I awoke this morning with purpose! I was going to knock out the remainder (I just said ‘re-reindeer’ in my head after I typed that – I’m so goofy with holiday spirit right now) of my holiday shopping, be home by noon and clean the house.
The way I actually woke was to Butters standing over me like Clifford the Dog – towering with unrelenting eyeballs on me. I had intended to be out of the house by 8:30, maybe sleep in a little. Afterall, it is Saturday. I had hit the snooze (alarm is set at 6 a.m. even on the weekends) only once. But, Ok. She must need to go out …
Nope. The minute I got up, she curled back up into an adorable normal sized dog ball and I stood glaring at her with half-opened eyes and my ‘really?!?’ face. I’d been had.
But up I was.
I forewent the shower – splashed water on my face, brushed my teeth – grabbed a cup of coffee, threw on a pair of jeans – a sweater and my Uggs, snagged my hair into a pony tail and put a little color on my lips since I would be in public. (I have seriously pale lips – wouldn’t want anyone thinking I was from The Walking Dead and bothering me for autographs whilst I was trying to shop.)
Ta Da! Time to get ‘er done.
I hit the road. And, every green light! It was amazing!
I gassed up the car, went to the bank and then onto my first stop.
Things were going well. Too well.
Then I got to Wal-Mart.
ANYWAY! I succeeded in filling my cart with only the items on my list, except for one.
I was in a certain aisle – and no employee was in sight.
I had taken a photo of a certain thing I needed (I can’t go into detail, it’s a gift for my mom and she reads this thing from time to time) – and was not finding it.
I saw a kindly looking old man …
I say ‘old’ but I’m such a poor judge of age anymore!
He was grey, and had glasses, and a checkered button up shirt and yeah, I’ll say it, ‘old man’ jeans on.
Bottom line, he seemed sweet and safe and kindly and harmless.
I asked him:
“Do you know much about **** <— secret thing”
“I know a little” he said.
Which, was more than I knew. So I showed him the photo of ‘the thing’.
“Oh, you need specialty … here, let’s look.”
Aw! How sweet was this guy??
We couldn’t find the item – and he suggested I find the guy in charge of this particular section. I agreed.
“OK, thank you so much!”
I walked away … and heard him say – “DAMN! That was the hottest thing I’ve seen in years!”
I don’t receive compliments well, even from the best intended … I could still see him walking up the aisle and looked to see who he was talking to. No one. No one was in the aisle. And the way he said it – wasn’t like a ‘Golly gee!’ type of tone.
I slunk away pushing my cart feeling like I’d just seen an older person do something perfectly normal but not. Because they’re older and we have this unreasonable expectation that they’re supposed to be all cookies and Ovaltine.
Well, I do anyway.
Besides, I was NOT hot. I wasn’t even luke warm. I told Nic about it when I got home and said, “take a photo of me not being hot so I can put it on my blog’
Here it is.
I hurried, as much as someone can across a football field length of Wal-Mart footage to the other end of the store and grabbed what I needed there.
I returned to the garden department area – stopping at the pet section – and …
“Oh, Hi Again!”
“Oh hi!” I said, with a smile. Inside I was feeling knots.
There he was.
And he suddenly didn’t look like someone safe and sweet and helpful.
I’m not joking here. My gut was sending out little red flags for some reason.
He followed me a bit. I chose the garden department to check out and kept looking over my shoulder.
It creeped me out. If I had spotted him watching me check out, I was going to ask the lady at the register to have an employee watch me get to my car.
And then in the car, I felt a little awful about it.
What if no one had spoken to him in a very long time? What if he wasn’t even buying ‘xxxx’ (<— secret things from the shop), but just wanted to be there with people? Needed interaction?
Bottom line though, is my gut is usually right, and I’ll assume I did the right thing with being a teensy bit concerned, AND with wondering if he just wanted some interaction – which I gave him.
Oh it’s SO hard to concentrate at work! It’s quiet – and I’m alone. (I literally just echoed ‘alone, alone, alone’ in my head just for fun, I’m so in need of stimulation!)
I’ve cleaned the office, twice.
Sorted files that were already sorted.
All the while, I’m mentally checking off everything that needs to be done tonight and this weekend.
1st world problems eh?
There are such atrocities occurring right this second in the world – I should be ashamed of myself.
My biggest issue right now is hoping my key doesn’t stick in my ignition after parking at a shop.
I have a gift to pick up that arrived at the store I had it sent to. I have a project to pick up and buy frames for. Lots of ‘little’ shopping to do this weekend, and clean clean clean the house. (That time there was no echo, just repetition for effect – my house is a pig sty right now.)
