Winter is Coming

Friends, danger is upon us. We are approaching that time of year when brother will turn against brother, sister will deceive sister, and strangers will come to fisticuffs over dwindling supplies of cherished treasure. There’s only one thing that can bring the madness in our society to such a fever pitch. Yes, my friends, I’m talking about holiday shopping.

Get those elbows ready for pushing people out of the way (I hear a sale on elbow pads starts today!) and start brushing up on your bob-and-weave coordination, it all kicks off today, Black Friday, and soon it will be followed by an all-out Christmas merchandise assault. I don’t know what it is about good deals, but it truly unleashes the beast in some people. Maybe it’s mob mentality that comes from being in large, billowing crowds of shoppers. It overtakes rational thought about how to treat your fellow Man and turns them into your worst adversary. Maybe it’s the pressure of finally get the perfect gift for someone you love. Maybe it’s knowing your friends will all be jealous of the fancy new TV/microwave/laptop you have without being any the wiser that you got it at 50% off, or maybe having the ability to pat oneself on the back over such an awesome deal is in fact part of it. Maybe it’s a mix of all these.

All I know is that people who are out and about doing holiday shopping will get downright mean if their mission is slowed down in any way, even by their own kids. On many an occasion I’ve seen seemingly normal parents threaten their children with the promise that Santa will skip over their house Christmas morning if they even think about throwing a hissy-fit in the middle of the store. If I could relive my kids’ childhood, I personally would’ve used the Krampus threat a lot more than I did…that’s the kind of thing that gets kids to sit up and listen.

I’m not sure who I feel for more when I see these parental showdowns in the middle of a jam-packed store…the exasperated parent driven to Santa-related threats, or the kids for throwing the fit in the first place (or at least those kids where you can tell it’s due to stress and being seriously over-tired). Okay, well, that’s actually an easy one…I feel for the strangers having to deal with both of them when all they want is to make it through the crowds to get their paper towels and toilet paper in peace.

Thank goodness I’m not a child (at least not age-wise anyway). I’ve lost my shit MANY times at the mall and would be a permanent name on Santa’s blacklist if the “no visit for you” rules applied to me. Don’t roll your eyes at me. I may be on the no-fly list for Santa’s sleigh, but it’s for entirely different reasons.

In fact, kids have it pretty good, don’t they? They can get away with a fairly good amount before they face any real consequences. But if one of us so-called “adults” yells and screams and stomps our feet in the middle of a store (maybe even knock over a display or two), all of a sudden here comes security to take us to grown-up timeout, which trust me, doesn’t involve cookies and milk afterwards.

I guess that’s what really separates adults from children. We ALL want to bitch and moan, but adults have learned how to keep all of that inside for the sake of appearances, ulcers and migraines notwithstanding.  Most of the time at least. If there’s ever a time when the rage might be too much to control, it’s in these next couple months. So, please, be careful out there. Winter is coming.

 

Happy-Merry Hallowgivingchristmas

Have you been to the stores lately? Have you!? It was bad enough when the stores were putting out their Halloween candy in July.  July, people. But now, now our treasured holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are being merged into one mega-holiday season. I don’t know if this phenomenon has hit your area yet, but in my town the stores have Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations in adjacent aisles. Really retailers?  Just why?

There can be only answer: money. Retail stores will do 30% of their annual business during the “Christmas Season.” It makes sense to make the Christmas Season last for almost 70 days.  Even though the habit is being dialed back, many large retailers are now even open on Thanksgiving Day, denying their employees anything to be thankful for except overtime pay…and even that is not a guarantee given the existence of sneaky Scrooge-like scheduling gurus.

In a stroke of extreme irony, stores now have mega-sales on what is now known as Black Friday; the day after Thanksgiving. People wait in line all night to be among the first to buy something, anything that is on sale. On Thursday they give thanks for what they have, on Friday they are savagely punching and fighting people to get an X-Box or flat screen TV.  Finishing off the Thanksgiving weekend is White Monday. This is the online shopper’s day to stay planted in front of a computer searching for audacious online deals. Using this logic, I expect to see Magenta Tuesday for people to have their own Holiday Garage Sales.

