Dad and I were going to the mall three days before Christmas to meet Kiki to have dinner and do some shopping. Kiki got there first and we were still wading through rush-hour traffic with a topping of Christmas shopping frenzy. Fun. Not. Dad and Kiki were calling back and forth to see where we were and what was our ETA. When we eventually got to the mall, Kiki called to guide us to where she was parked. She’s my brilliant little Peruvian flower. She got us to her row and told us to come to where she was parked, her lights would be on. In the middle of a crazed night of consumerism, she had managed to park her car between two spots, front to back. She just parked her car between the two so she could move up or move back depending on how we got there. Woo hoo! That was a nice little surprise. She said she’d received some very interesting and seriously non-holiday greetings from shoppers wanting our spot.
At the restaurant I noticed that the bar was packed with shopping widowers. There were no women there, just men. You could almost see the “cha-chings” registering in their minds as they waited for their wives to come back laden with gifts. After watching the number of drinks downed I hoped that they were only there as pack mules and would not be driving home.
Now, here’s an interesting thing about shopping at Christmas time. There is a weird and twisted competition among people headed for the same store. It’s bizarre, we would be walking towards a store, see some others headed in the same direction and they would suddenly put on speed to get there first. I could care less who gets there first, but it was lots of fun to speed up a little and see what other people would do. If I didn’t need to actually purchase stuff, I would lurk in malls and tweak people in mock competition all season long.
Is there something about the winter solstice that causes American’s to suddenly forget how to use certain polite phrases, things like “Excuse me.” I couldn’t believe how many people, I have to assume are otherwise well behaved, act like barbarians during Christmas. My toes were bruised by all the trampling. I think I’ll get some steel-toed boots for next year.