Monday, November 30, 2015

Super Secret November Challenge Blog Post #30 (but actually #24)

Check one off my list, because this past weekend, I Black Friday'd. 

For the past few years, Mike and I have found ourselves wandering around in a post turkey haze at the Riverchase Galleria, Birmingham's last real jewel of 90's indoor mall glory, looking for as many ladies in light up Christmas sweaters as we could find. Online shopping has left a trail of singing tree shirt corpses in it's wake, but we can still spot the occasional overly eager consumer. 

It has become one of my favorite new holiday traditions, along with midnight mass underscored by my enthusiastic carol harmonizing, bourbon and more bourbon, and Die Hard christmas tree decoration. We just grab a cup of coffee and People Watch like champs. 

But this year, I put a halt to my last minute shopping so as to fit with my current schedule, and I decided to plunge into some real Black Friday deals. 

It was a drug. 

Granted, there was not a crowd to fight through, nor any lines to have to queue up in for some coveted Tickle Me Big Bang Theory box set, or whatever. I haven't the faintest idea of what the hot ticket gift is this year. Is it Star Wars related? It should be. 

But I did manage to get around $400 worth of gifts for under $150, which I'm sure is small peanuts (potatoes?) for some, but for me? It was huge. I walked out of that mall with bags dangling from my arms like the ravaged goods of some pillaged city. It was awesome and about as fully Suburb-ican as I have ever been. 

Now, even though I was laser beam focused on my wedding gift goals, I still managed to take notice a few lively shoppers, frustrated shoppers.

Or, more notably, the frustrated southern mom shoppers.

"Daryl. Did you hear what Susan wanted?"

Four successive eye rolls, each one larger and more drawn out than the last, before she growls into her ridiculously large smart phone, "Susan. Susan! What was it? What? WHAT?"

"Daryl, she wants a grande caramel swizzlestickucinno with caramel on top and magic on the bottom." (roughly recalling her order here)

Oh, this is while we were standing in line at the Starbucks. I heard an epic sigh and then the most begrudging:

"Excuuuuuuuuse mehhhhheeee"

before being shoved out of the way as she plowed forth to her husband, who froze and looked back over his shoulder, clearly picturing his only possible escape out of this situation.

And, believe it or not, this was not the only woman in line who, in less than 5 minutes after the store opened it's doors, apparently was already the most put upon woman to ever stand in a line with a *monolithic cell phone glued to her ear.

The burden of all existence was on at least 3 separate women in that line, and they needed to make sure that EVERYONE else around them knew that they knew they were too important to put up with this shit.

Ladies, while considering oneself too "anything" for "this shit" may seem adorable on Danny Glover, it is not quite as cute as on you.

This also applies to the the gents out there, the ones who will help you out, but only if they can let you know that not only is it inconvenient for them, but you are awesomely stupid for asking if they could move out of the way so you can grab just one lid from that pile you are blocking with your entire body,sir.

God bless those giant phones. The only reason they have gotten bigger is to contain more of our never-ending self importance.

Humility is the one thing I would love to see more of this time of year. Mix that with a dash of self awareness and just a small bit of awe that the entire earth just spun all the way around, giving you sunlight to see your stuffing-bloated body as you drag it out to the giant contraption that transports you at enormous speeds with the slightest tap of your toe, arriving at a destination that is the result of hundreds, thousands of hours of labor, design, and good old fashioned American consumerism just so you can spend your entire paycheck on items that will completely unappreciated mere moments after they are revealed to the recipient.

But yes, it is world's greatest inconvenience that you had to walk back into the store and talk to your husband again.

I'm not saying that we, especially women, who face this critique more often than not, must walk around with giant grins of unquestioning gratitude on our faces. And often these expressions of maximal irritation with life itself are generally an exclamation of dissatisfaction within our own selves, so that is always something to keep in mind when one feels like cracking down on someone who has to bring everyone down to their level.. However, before you get all bent out of shape about whether or not you got one straw instead of the three you requested in your bag, maybe shoot a little self evaluation up into the universe, and see what it thinks of your problems.

Probably not much.

Plus, isn't it the season to, you know, get over yourself? Get over yourselves, every one of us.

*I would totally buy the monolith cell phone, as long as the ringer was set to creepy A capella chorus.

1 comment:

Jeanmarie Collins said...

I never actually remember shopping on Black Friday, until this past year. I still had not bought my dress for your wedding, so, I thought I better brave the crowds. Mainly, I become so disturbed by some behavior, much like you have just noted, and, I want to wear a sign on my head that says, " Remember why you are wanting to give a gift in the first place", but, I fear the answer may be, with some, that it is out of obligation.