The Mister and I began our shopping last Monday, because A) we both have the day off and B) if I have to suffer, then so does he. (I've never understood the whole "the woman does the shopping for the entire family" thing....just because I won the X Chromosome lottery does not mean I like slogging through the bargain DVD bin at Best Buy any more than he does.)
A few things that caught my attention this time around:
- There is a lot of shit for sale out there. Seriously, who really thinks to themselves "The only real impediment to my happiness is an interactive tyrannosaurus rex "? or "God, there's no point in living if I don't have a Richard the Lionheart toilet seat cover."
- The combination of big winter coats and overstuffed stores is a recipe for disaster. Claire's was so jammed with crap that when I turned around to see what was behind me, I took out an entire display of "Hello Kitty" backpacks. (Just to tell you, if you've never been in "Claire's", and believe me, you should thank your lucky stars if that's the case, it is a store for girls that looks as though each and every Disney princess threw up in it. It is stocked to the rafters with hairbands, earrings, key fobs, jewelry cases, necklaces, purses, makeup and diaries, all of them in pink and purple and covered in glitter. It's craptastic.)
- There should be a special place in hell for people who walk through the mall and just stop. Especially if they are talking on a cell phone while doing it. Seriously, if you can't carry on a converstion while remaining in motion then maybe you should walk over to the side, where there isn't anyone else trying to get by you while plotting your imminent and violent death.
- When there is a line behind you a mile long, it's probably not a good idea to pull out that expired coupon for 10% off and insist on it's redemption to the pimply, minimum wage earning clerk who has the IQ of a carrot. The people in that line are going to snap.
- Caffeine, and plenty of it, is the drug that makes Christmas shopping at all bearable. I asked the Mister to go into the drive-through at Tim Hortons on our way to the mall, and he, the non-coffee drinker that he is, asked if I really needed to. I replied that I was deadly serious, and did he honestly want to go shopping me me unmedicated? He silently and wisely pulled into the drive-through. Regular and copious administrations of carbohydrates help too.
- Gift certificates are the greatest invention of modern man. Forget computers and indoor plumbing and internal combustion engines, the fact that I can just go in, get one of those little plastic cards and be done with my shopping makes me want to weep with gratitude.
- Wal-Mart is hell. The narrow aisles, the surly help (when you can find it), the unending Christmas music and the ever-present screaming toddlers makes Wal-Mart my Number One Place To Avoid In December. This is followed closely by Costco, Zellers and (shudder) Toys R Us. Truly, if they played rap music, served blue cheese and required me to wear high heels, it would be a perfect hell.
The only thing worse than Christmas shopping, I think, is Boxing Day shopping, and luckily, I don't have to do that.