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Why Holiday Shopping (With Me) Is Never A Good Idea

Let's be honest: I am not the most patient of individuals. People trapped in blazing apartment buildings are usually of a more even-keeled temperment than I am on my best day.

Which means it came as no surprise yesterday when, 15 minutes into being thrust among slow-walking, cell-phone yapping, ugly-sweater wearing individuals, I lost it and started muttering my plans to push the next person who stepped in front of me directly into oncoming traffic and then claim it was an accident. I meant it, too.

Not helping is the fact that Blair and I differ on how to best complete the holiday shopping. Blair favors a thoughtful comparison of gifts, willing to go to three different stores in search of the gift that would bring the greatest amount of joy to the recipient upon tearing open the gift wrap. I, on the other hand, favor the "just grab something and stick it in the bag with the gift receipt and let them return it and get what they want if they don't like it" approach. You can see where we might clash.

Dick's Sporting Goods is where yesterday's first showdown occurred. We found a gift for a nephew but the sports gloves were a Large, not the XL requested.

"I think she said maybe an L or XL," I told Blair. "Let's just get these and go."

"Why don't we go to Sports Authority," he suggested. "It's just up the street."

Okay, technically he's correct. It is just up the street. But this is a pre-Christmas Saturday and the streets are clogged, people are acting like they've never seen a traffic light and don't know how it works, and just getting out of the mall parking lot we were in was going to require patience, pray, and a can of mace.

"These are fine," I begged. "Let's just go."

"Wouldn't it feel better to get the right size?" he asked. "C'mon. It'll just take a minute."

The 3/4 mile drive took almost 12 minutes during which time I'm pretty sure I almost started some sort of gang fight by yelling at people through the closed car windows. When we finally made it in the store and trudged to the glove section... no gloves. I turned to glare at Blair.

"They're here," he said. (He knew he was in trouble.) "I'm sure they're here."

Alas, they were not there. So we went back to the car, fought our way through traffic like a salmon swimming upstream, and ended back in Dick's Sporting Goods. We picked up the Large gloves and went to pay. Which is when we noticed the checkout line that snaked 50 people long to the back of the store.

"I hate people," I said.

"Merry Christmas, honey," said Blair.

Fortunately, we got it all done. Everything is wrapped, labeled, and either sitting under the tree or in boxes being shipped to Illinois and Ohio. We only buy for nieces and nephews. Thank God adults don't exchange gifts or I'd probably end up in jail.

Happy Holidays,


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Reader Comments (5)

hilarious. at least you're done though! me, i stepped inside south point mall in durham this afternoon and practically stepped right back out. i can't deal with the craziness either! i've never threatened anyone though. ;)

December 14, 2008 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterNathan

I feel your pain and share your lack of patience! Other than picking out gag gifts at Big Lots, I do not like Christmas shopping. If I'm really lucky, Keith will go with me and keep me interested in shopping long enough to accomplish our mission. So far, I've managed to find all my gifts at small stores with adequate parking and cashiers. And...the best of all...I found gifts for two people (who are hard to shop for) at a jewelry party while enjoying a glass of wine and the company of friends! I'll have to keep that in mind for next year!

December 14, 2008 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterChristine

This is why I do all my shopping online. I click, they wrap, they ship, I'm done. No long lines. No fruitless hunts. No filling the air with my car's fumes (or breathing the fumes of other people's cars). No risk of murdering anyone. And if the store I try first doesn't have it, two clicks and I'm in another store. For someone like me, born without the shopping gene, it's the only way to go!

December 14, 2008 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterBernie

OK that sounds like something I wrote. I hate shopping and if it can't be bought on the internet your not getting a gift! Merry Christmas Dena!

December 14, 2008 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterrunrgrl2007

sounds like Blair needs a lesson in Christmas Hunting - real men don't shop - we hunt the few exact items we need, and then go home. Kill something- drag it home! time to post...

December 15, 2008 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterKim

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