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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Ill see what I can do about a menorah.

I said those words to my roommate last night. He is without a menorah and Hanukkah started last night at sundown. Since I was already planning on going downtown today, I offered to “pick up a menorah” for him.

I thought it would be a simple task. Here’s the deal, as a “girl with some world awareness, who happens to celebrate christmas” I’ve always known stores had LOTS of Christmas with some obligatory Hanukkah tossed in for fairness. Let me say, there is not as much Hanukkah stuff available as I used to think NOR is there awareness of what the words “menorah” or “Hanukkah” mean among staff.

Who the FUCK doesn’t know where in the store a menorah might be found? Or candles for it? Huh? I got the Menorah as Marshall Fields. I went to the 6th floor and asked the first saleswoman I saw, “Where can I, um… Do you have menorahs?”

She seemed pleased that I asked, does that mean she’s jewish or just helpful? She pointed me in the right direction. Pass the Kate Spade, turn right, and you run into the display. Two picked over carts and one nicely decorated table. There were four menorahs to choose from. A $160 beautiful glass one, a $60 metal one, a $20 metal one, and one that looked like Noah’s Ark. (If we’d planned ahead for hanukkah, we would have had our choice of many, many more online.)

Following my roommate’s orders, I got the cheap one. I was surprised at how small the menorahs were. I guess when you only see the one on the court house lawn, you get a warped idea of what size a menorah should be. The saleswoman didn’t have any more candles and couldn’t offer me any ideas of where to go.

So I started looking. Nordstrom Rack? Nothing for Hanukkah. Old Navy (I know, weird choice, but they have lots of little last minute things… why not Hanukkah candles?). Nope. Fielene’s basement had Menorahs last week, but not today.

Carsons Pirie Scott was where I got the worst reactions to my menorah candle hunt. I went to the 6th floor and said, “I might be on the wrong floor, but do you have menorahs?” I got a blank stare. “Try upstairs with the trim the house section. There are some wooden angels in the corner.”

I went upstairs and wandered around the Christmas section and didn’t find one Hanukkah thing. So I asked. “Do you have any candles for a menorah?” “You should check the 6th floor. All the candles we have are over there. You know, cranberry mostly. Downstairs they have more selection.” “They sent me here.” “Oh. Hmmm.” “They are for Hanukkah.” “Nope, sorry, then we don’t.”

I would up getting them at the old, 1/2 empty Walgreens next the Chicago Theater. It was a whim, but they had em. Good thing I didn’t have to get anything else, cause it was much more difficult than I expected.

But also fun.

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