Monday, December 19, 2011

The Holidays are Here! OR The Mall is My True Hell This Time of Year

Christmas is only 6 days away.  I've got shopping to do, but here I sit at my beloved Mac, staring at a snow, white screen, the blinking cursor mocking me.  Whaddya got, hmmm? Nothin'?  I thought so.

Yeah, pretty much.  Nothin'.  But these things happen, right?  My well is dry.  I'm immersed in so much logistics and industry speak and corporate meetings, that, first chance I get to sit down and write for me, what do I do?  I shun my beautiful Mac...and head to the mall.  Where, suffice it to say, nary a word is found.  But people...oh the people!  This isn't Walmart, mind you.  But the people are out in droves.  And today (sing along with me, won't you?)

These are the people in my neighborhood
in my neighborhood
in my neighborhood
OH, these are the people in my neighborhood, 
the people that I meet each day...

The Professional Shopper...On a Mission (from God)
This gal takes no mall prisoners.  She walks with purpose, cutting a swath through the throng of holiday shoppers that would impress Moses.  She checks off the items neatly listed in her iPhone notes page one by one, heads to the check out where she whips out that debit card (not a credit card for this pro, no, she's got her budget down to a science) like she's ten paces out in an old western.

The Stressed Mom
Not only has she lost the napkin on which was scribbled her list of gifts to buy, but she can't find the damn coupons she's been saving for just this day...this ONE day that she was able to escape without the kids.  She's got exactly 2 hours and 14 minutes left to get ALL of her shopping done.  Her husband just called to ask her where the number for Pizza Hut is, and she can hear screaming in the background.  She starts grabbing things - any things - off shelves in an effort to buy something - anything.  She fishes in her purse for a credit card - any credit card - and pulls out used tissues, a pacifier and a half-eaten sucker in the process.

The Lost Husband
He knows he hasn't bought a single gift yet, but he's so enjoying himself at the Apple store.  When he finally realizes the mall closes in 45 minutes, he gets nervous and heads straight for the only place he knows he'll find something his wife will like...the jewelry store.  There he stands, hands leaning on the glass, eyes peering into the long wall of cases.  A diamond heart necklace is on sale - especially for the holidays - the ad says every woman wants one.  He is about to do something he'll later regret, but right now, the game is still on, and he could use a beer.  So he buys two; one for his wife, one for his mother.  Poor bastard.

The Hungry/Tired/Bored Toddler (aka "Screaming Kid")
There's one in every mall, isn't there?  Poor thing.  She's been dragged around for hours, had a lunch of dry cheerios and a seventeen minute nap in the car, and is made to walk right past all the shiny toys, beautiful dolls and cozy stuffed animals.  No, her mama tells her, you must wait until Christmas.  Here come the tears.  The kicking.  The screaming.  The making-my-whole-body-like-wet-spaghetti-so-you-can't-pick-me-up-and-drag-me-out-of-here.  What this child needs is a babysitter.  And an hour of fresh air.

Don'tcha just love the holidays!?  Got any mall war stories to share?


  1. Beth--You've made me so glad I've been able to avoid the malls so far. How about the "Midnight Cowboy," the guy who does all his shopping on Christmas Eve at Walgreens, which guarantees he will be wrapping up gaudy and god-awful gifts to put under the tree...

  2. Well by gum by golly, you've certainly captured the mall people. Hope you find an abundance of time and WORDS to write.

  3. That was funny and well... true! Then don't forget the ones who are all finished, but love being in the hustle bustle of it all and just walk around in it... ugh.

  4. I laughed out loud! On Tuesday, I was at the mall at 8:15am and I was finished with my Christmas shopping two hours later. Shopping on-line just isn't a challenge and it's no fun.
    PS I just loved Mr. Rogers:-)

  5. This is a riot and so true. You need to submit this somewhere and get paid for it. Then go buy yourself an after-Christmas present.