I Hate Shopping in December

Last weekend was a prime example of why Husband and I like to get all of our Christmas shopping done before December. Early Saturday morning, I sent husband on an errand. He isn’t very good with details, so I wrung my hands nervously as I watched him back out of the driveway with a page-long list of specific directions from yours truly:

  1. Take the garbage/recycling to the dump. – We don’t have garbage pickup at our country home. We could have… for a price we weren’t willing to pay. Especially when the local recycling and garbage business is approx. 2 miles from our home!
  2. Stop at [local big chain] and return a pack of Christmas cards I didn’t open, then buy a few packs of stamps. – I almost peed myself with excitement with I realized we could buy stamps at [local big chain]. For the life of me, I can never make it to the Post Office before they close!
  3. Put those stamps on the stack of Christmas cards I have done, go to the post office (BEFORE NOON) and send them out. – He didn’t make it before noon, either…
  4. Get a sweater for $20 for Husband’s giving tree gift at work. – I had to get uber-specific here or husband would have gotten poor “Karen” a men’s flannel shirt. Probably not what “Karen” would have wanted. Husband’s fashion sense is usually… lacking…
  5. Stop at two different family owned stores 30 minutes away for gift cards for family members. – I try to shop locally at family owned stores whenever I can to help out the local economy. I encourage everyone to do the same!
  6. Get groceries. – Y.I.K.E.S.

I was nervous for another reason, too. Husband and I just can’t handle shopping on weekends. And shopping on weekends in December turns us into murderous monsters. We just can not handle the crowding, the thoughtless or rude people, the traffic and bad drivers and the list goes on and on and on. I can usually handle it better than husband, who is typically mild-mannered. But boy does he turn into a beast on weekend shopping days in December. And boy did he have a monster of a list of errands to run… (For the record, I volunteered to do these errands, but he insisted on doing it.)

While he was away, the mail came. More specifically, my super-cute heeled boots came!  They went from $40 to $25 after discounts and sale prices were applied. *takes a bow*

Say hello to my new favorite shoes.

Say hello to my new favorite shoes.

I then remembered that Gigi, my Grandma, had called me a few days prior asking me to get the kids gifts on her behalf, gave me a price range and said she’d pay me back at our family Christmas. I was very apprehensive to go Christmas shopping over the weekend, but this was the perfect opportunity to take my boots for a test-drive and break them (and my feet!) in! It was settled.

Husband got home, frazzled, exhausted and forever-done-with-all-things-Christmas-related, and I went out into the fray with a list I had compiled in his absence. I headed straight for the store, feeling all kind of gorgeous in my new boots. I immediately noticed the incredibly full parking lot and gulped. I’ve gotten far too used to shopping in the middle of the day on a weekday when the rest of humanity is at work. This was going to be… busy.

I pulled into the lot and decided to just park farther away to avoid confrontation. I was halfway through my turn into the aisle when Douchebag Driver came flying out of his aisle, cutting off another car, and went careening around the corner to fly into my intended aisle. He almost hit me before slamming on his brakes and throwing his hands in the air. As if I was the one at fault. *eyeroll* I bit my tongue and finished pulling into the aisle, leaving the idiot behind me. Literally and figuratively. As I pulled in, I saw someone pulling out of a spot, and another truck waiting to pull in with their blinker on. I waved at Blinker, letting him know I wasn’t going to take his coveted parking spot, and left plenty of room for the other car to back out.

Enter Douchebag Driver.

He suddenly appeared next to me, driving around my car, momentarily blocking the car pulling out, then backed up so close to my front bumper that I could see the bald spot on his nasty, greasy head. Ooooooooh, you son of a… *deep breath* No, no. Douchebag Driver isn’t worth the anger or the car repairs that I’d probably have to pay for the road rage I’m contemplating on inflicting on him at this point.

The car backs out after giving Douchebag Driver a nasty look, and Douchebag Driver proceeds to TAKE THE SPOT! Seriously, dude?! Both Blinker and I laid on our horns at Douchebag Driver, and Blinker pulled up right behind Douchebag Driver and began yelling out the window. I backed out of the confrontation with a foul taste in my mouth and parked in the back of the lot.

I got into the store and immediately noted the herds of people milling about, blocking all of my usual main routes. Oh, boy. No wonder Husband was so frazzled when he got home… I braced myself and headed for the toy department. My goal was to find a baby doll for each of the twins and a big truck of some sort for Buddy. I have never bought the girls a doll, so I never realized just how many dolls there were out there, how expensive they were or how complicated they’ve become! The girls are going to be 2 in March, so they don’t understand how to take care of a fever or change a diaper. God do I wish they could change diapers… Finally, after digging through a mountain of giggling, pooping, burping and wailing dolls, I found a simple, action-less doll with a change of clothes and a few bottles and brushes for their… uh… plastic hair. Then I got a doll stroller and a doll pack-n-play for $10 each. The girls were done for a very reasonable price and I knew my sanity would stay intact at home with these poop-less, belch-less, noise-less dolls.

