A brief glimpse into the daily happenings of a 6-year-old, his new baby brother and his family.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dickens, 3-Year-Olds, and Crazy People

Let's just say I was in a "different" holiday spirit on Friday when I went out to purchase a few Christmas gifts. Seriously, what is it about the holidays that makes people weird-- or is it that people are always weird and the holidays just shine Rudolph's big glowing nose on all the weird of the world?

I ran to Border's, specifically leaving my 3-year-old at home (for obvious reasons). Unfortunately, the place was full of adults behaving like toddlers. I quickly found the books I needed to buy and got in an LONG line. The line made by customers was not suitable to the Border's employees who re-routed our line to snake us a different direction. After much jostling and one adult even saying, "Hey! I was in front of her." in a whiny, 3-year-old tone, we were in a line that was acceptable for all. Except me.

The woman in front of me seemed normal enough. Then I noticed it... she was humming. Even better, she was humming only the first part of "The First Noel." Every time she should have moved on to "Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel. Born is the King.." she'd just start over. A couple of times, she stopped for a moment and I thought she was done... nope, she was just catching her breath for another round.

The man behind me may have been Mark Mangino's long lost twin. The dude was HUGE. Best part about him? He was a "close stander." You know, like the close talkers on Seinfeld, except they STAND really close to you in line? If I would have moved even a millimeter backwards, I would have smacked right into his ample "bowl full of jelly." Ewww.

Behind him was a woman that would have enjoyed "better living through chemistry" (medication). She was probably in her late 60's and was wearing a pair of pink sweatpants, black snow boots, and a "jazzy" red Christmas sweater (bedazzled with a big tree, puffy appliqued presents and a furry white cat under the tree). Crazy Lady had started at the front of the line (physically, I mean) and had counted each person as she passed them before taking her place in line and saying, "20." As we moved ahead, she'd crane her neck to see the action at the front of the line and say, "There goes 3." "Now it's 5's turn." She did this for EVERY SINGLE PERSON. Now, I'm quite sure the woman probably had some form of OCD or social anxiety, but COME ON. Drugs help. Take them. Then you don't have to be the crazy lady in a story on my blog.

When it was finally my turn (Number 18!), I completed my transaction and went to my car glad to be out of the land of the whack-a-doos. But alas, the parking lot was "touched" too. The family that pulled into the parking spot (all adults... the youngest person in that car had to be in his early 30's.) all had on Santa hats. Seriously? "Hey, Family. Let's all put on our Santa hats and do some Christmas shopping. We'll look so festive and will bring cheer to all." No. You won't. You'll look like a bunch of doofuss-es. But, they were going to Border's, which on that night was the land of the crazy...

In hindsight, here's how I wish I would have spent my time in line:

Humming Girl? Yeah, about the 6th time she got to the end of the verse I wish I would have used my loudest-Kindermusik-teacher-singing voice and belted out, "Noel, Noel.." (Maybe she didn't know the song had another part... I'd really be helping her out in a Christmas spirit kind of way.)

Close Stander? While singing "Noel, Noel", I would have spun around and reenacted a Dancing with the Stars moment right there in line. Maybe a Tango. Some sort of dancing where we could stand VERY CLOSE to each other.

Crazy Lady? While spinning around in circles dancing with close stander, I would have counted "18, no 19. Now 18 again, now 19." Just to help her keep track.

Hat people? I don't know. I think it might be wrong to play "keep away" with adults in a busy parking lot..then again, the wearing of the Santa hats was questionable.

While driving away, I realized what had happened. You know that part in a Christmas Carol where Scrooge sees the past, present, and future? I think it was my own little Dickens moment. The Ghost of Christmas Whatever thought I should have taken Ben with me. So, to show me that Ben would have been a joyful addition to my holiday shopping, it sent me 4 people behaving like 3-year-olds to show me the fun I'd missed.

Lesson learned. Today when I finish my shopping at the mall, Ben will be in tow. Just for good measure, I'm also going to drag Don along. I'm sure it will be a heartwarming, family bonding experience. Why do I have a feeling that after today's shopping experience, I'll be the topic of some other person's crazy person Christmas story?

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