I say it every year, so why should this year be different? My most favorite day is Christmas Eve!!!!!!!!!
I’m a big fan of anticipation. Looking forward to something.
‘Merry’ is still hanging in the air – hope and sparkly eyeballs are still about.
5 minutes after gathering around our little tree Christmas morning and it will be all ripped paper and disheveled bows and … over.
And yeah, I know, the gifts aren’t the ‘reason for the season’ – and I’ll spare you my anti-religion tirade. But what tops the joy of giving a token of appreciation to someone that makes time on this planet joyful– for me – is the looking forward to doing it!
Before we know it – this entire year will be scrapbook fodder.
Then onto 2015.
It’s crazy. How time really DOES fly – especially the older we get.
I’m grateful for every minute – and grateful for you all and grateful for my 1st world problems.
Be careful out there this weekend if you, like me, are insanely putting yourself in the throngs of shoppers and traffic.
I got up at the crack of dawn, full of Christmas spirit – okay, I lie. I was tired, had no coffee in the house and there was ice on my car.
Woke up to the best of my uncaffeinated ability and hit the town.
I’m not joking when I say the oil change I decided to get after the first shop, was the fastest errand of the bunch!
My first stop was at a home improvement store. I stood – like a total idiot – staring at aisle after aisle hoping what I had come for would leap out at me. Now, MOST home improvement stores offer over eager staff asking you ‘can I help you find something?’ – I must have been there too early for that shift.
Finally someone did notice my obvious ‘I need help’ body language and promptly directed me to a very close, very large end cap that held the thing I needed.
Crossed that off the list. “Do you have a Lowes card with us?” No I don’t. “Would you like one?” No I wouldn’t – this is the only time of the year I come here. “Oh, shopping for the husband?” Yeah, my invisible one. No – my dad. (Awkward look from the clerk) “Okay, Merry Christmas!”
Next store. I walked around for probably and hour. Finding a million things I would love to have that probably no one would imagine I would love to have. Walking Dead action figures … Big Bang Theory ‘magnetic dress up Sheldon’. Love the store. Anyway, I was making the staff nervous I think. I don’t think I look like a shop lifter? (If there is such a ‘shop lifting look’) but I did look confused and out-of-place. Maybe even bordering on ‘shifty’.
Someone finally got brave enough to approach me “Can I help you find something?” No, I’m waiting for something to find me. “Oh, I completely understand”she said. I think she really did you know. I think she got me.
So I found her again later only to find out the ‘thing’ I wanted was on sale LAST week.
NEXT store – actually, that’s when I got the oil change. They were FAST! I didn’t know you could change oil that fast?!
Now, by the time I reached my next destination I was fading. Looking more like a Walking Dead action figure than a woman.
Found myself trying to think of ways to walk that conveyed to the multitude of Salvation Army bell ringers that I was a good person, I did give to one of them, but that I couldn’t give to all of them. Pfft. Impossible. I guiltily shuffled past them, eyes downcast, feeling like I had stolen the “Merry Christmas” they offered me since I didn’t put anything in their red cauldron.
I’m now exhausted – only 3 more stores to go! I can only imagine what the store personnel were thinking when they made eye contact with me. Eyes glazed, eyebrows knit into the little sad helpless pathetic diagonal position, lids heavy, legs unable to go faster than a slow shuffle. I just stood looking at things with no clue what I was looking at.
I called it done when the headache, from having no morning coffee, threw a penalty flag on my shopping play.
Crawled into a gas station to get a cup of coffee, stood in yet another line waiting to pay for it, while I suckled from it through the little ‘stirry’ straw like a comfort sippy cup.
One minute more out there and someone would have eventually found me wedged between display shelves rocking back and forth, possibly sucking my thumb.
The good news is – after ‘chilling out’ for about 1/2 an hour, finishing that nectar of the Gods through my stirry straw – I found enough energy to do it all over again, at the grocery store.
I’m calling it done now. Done! I’m done. My dried out eyeballs say I’m done, my tingling feet say I’m done. And my bank balance says I’m done.
My son went out with his friend while I was prepping a crock pot with tonight’s dinner – there’s now two new presents under the tree. One says ‘For that lady that lives with me’ the other says ‘A.K.A. mom’.
He even wrapped them.
Oh crap. I have to wrap too huh?
You know, I joke – I half heartedly whine, but I KNOW how blessed I am this year to even BE Christmas shopping. I’m so very, very grateful for the food in my cupboard, the gifts that need wrapping and having people in my life to shop for.
Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad and Merry Christmas shopping to all.