Today, I occupied stores and lines the majority of the day as I began my holiday shopping, joining the millions of others who have been doing this since the
unofficial start of the season, Black Friday. With each purchase, I removed various items from my loved ones’ holiday lists. I felt a sense of accomplishment as the list dwindled, though it did not disappear.
With less than a week before Christmas, I imagined longer lines, angrier shoppers, ruder salespeople, and more frustration. While I did encounter all of the aforementioned, I had mentally prepared myself for much much worse. I recreated all the horror stories that I’ve heard from Black Friday-induced mayem that ruins all the good cheer that Thanksgiving creates, and thought that my day was going to be disastrous a la Walmart stampedes. I was ready for World War III, but all I encountered was a pushing match between young children arguing over who can go down the slide first.
I’ll take that.
The salespeople in various stores were as helpful as they could be. There was one rude sales rep at Toys R Us but I quickly realized that he was trying his best to maintain order and structure in the popular electronics section. Though his tone was rough and seemingly insensitive, he was indeed helpful. He got my items for me, and then I jetted.
(Editor’s note: jetted was popular slang in the early 90s. I have not used that term in years until this past minute. Now, it seems so much more sophisticated than it did back in the day.)
I heard some clerks encouraging each other, stating that it was the last really busy week that they will have for a while. Then the realist of the group, I’m sure her friends do not like her Debbie Downer remarks, quipped, “Yeah, until people starting returning all these gifts.” I was a few feet away from the group, and I could fill the energy deflate with her snide comment. She easily won the Scrooge McDuck award for the day; I hope that her mood changes for the better as the season draws to an end.
I proudly deviated from my family’s lists, and hope that they will love their gifts that they did not specifically request. It is always a gamble to do that, but the truth of the matter is that I did with the best of intentions and with love in my heart.