I’ll admit that it’s tough to beat a cozy winter sweater and a black leather jacket. But pair them with a faux fur scarf that your sister forgot to bring back to college and WAH LAH, as they say in French, a recipe for an easy winter outfit. And easy winter outfits are really key during this chaotic time of year. Darrin and I made the mistake last night of running to Target right after the typical work day hours, and I watched my carefree attitude about our upcoming Christmas morph into the turbulent and anxiety-driven attitude of the holiday shopping crowd. And it was a crowd, my friends.
Perhaps a few examples to help illustrate the scene? Target was packed with the kind of shoppers who like to leave their carts in the middle of the aisle as they go in search for their groceries, which makes pushing your cart down the main aisles of the store a bit more like winding your cart through a maze of which there really is no escape unless you, too, abandon your cart in the middle of the aisle, thereby adding to the maze. And then there are those shoppers who can’t decide between the gold wrapping paper with red stripes or the red wrapping paper with green stripes so they choose to linger in the wrapping paper aisle debating about the consequences of their decision while the soccer moms, adorned with their tiny toddlers wailing for that new Star Wars action figure that they’re betting Santa will forget to bring them this year, are lining up behind the indecisive shoppers, waiting for their turn to linger over the wrapping paper. And this all within the first five minutes of entering the store (feeling stressed yet?). And let’s not forget about the shoppers who have no shopping mission but are really wandering the Target aisles (slowly. very slowly. resting their elbows on their carts) at worst possible time of day to wander. And you, trying to find some moment to maneuver your cart around the slow wanderers, are forever impeded by the abandoned cart obstacles you encounter at every turn. So you’re forced to wander slowly behind the slow wanderer who I think even Tolkien would admit is truly and definitively LOST.* And as you wander slowly you hear the shattering sounds of an ornament hitting the linoleum floor and the poor Target employee scrambling to clear the aisle of the people and the glass and the people who might have glass on their shoes and carts because we do not need these carts distributing glass throughout the store. And the checkout lines? Well. I’m sure you can just imagine the checkout lines.
Like I said. Carefree holiday attitude morphed into one laced with stress and anxiety. We left the store with our groceries and took a chilly breath of fresh air as we pushed our cart through the parking lot. I considered voicing my complaints about our hour in holiday hell, but I knew exactly how Darrin, with his annoying thoughtfulness, would have responded: “Yeah that was crazy. But don’t forget that they all come with their own stories, Gracie.” [sooo annoying, having to be reminded to be thoughtful 😉 ] So I settled for a brief “Let’s not do that again” acknowledgment of the holiday chaos, and we made sure to treat ourselves to some Chinese food on our way home. Because Chinese food, like a simple winter outfit, can really make certain situations just a whole lot better.
So I hope you’re doing your best to avoid the holiday chaos! And if not, I sure hope you’re finding time to treat yourself to some Chinese food. 😉
* “Not all those who wander are lost [unless you’re slowly wandering Target at the busiest hour of the day. Then yes. You are most definitely lost. Come back when there’s actually room to wander.]” – J. R. R. Tolkien + Grace Beekman.