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,