Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Little Taste Of Hell...or...The Joys of Christmas Shopping

What happens to people during the holidays? Typically I encounter your normal, run-of-the-mill idiots on a fairly regular basis, but at Christmas, oh at Christmas, the special idiots flood the stores and flock to my side.

It's a gift.

For the last several days, I have been committed to finishing the Christmas shopping to put an end to my interactions with the socially challenged. In doing so, I have had to endure many, many encounters with such individuals and I have to say that I am about ready to snap. These interactions aren't just limited to the stores either, oh no, they can and do happen everywhere.

There was a lady at Wal Mart the other day that was of the elderly persuasion and she was using one of those Rascal style scooters. I have no problem with the scooters if, IF you actually need to use one, but this lady parked her giant scooter in the middle of the isle and wandered aimlessly up and down trying to decided between snowman wrapping paper and Santa wrapping paper. Not wandered like drove up and down the isle, but got out of the scooter and walked...WALKED up and down the isle. Really, then why the scooter lady?

Anyway, it was impossible to pass her and so I had to stand there waiting, watching, taking bets on which paper it would be...I was giving the snowman five to one odds, when she put...the...paper...back! Are you kidding me lady? We have been standing here for twenty minutes and you aren't even going to end it with a choice? I can't live with that decision. I won't accept it. I feel like I just spent $8.00 on a movie ticket, wasted two hours of my life watching a mind-numbingly boring saga about a woman's right to choose wrapping paper, and then it ends with her waking up from a dream and she was never really buying paper. When I went to Customer Service to demand a ticket refund, they called security and I was asked not to return to Wal Mart.

Then there was the guy who was standing in the middle of the road chatting it up with his buddy who was sitting in a truck which blocked any and all traffic from passing. Why do people do this? Wouldn't it be just as well to pull over to the side of the road so that traffic could continue as normal? Oh no, our discussion about huntin' and how to properly gut a deer in the middle of our front yard for all of the world and teeny tiny children to see is WAY more important than you getting to your appointment on time!

I slowed down and sat there waiting patiently, when the idiot that was standing there chatting it up started violently, VIOLENTLY waving his arm for me to go around them. The look on his face was so hostile I about wet my pants. Of course I locked the doors and then sped on past muttering something about brain dead, redneck assholes as I went by. I felt all big and brave with the doors locked, but who gets that mad over someone wanting to go around you when YOU are the idiot blocking the road? Psychopaths, that’s who.

The best encounter though was when I went to JC Penny yesterday. Elyse and I had already been to Target and she had stayed in the big part of the cart the whole time being very well-behaved and only threw items out of the cart every five minutes as opposed to every other minute like usual. So when we got to JC Penny, I felt too guilty to make her sit in another cart and so I let her walk. Am I stupid or what? About two minutes in, I began to rethink my position on leashes for children and then proceeded to jog behind Elyse trying to keep her from running amuck. I found the item that I was looking for (FYI: I can't say what it is because it is a Christmas gift not because it's something naughty or embarassing.  I'm just sayin.) and headed to the checkout and that is where the encounter took place. It involved two different women, three if you count the sales lady.

Elyse was incredibly ornery and she refused to stay in line with me. She would stand on the opposite side of the line divider thingy and just grin at me as hard as she could, daring me to run after her. I was careful not to move a muscle because that's all it would have taken to send her barreling for the door at top speed. For a split second though I lost focus when another woman got in line behind me and I turned to look at her. That's all it took. Elyse heard the gunshot and she was off. I dropped everything and ran after her and dragged her back in line kicking and screaming. When I put her down next to me I grabbed her hand to keep her close and she went completely limp and dropped to the ground. She lay there, looking up at me, with that same naughty grin on her face that said, "Who's the boss now Mommy?" The harder I tried to make her stand up, the more jello-like she got. It was like all of the bones had been removed from her body and she was one huge pile of booger and puffy winter coat.

So I left her there on the floor. What else was I supposed to do? Well, the lady behind me had all kinds of opinions and she voiced them through a conversation with Elyse. She kept saying things like, "Oh, you don't want to lie on the ground. That floor is going to get you all dirty. You are too pretty to lie on the floor like that." So I started to get embarrassed and actually gave a flying monkey's ass about what she thought and so I started to try, try being the word, to make her stand up again, but she was not going for it. Now I'm starting to drop my stuff and I'm sweating. My chest is breaking out in a rash and the room is getting so hot I can barely breathe.

As I am struggling with Gumby, I noticed the lady in front of me and I realized, holy hell she has been there for a really long time. That's because she was checking out every other item separately. I started mumbling stuff like, "You've got to be kidding me. Lady, you're killing me," but that didn't make her move any faster. The cashier noticed my situation, locked eyes with me, and kind of motioned toward the lady checking out while rolling her eyes. She mouthed an apology, but it did little to help ease my distress.

Meanwhile, opinion lady kept up her disapproving monologue with Elyse and Elyse continued to lie on the floor.

Finally, the lady finished all of her transactions, cast a disapproving look toward Elyse, and strolled out the door. I sat Elyse on the counter and held her there straight jacket style while the cashier rang up my item. It took me five attempts to put in my pin number due to the struggling and thrashing, but I finally got it in there, took my receipt, and ran, head down, for the door. On our way out, I told Elyse how lucky she is that she is cute because otherwise I would have bartered with the cashier; Elyse for the thing that I was buying. She just smiled and gave me a big hug. She's a master manipulator.

Despite all of the painful holiday encounters, I am just about finished with all of the shopping. It shouldn't take much more to get it all done, and I have decided that Elyse will not be accompanying me on any more shopping outings. The sad thing is that I think that I am becoming one of them. The other day I cut off the same lady with my shopping cart three times in a row. The first and second time she seemed ok with it, but by the third time I could see a little irritation brewing. Hey, maybe she wrote about me in her blog about stupid holiday shoppers. Trust me lady, your day is coming. By the time December 24th rolls around, we will all be mindless, wandering, zombie idiots together.