I got out of work early today, and Delia was having a fine time hanging out at the Expo office with Keith, so I went shopping. My plan was to pick up a few more things for my Thanksgiving Fest and maybe a few Xmas gifts. And I have to say, "I HATE SHOPPING DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON."
Everywhere I went was crowded. And not just regular crowded, the aisles were clogged with inconsiderate fools. The whole aisle is not yours, my holiday sweater wearing friend. Move your SUV sized buggy to one side or the other, please. Bring your glasses next time so you don't have to stand in the middle of the aisle and hold things out at arms length to read them. I turned around no less than three times because I couldn't get my not-incredibly-wide body past the human cholesterol festering in KMart. TJMax was the WORST! Why does anyone even need a buggy in the housewares department of that store? I couldn't get to the silverware, some woman was hogging the aisle for 15 minutes, so I just left. I felt defeated by the sea of humanity. It was a bummer. I know my guests won't mind eating with mismatched silverware, but I was hoping to find the set of GS Stainless I foolishly passed up this time last year. 45 smackers for a set of handmade stainless flatware with THREE TINED FORKS! I was a fool.
Shopping during the Holidays also reminds me of how fiscally challenged I am. I don't say that to get some kind of pity party, but most people my age have much more disposable income. Really, I don't miss it so much, except when Christmas comes and I think, "How am I going to show 15 different people how much I love them with fifty measly bucks?" The stores are so full of nice THINGS, and even though I usually have trouble picking out gifts, sometimes I do see something that someone might like. But I can't buy it, because it invariably costs more than I can spend. That makes me frustrated... I talked myself out of that bummer pretty quickly, however, because no one I love really needs any more THINGS, and I'm doing them all a great favor by not giving them any! They'll get cookies or a scarf or a hug for Xmas, and THEY'LL LIKE IT!
And then... In Target I was surprised to find the perfect package of cloth napkins on clearance for less than two dollars. The moment I tossed it into my basket, it was like the clouds parted and the sunshiny shopping god smiled upon me. Things would be OK, I found some napkins! Later some woman scouring the clearance rack asked me if I thought a 16 year old girl would wear a certain hot pink double breasted hooded sweatshirt. Was it the filthy green raincoat or the handknit Old One hat that made me look like an authority on the teen set? Who knows, but the lady was friendly, and that helped turn my day around.
Later, at the Golden Beagle, I was dismayed to discover that they were all out of fresh Brussels Sprouts. I even asked Ian, the tall lanky dude in Produce, if they had any more in the back, and he informed me they did not. So I went in search of pignoli instead, only to learn they were retardedly expensive (and not in the International Aisle but over in between Pickles and Salad Dressing). I bought them anyway, as it is Thanksgiving, and if you can't splurge on Thanksgiving Dinner then you really can't splurge at all. Being able to pay $5 for two ounces of pine nuts made me feel Thankful. And then over in Dairy, Bill said "Hi Mrs. Carson!" Which is what he calls me cause everybody there always called Keith Carson, cause that's what his name really is (dun dun dun). And I said "Hi, can you believe they're out of fresh brussels sprouts?" And he said, "I put some of the good Steam Fresh ones up in Frozen this morning, they're on sale, let me show you where they are." So I got a bag of frozen brussels sprouts, even though I'd rather use fresh, because Bill gladly quit what he was doing and walked me over there, because he is NICE. At the end of the frozen aisle another nice man, who's name I shamefully can't remember, said Hi to me too, and I said Hi and "Do you happen to know where the Phylo pastry is?" And he said "I sure do, come with me!" happy as one of Santa's elves! So we walked one aisle over, chatting all the way, and he pointed them out to me and I tossed one into my basket.
Even Jodeen, the checkout lady with the coke bottle glasses, was cheerful and chatty (though she always is pretty chatty!) She carded me for my beers on principle even though she knows me. When she wished me a Happy Thanksgiving I felt like she really meant it. I walked out of Giant Eagle with groceries AND a positive attitude adjustment, which I really needed.
Tonight I am going to make cookies and baklava, and tomorrow I will make an orange cranberry turkey and set my table with Fiestaware and cloth napkins and my old (but lovely) silverware. People will start trickling in around 4PM, and we will raise our glasses to each other - I am going to try to foist a few Pomegranate Smacks (and my own concoction, Persephone Lemonades) onto my guests. They are bringing most of the food (YAY!). We will Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, and it will ROCK!