Monday, December 20, 2010

I Got Your Bah Humbug Right Here

I’ve never really had this happen before, but today I could actually feel when the Christmas spirit left my body.

It many of my near breakdown experiences Wal-Mart.

Now, you all know that I have been trying to jolly not only myself but my kids through the holidays this year.  And to be honest...I feel like I’ve done a pretty damn good job of it so far.

But good ol’ Wal-Mart just sucked the Christmas spirit out right of me.  While I was standing next to the chicken broth.

First of all...let me just say...and this goes for any time of the year...widows should have reserved parking at any store they frequent.  At the time of death of our loved ones, we should be handed a form of the top 10 stores we go to the most and then have someone say, “Very well then.  You will have slot number 20 at all of these stores.”

Nothing makes you feel like you have “widda brain” more than when you walk into a store while it’s still daylight and then walk out when it’s dark, slamming your thumb on the panic button of your key thingy trying to find your car, wondering, “Did I park on the grocery side or the maxi pad side?”

If you’re a guy...that’s the dog food side.

Anyway, I made it in okay.  Got my cotton balls and my lotion and then headed over to the grocery section of the store.  I’d like to be able to say that we looked like ants at a picnic...that would have been an upgrade.  What we really looked like was...well...a bunch of people at Wal-Mart the Monday before Christmas.

The second I looked at that madhouse I felt drained.  But I gripped my cart, took a deep breath, and dove in.  The only thing that made me feel better was the poor girl who had a toddler who I think was training to be the world’s youngest stunt double and a baby strapped to the front of her peacefully sleeping.

On a side note...I often wonder...where in the hell is her husband?  Why does she have both kids with her???  And then I automatically think...

...I wonder if she’s widowed.  Weird, huh?

So.  Got my sponges.  A little butter.  Some cheese.  I’m feeling pretty good right about now.

Then it hits.  That’s right.

The bakery aisle.

Of this point...I make a total rookie mistake.  I get everything I think I need only to get all the way down to the end of the aisle and realize I forgot something at the other end.

I know.  Really?  How long have I been doing this?

I started to wonder...what happened to the magic of the holidays?  I remember loving Christmas as a kid!  When December 26th hit, I’d start making my list for the next year.  Christmas was such a magical time.  The days went way too slowly and it seemed like Christmas would never get here.  Unlike now, when I realize it’s the middle of November and I haven’t bought a damn thing and “anxiety” isn’t a strong enough word for what I’ve got.

Then for some reason, while I was contemplating the chicken broth, I realized.

Crap.  I’m an adult.

Christmases past where my mom would be sitting on a couch in a red sweater with a glazed-over look on her face and her complexion some odd mixture of green and yellow...suddenly came into focus for me.  And the fact that she would have short term Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome until about March and really not remember much about Christmas day...really made sense.

All of the sudden...I wanted out.  Out of the holidays.  Out of the responsibilities.  And ultimately...out of Wal-Mart.

I was D-U-N...DONE.  And that’s when my attitude took an evil turn.

To that woman who had her cart parked sideways in the middle of the condiment’re lucky you didn’t get t-boned.

To the woman in front of me checking out who decided to tell her entire life story to the 17-year-old checker who could really give a crap about the name her 2-year-old calls her 4-year-old (while she had to have her cart totaled in 3 different transactions)...move along.  Some of us have wine to drink when we get home.

To all of those magazines staring at me while I waited behind that woman to check out for 30 minutes...I know you’re mocking me.  I can’t make the perfect gingerbread house.  You know what Rachel?  I’d like to tell you what to do with that perfect smile.  And to my buddy Oprah...can’t you see I’m trying to live my best life?  Stop pressuring me!

And to Mr. Holiday in general...I will beat you.  Today was just an off day.  I will wake up tomorrow with a slight headache and the Christmas spirit in my heart once again.

I’ll see you next to the chicken broth again, buddy.  You.  Me.  Christmas...2011.

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© Catherine Tidd 2010

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