The next aisle was full of tractors and trucks. Perfect. Buddy got a John-Deere tractor with a trailer. You may think that’s kind of boring, but if you knew Buddy, you’d know how perfect this is for him. He loves big machines. We live next to a farm, so any time he sees a tractor, he dashes to the window and jumps up and down, yelling, “TRACTOR! TRACTOR, TRACTOR TRACTORRRRRRR!!!!” Husband usually does this when he sees tractors, too… I also got Buddy a noisy little toy gator. No, not the animal, the pimped out golf cart. He discovered his great grandparent’s gator this past thanksgiving and fell in love with them.

Buddy loves the EZ-GO!

Buddy loves the EZ-GO!

Once I had my gifts from Gigi done, I noticed my feet were starting to hurt a little bit from the heels. This was to be expected considering I never, ever wear heels and these ones are brand new. But, I reminded myself, no pain, no gain! So, I moved on quickly to the next two things on my list. Ribbon and brownies.

I usually get distracted by all of the shiny objects in fabrics and crafts, but as I navigated through the herds to the other side of the store, I noticed the discomfort in the balls of my feet escalating quickly. These were not shoes for putzing. I quickly found a simple roll of ribbon and checked my list off. Next? Brownies. After husband got groceries and came home, we realized he forgot brownies. Uuuuh… no. So, once again, I made my way through the herds and found the cake/cupcake/muffin/round cake/pound cake/angel food cake/strudel/wherethehellaremybrownies section. The shelves that should have held my favorite store brand brownies – were empty. I scowl and grab a non-store-brand family sized box of brownies and toss them in the cart.

I just want to go home and get these boots off because my feet really hurt now. I’m starting to get angry and impatient. At everything. And everyone. Especially those people who leave their cart on one side of the aisle and stand on the other, blocking everyone and pretending they don’t notice it. Then when I politely say, “excuse me” I get a glare or an eye roll as if I’m the annoying one. No, you moron. Just… no.

I look at what’s next on my list. WD-40. SON OF A… that’s on the other side of the store back in Hardware. UGH! I brace myself on the cart and begin trudging/limping back through the herds of shoppers, narrowly escaping serious injury from a five-year-old yielding his totally unobservant mother’s cart. *deep breath*

I get to Hardware and look at the aisle signs… not sure where exactly to start looking for WD-40. Hmm… I start walking along the aisles, which span the entire length of the store from front to back. Of course. I get from the back of the store to the front with no success. I turn around and try again. Still no luck. And my feet… my poor feet… I want to whimper at this point. I brace myself and make one more round through Hardware, this time walking through every aisle, even the unlikely ones, trying to find this one stupid can of WD-40. I am NOT going home without this stupid… *deeeeep breath*

Then, finally, I see the tire and lube express. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who still giggles at “lube”). So I head over to the oil aisle, hoping and praying that my suspicion is correct. I scan over the products and spy a shelf in the darkest, filthiest corner of the entire store. Two older men stood in the aisle, staring at me like I was the thing from the black lagoon. Whatever, dudes. I can look good in these boots and change the oil in my car. Bite me. I go to the shelf and, low and behold… WD-40.

I almost dance on the spot as I grab it from the shelf and whip it into the shopping cart. I was finally home free. I got to the front and by some miracle, get to an open checkout counter. I paid and headed for the front door, rolling my eyes dramatically at the groups (yes, more than one) of women standing directly in front of the doors and gossiping. I bark out a slightly annoyed, “EXCUUUSE me.” to the women who look at me with disdain… until the see the look on my face, which I can only compare to an Orc.

They stepped aside silently and I trudged past them, eyes on the prize. I made it to the car, whipped everything in the trunk and smashed the shopping cart a little too aggressively into the cart corral. I practically fell into the car and immediately took off the boots.

[insert exaggerated sigh of relief here]

When I got home, Husband asked me how shopping was. I just gave him a look. The look. He laughed and nodded his head in agreement. I’m afraid to know how his trip into town went with his SIX errands he had to run. Poor, poor Husband. One thing was for sure. We weren’t doing anything above and beyond necessary until after bedtime for the kids. And we were drinking. Alcohol. Now.

After a thankfully easy bedtime for the kids, we grudgingly took out all of the gifts we’ve accumulated for everyone. It was wrapping time. My gift wrapping started off nicely enough. Everything was beautiful and square and even and perfect. But after a few thousand gifts and a roll of tape that just would not tear nicely, my patience began to wear thin. Again.

By the end, the gifts looked like this:

If you receive this gift, don’t you dare complain. Husband’s gifts look worse. Merry Effing Christmas.

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