Saturday, December 02, 2006

Why Christmas Sucks

Let's be really analytical about this. It sucks mostly because of the shopping, doesn't it? Circling a parking lot like a rat in one of my father's traps, hoping for a small strip of asphalt so I can leave my car eight miles from nowhere and then wander through the mall on a vague quest.

People start talking to themselves after a while, or at least I do.

"Nah. He wouldn't like that."


"Oh, for heaven's sake."


No one really notices this behavior, because anything goes inside the mall during this season. I saw a woman standing in front of expensive kitchenware. All she kept saying was, "Oh, I don't know. Oh, I don't know." I felt solidarity with her.

Even after you decide you're going to buy something, you have the excruciating agony of standing in line to pay for it, all the while contemplating gruesome crimes against sullen clerks and shoppers who cut in front of you. "I want to stab that person in the heart with this pencil" sums up my own Christmas shopping spirit. Then after the triumph of paying and groveling for gift boxes, you get the excitement of doing it again at another store. Add to that the 80-degree temperatures inside most stores and the heavy winter jacket you foolishly wore and the day is sucking big time. I generally feel nauseous by now and my feet hurt and my knees too. I'm pretty sure I have a terminal illness.

But it could be argued that shopping is the least of the suckiness. Don't forget the two weeks of hard manual labor that precede Christmas. Now if you're willing to coast through and not clean the house, that's cool. But most women aren't and that even includes me. I will polish the silver (groan) and cook and bake and wrap the gifts and try to find the holiday tablecloth (praying there is no unconcealable gravy or wax stain on it)and dig out the ornaments and eight hundred other things. As I often say, women bring you the holidays, ladies and gentlemen. We are the ones who chop, dice, grate, slice, peel, devein, boil, parboil, sautee, fry, simmer, sear, flour, grease, sift, puree, mash, crush, and pound the freaking meal into submission. We are the ones who polish, mop, vacuum, Windex, scrub, wipe down, and dust. We rake. We move furniture. Sometimes we even paint and wallpaper if special guests are coming.

Not that I would ever complain.

Admission: I have never parboiled anything and don't know what it is.

I go into poinsettia trauma. I start by buying two of the cheapest ones at Hannaford's/Victory. Then they look so nice on either side of my fireplace that I buy two more. Then pretty soon I splurge and buy a really nice expensive one at the garden center, which makes the Hannaford's ones look puny and terrible. Then I have to return to the garden center and get at least one more big one and probably two, because you can't not buy them in pairs. So I end up standing there with wide eyes, swallowing, turning one way and then turning back, much like the woman in front of the kitchenware.

"Are you okay?" the clerk asks.

"Oh yes," I say. "Just wondering if I should buy all the poinsettias."

The whole thing is a money hemorrhage. Who can afford it? And by Christmas Eve, you are spending profligately. YEAH, OKAY, PUT IT IN THE CAR.

I'm getting out of breath.

Tune in next time for why Christmas does NOT suck.

It could be a blank post.


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At 6:06 PM , Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

I am going to print this out, stick it on my fridge and when anyone asks about how I feel about Xmas, keep the tears from spilling and mutely point to it!
I couldn't have put it better myself if I tried ... and now I don't need to! Thanks Becky!!!

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