Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Christmas: I'm Getting Good Again

I brace myself for a little holiday shopping. NOT on Black Friday, I protest that day every year because it tears apart the whole idea of Christmas and makes me want to choke on my undigested turkey. This year, I could have “stuffed my bag with blowout sales” at 5:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening.

Imagine me at the dinner table saying:

“Pass the yams, please, and my coat. Thanks, I have to get to Walmart.”

It’s disgusting. In addition to the media mockery of Christ’s birth, I seem to notice more rudeness everywhere I go, and I have to work extra hard to control my temper. It’s like God gives you a test at the holidays to see how mild and forgiving you can be.

Watch me score a B+ this year in Christmas Anger Management, Jesus! I know I can do it. (That’s a prayer, by the way, and I’m being realistic here.)

I go to the mall on a Saturday morning to buy gifts. That goes rather smoothly, until I get on line. To my right is a pile of stuff: bags of bows, wrapping paper and Christmas cards. The box of holiday cards catches my eye. On the front is the image of Mary and baby Jesus. It is one of the most beautiful Christmas cards I’ve ever seen. I pick the box up just to get a closer look. Then I hear:

“Uh, EXCUSE ME, that’s mine.”

Startled, I look up to find the owner of the voice. It’s this little woman with very tightly curled black hair. Her expression suggests that someone has pinched her. Her arms are full of things and she must have rested the cards on the pile because she was holding too much. I figure this out quickly, but I’m still processing her tone of voice, trying to understand why it sounds rude.

“Oh, they are? The picture is so beautiful." I mutter, handing the box back to her. She literally snatches it out of my hand and struggles to hold it.

“Yeah, well. There is only one box left.” She snorts.

I just stare at her. In my mind, cynical me is trying to break out of her chains and speak. I swallow and smile.

“That’s great. Enjoy them.” I say. There is no way I’m going to get into an argument with this stranger over her rude tone and an image of the Holy Family. I would not fight over any object in a store, ever, because it’s not important.

Wow, I did really well just now! I think, on my drive home. I passed the first Rude Holiday Encounter with flying colors. I’m going to be much calmer in rude public situations in 2010. In fact, I bet I will be so mild and peaceful that friends and neighbors will notice.

When I get home, I open my email. A friend of mine has sent me a question as part of a game.

“If you saw me in the back of a cop car, what would you think I did?”

I tell her I’d guess she was arrested for volunteering too much, (since this woman is pretty close to being a saint).

She writes back:

“That is a good one. In your case you would be in a cop car because someone tried to hurt one of your kids or husband and you went into mother lion mode and beat the stuffing out of that person.”

Hmmm. It’s seriously time to fix my image.
Above picture is Big Brother's gift inventory list- He bought presents at school for his family.


Koala Bear Writer said...

My husband's been doing most of the Christmas shopping this year. I've decided that's a good thing - he's better at wandering the mall and hunting up bargains than I am. I turn into grouchy-get-me-out-of-here-shopper pretty quickly. Especially with crowds and noise and rude fellow shoppers. :)

Loren Christie said...

Me too, Koala.:)

Putz said...

i just noticed yur cat and dog together down this blog and it made me think. our cat jaspher bell and duke our dog do not get we put the cat out - 30 here right now, and he did notcome back, well he is a tom and duke a boy would like to tear his head off, we do have a litter box inside for him...the question, any suggestions on keeping our cat in when ???he can sense danger all the time????the dog has to stay in also which is not normal...he is usually in his kennel outside,,,this would be temporry but still????maybe i should ask the dog wisperer

Loren Christie said...

That's tricky, Mr. Putz. Try feeding them at the same time in the same room and petting them together. Give them treats and pets together. I think Duke is the problem here, and that's what I'm not sure about. Norman Whiskers is the one who was aggressive with the dog in our house. Now he tolerates her, (we'll have Norman a year on my b-day). They still do not make eye contact and avoid getting too close to one another. One of them has to be submissive. In our house it's the dog, (and Milk Man)...just kidding ;)

Dear Internet Traveler,

Welcome to my writer's blog, started about six years ago for fun. Over time, the writing I have posted has ranged from personal reflection, to Long Island history research, to tall tales for my own amusement, to feature articles for local newspapers. As you can see from topics listed here, I travel in many mental directions in regard to interests. Click on the tabs and labels to explore my strange mind which senses that you may be having a criss-cross day. If so, perhaps this blog will distract you. However, please note that if you tell me my blog is beautiful just to get me to advertise rhinoplasty surgery and cheap drugs from Canada in your comment, I will ask the gods to give you a tail that cannot be concealed.


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