Holiday Shopping Zaniness

Yesterday afternoon I had the bright idea to go get some food so we are ready for all our holiday baking and cooking and general whipping-up of foodstuffs, and to pick up some stocking stuffers while I was out.  I could head to Dorset Street and get everything done in one shot since so many stores are so densely packed.  It would a quick and efficient trip.  Good idea.  Didn’t happen.

I crossed the Maginot line of Kennedy Drive and was soon battling traffic.  Cars were packed in every lane, both ways.  I was stuck.  Even if I could turn around, I would be inching along.  So I kept going.  I listened to a variety of odd holiday songs (Hanukkah in Santa Monica, Steven Colbert’s new holiday tribute) and laughed and jotted down some songs to download on i-Tunes.  Eventually I made it to the supermarket.

Of course, I had to navigate the parking lot (I parked far away so I wouldn’t have to jostle for a spot) then walk across the slush, then elbow through the other food shoppers, then wait in line to pay.  It was holiday zaniness at its best.  The young woman at the register told me it was actually kind of calm compared to earlier.  Like I said, zaniness.

Then I had the idea to go to the mall.  The ice cream would stay frozen in the car.  It was about six degrees.  Hopeully the spinach wouldn’t get too cold.  Normally I spurn the mall–too many people, too much commercialism, too much stuff no one needs in there.  So what was I thinking?  I knew what I was seeking so how hard could it be?

The mall, of course, was jammed.  It was, as always this time of year, overwhelming.  I made only two stops, the first a dud, the second a success.  At Vermont Toy and Hobby I found the two small toys I wanted.  OK, I was looking for three, but I thought it was a pretty good success rate anyway.  I had to wait in line, of course, and their credit card machines were down.  I paid with cash.  Overall, it wasn’t difficult, just mentally taxing.

Two stops to go.  I purchased a slew of stocking stuffers at Healthy Living, then went to Barnes and Noble.  I got a couple of books for the kids, ran into some friends, and hightailed it.  I had most certainly had enough.  Spending time at one of the busiest spots in the state was probably not the best idea.  I did manage to make some gift purchases, but whoa.  As I said a few years ago, never again.

I was gone for four hours.  Normally that would have meant about 40 minutes of driving out and back.  Most of my time was spent in traffic or in line.  Nuts.  But hey, now I can stay in and make the lasagna for which I purchased the fontina that was so hard to find.  I bet it tastes pretty dang yummy.

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