Although, I will interject here – one of my favorite concepts is Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is a day of actual GIVING – to charities big and small…so Magenta Tuesday better back the hell off.

I don’t want to sound curmudgeonly, but I really feel that the flattening of the traditional holiday “spikes” turns the last quarter of the year into an amorphous blob of festive displays, shopping guilt, jammed mall parking lots, and a false fear that I might forget to buy a gift for someone.

Someone somewhere is bound to capitalize on this frenzied commercialism by inventing color-coded bins for us to stash our stashes of gifts and decorations: Orange and Black for Halloween; Brown and Orange for Thanksgiving; and of course, Red and Green for Christmas.  This will allow us to keep order in our frenetic final days of the year. Sheesh, I can feel the stress coming on already.

Of course, this begs the question, “When will the madness end?” I don’t want to be forced to buy a brown bin with leaf decor for all the Autumnal Equinox goodies, or a pink bin with red hearts for all my Valentine’s Day gifts.

Am I being unreasonable? I just want to focus on Halloween until it’s time to focus on Thanksgiving.  When that’s over, I can set my sights on getting into the Christmas Spirit.

 

My Introvert Life – Log Entry 52745

Stardate 20170410 – Time: When Everyone Else Seems To Be Doing Stuff Too

Despite my better judgement, but driven by hunger and lack of rations, I ventured out into the world today.

Triple-checked and, yup, had everything I needed to buy for the week in my shopping cart. All ready to check out. Approaching the cashier, I saw someone I know in line. Someone who talks a lot and seems to know everything. Every. Thing.

Hmmm…

…oh right, almost forgot, there were a few more items I needed to get for that thing I was going to make one day.

Pulled a U-turn and disappeared down an aisle.

Another crisis averted.

 

 

Dreams Interrupted

I’ve been ready to throw in the towel on living here in the US for some time and often dream of moving to greener pastures (literally) abroad. I say literally because it’s the scenery that motivates me into wanting to relocate — having never been abroad in my life. Of course there are other aspects, as equally important to one’s morning view, that call me away from my homeland for parts unknown. I could make a list — I’m great at lists, by the way — but that’s not the point of this entry.  The point IS, is that I came across a news article that made me say aloud, this, this is why I need to move to where I’m better understood, where I can be with like-minded people, and enjoy the camaraderie of similar souls.

click for article

And then, to my dismay, after perusing their website, I found that they’re not “real” in the sense of being a brick and mortar establishment…but rather they’re a lively, comedic internet-only business.  Needless to say, I’m crushed. I had my bags packed and was searching for the best deals on a ticket to Cardiff.

Oh, I’ll buy their merchandise, no doubt — it’s too great not to. But I do wish I was buying it in person instead of online. I suppose my pipe dream will just have to go back on the shelf for a while longer.

 

 

Flower Power

I absolutely love flowers. They make me smile. Although all types of flowers are lovely in their own way, daisies are my favorite. Daisies and Sunflowers. They’re such happy flowers. Petal-covered joy if you ask me. My local grocery store at one time had a small-ish floral section. They’ve since remodeled portions of the store, however, and ever since, the floral department has expanded. Unfortunately, their prices expanded as well. Regardless, I still enjoy the walk through this brief flowery moment of bliss as I meander through my shopping list.

Needless to say, my heart was broken as I made my way to the cereal aisle last night and came across this sad sight: bunches of beautiful flowers squashed into a metal cart – presumably awaiting an errant employee to put them on display. Poor things.

I’m not sure what this sadness over the condition of random bouquets says about me. Nature Lover? Anthophile? Psychotic? TomAYto – TomAHto I suppose.