not that traffic I wouldn’t recall that beautiful song. And if not that adventure, I wouldn’t have this story.
Relax and go crazy sometimes. It’s worth it. This is was makes your life – driving to 3 Targets and 1 Walwart until 1AM on Monday! 🙂
Let the sunshine in.
Hope you all got your Hannukah miracle. Happy holidays!