Don't get me wrong... I love Christmas! I love the gift shopping, and the decorating, and the baking, and the music, and the gathering of family and friends which always crescendos with laughter, and the quiet moments snuggling in the light of the tree with my daughter and dog, while my husband tends to the roaring fire and we read Christmas stories. I love it all! I even love the craziness... the writing and sending of over a hundred cards, the calendar full of parties and children's concerts and Christmas pageants, the last minute forgotten gift (which, let's be honest, doesn't really happen to someone as list oriented as I, but I suppose it could happen ;-)), and even the traveling back to New Jersey on Christmas day. I LOVE IT ALL!
That's why, I hate (I'm nothing if not black and white about things) the, let's call it "crap", that goes with it. Let's start with the shopping... and remember, I reserve all my patience for my daughter so there is none left for the rest of the world (not even my husband, you hasn't spoken to me in a week without it ending in a fight; sorry babe, it's Christmastime, deal with it).
Why must there be crowds of people everywhere I go? And why is it a requirement that those people not know how to park a car, use a credit card, or talk on their cell phones at the same time as moving up two paces in a line? Why do they consistently store their coupons in the bottom of their bags, bring their sniffly-nosed need-a-nap toddlers with them (I don't blame the kids), or never sense my impending implosion as they "rethink" their purchases at the checkout.
I park at the end of the row so I don't have to search (or get my new car dinged), but sometimes, to get to the end you have to sit behind the person waiting endlessly for someone to back out by the front door. MOVE OVER! I enter a store with a list (either in hand or head), and get in and get out; I've got other things to do today people. PICK UP THE PACE! But my favorite - and my regular readers are familiar with my rant against bad parenting - has got to be the mother on the cellphone making lunch plans laughing with her girlfriend about this amazing dress she bought on sale that she didn't need and how her husband is going to go through the roof when he finds out how much she spent but how she's worth it because she hasn't been to the gym in a week because she's had to deal with her sick kid, who by the way is crying for a nap on the floor in a puddle of his own snot next to her. [Whew! That was a long one.] GO HOME & TAKE CARE OF YOUR KID!
The sales staff is just as bad. How desperate are these managers that in order to be hired as holiday staff, your only requirement is a pulse? - and I'm not even sure that's a requirement. No one knows where anything is but worse is that blank gaze you get when you ask a question that stumps them. "Ahhh, I'm not sure." "Why don't you go ask someone instead of standing here slack jawed, texting your buddy about how your job sucks?" Oh, if only I would actually say it - I might not take as much out on my husband. Then there's the cashier who never looks up to greet you, just puts your breakables, unwrapped, next to each other in the bag while she's talking to the other cashier about how her feet hurt. She mumbles the total, to which you reply that she's forgotten your coupon, she huffs, and calls a manager. The manager is always so clearly frazzled, desperately trying to get his staff to work harder, knowing the whole time it's a losing battle; you have to feel sorry for him. But then you remind yourself that he hired these people in the first place so he deserves none of your pity. PLANT A SMILE ON, DO YOUR JOB, & MOAN ABOUT IT WHEN YOU GET HOME!
Clearly, too many years in retail have left me jaded!
Next post: Coordinating the pageantry of Christmas is like staging a huge glitzy Broadway musical, but harder... because after every minute detail has been tended to, Christmas has to look completely effortless. Will she do it all and still have time to run to her stylist for a cut and color to cover the greys that popped up during her parking lot brawls? Stay tuned...
Oh, and I'll try to get back to that post I promised with that mid-20s photo. Not much to report on the exercise front since I haven't been feeling well - I have another sinus infection and this time it feels like someone punched me square in the nose. I already gave my husband grief about it, but he swears it wasn't him, getting me back in my sleep for yelling at him earlier ;-).
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone! Sharing the best of ourselves is what this holiday is all about. Thank you for the privilege of letting me share a bit of myself with all of you.