So, is it time to air my grievances? Ha! My one grievance is that I ordered Christmas gifts online for the first time this year and a number of them are a no-show. Ugh. Maybe had I thought of them as Festivus gifts they would have showed up? So that forced me to head out into holi-mania two days before Christmas. So, as I prepared myself this morning, I thought – why are Christmas shoppers so mad at the world? From personal perspective, I know that I generally hate rude people, long lines and idiot drivers. I thought to myself (as I sipped my first coffee of the day) – I am the commander of my mood, and I want to be joyous as I shop. Decision made. So one of my 48’s is to smile at strangers. Another is to speak to strangers. So that was my goal for the day. Because I need a plan, I decided that anyone I saw today dressed “out there” for Christmas, I would compliment them on their garb in sincerity. I also was determined to smile for the vast majority (at least 83%) of the day. Goal set! Let’s head into the day…
Stop one, the local Walmart. Why, you ask, would I subject myself to the local Walmart I loathe? Because I had ordered something online that needed picked up. So that meant straight in, straight out. But wait, let me grab a basket as I walk in – in case I see stocking stuffers between here and there. Basket is better than a buggy – noncommittal to an entire Walmart adventure. Candy aisle – canes are needed. Whatnots grabbed. Underwear (family tradition that everyone gets new undies and socks for Christmas). I walked from aisle to aisle, festive, smiling. It is true what they say – smile even if you don’t want to and you find yourself in a good mood. It’s the mirror theory. People reflecting back to us what we project and all. Read that somewhere. So, I made it through “little things” shopping, why tempt fate. I picked up my order from the back and as I was heading to the counter, around the corner came a person I do not like. I will never like. No matter how many 48’s I complete or adhere to. I was determined to smile, to let it effing go. I tilted my head back a little and smiled the broadest smile I could offer. Then I caught myself in the jewelry counter mirror – I was one maniacal laugh away from being the Joker! It made me chuckle, broke my irritation and I genuinely smiled. I think I scared her. Merry Christmas to me. Still don’t like her. But I smiled…
In the car I hop and on to Huntington, to the mall, to pick up the odds and ends I found myself missing because of online shopping failures. Smiles abounds. I stop at AC Moore’s and as I am walking out of the store, I see a Dad with an angsty teenager. He is wearing a Santa suit tshirt. It is out there. I get a few feet in front of him and as we are passing, I say “Nice shirt. Merry Christmas.” He smiled a huge smile and thanked me. He was a little further away from me when I heard him say, “See, SHE liked my tshirt.” And the angsty reply, “She was being sarcastic Dad.” Wait…no….for once…. It was still fun though. There was a couple wearing matching elf shirts. They got an attaboy. There was a couple discussing the booze they bought at Drug Emporium who I agreed with that I could not see why Frank liked Miller – it does taste like piss after all. Then I made it to BAM. Holy crap the crowded aisles! I had specific needs, I knew where they were and was able to easily navigate my way through (not as pleasant as me) shoppers. As I was standing in the very long line for the register, giggling at the 20-something girl in front of me who was reveling in all the cat things she was purchasing and being boastful of how it was going to aggravate the crap out of her sister, a person walked past me that I like even less than the person from this morning. The douche who made me bust open a cash box because he needed money for whippits. I frowned. He was looking me dead in the face with “that look”. Then I was pissed at him that I frowned. Damn. Double damn. I was on a streak. He walked out of the store and into the mall. Now I was on a mission. I paid for my gifts and made my way down the mall. I walked all the way to the other end. I realized that I did not need to prove a point to him that I could smile in the face of adversity. And then I smelled pretzels, and just like Doug The Dog, I squirreled the eff right out of my bad mood and into a handful of greasy dough tied in a knot. As I juggled my bags, my pretzel (with pepperoni on it) and a bottle of healthy water (to balance out the artery-hardening carb monster I was chowing on) I spotted him. In line with his daughter to see Santa. Before you think it, no, I did not charge up to him and scream “eff you I am a happy person”. I walked past (looking like Melissa McCartney in Tammy, a little bit of a slob yet with a good heart deep in that oversized sweatshirt) and looked over at him and smiled as bigly as I could (If the president-elect can say that word, I can use it too!). He may have seen me, he may not have. At that point I lost the top half of my pretzel and lost the will to carry on with my insanity. After a moment of despair, I tossed the dropped portion of the pretzel in the garbage and made my way out of the mall.
I made a couple extra stops along the way but, in all, it was a productive day. I didn’t yell, scream, have road rage or hate on (well, fully invested hate on) anyone during my excursion today. I smiled, I had pleasant conversation and I survived it all.
A couple of thoughts on the other end… The Christian bookstore does not sell Catholic merchandise. Is that because they do not consider us Christians? Are all Christian bookstores of that train of thought?
Who puts a steamy pile of poop on a Christmas gift as a name tag? Do you put it on the person’s gift you like the least?
Who in their right mind would think that Apple Pie Tic Tacs would be a good thing?
Poo-Dough? Seriously? You realize that after a week of having multi colored PLAY dough you end up with brown (all the colors mix together to that weird brownish hue). Did they think they would capitalize on that?
And finally, the little Big Book of Breasts – Like Gump, I have nothing to say about that….