Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry, Merry Madness

Once, several years ago, the mother sent me to a local mall on Christmas Eve for a last-minute gift. It took me three times as long to get in the mall lot, find a parking space, and then get off the mall parking lot as it did to dash in and get the solo gift, I vowed never to do it again.

I’ve kept my word. In fact, in the week or so before the holiday, I still don’t go near a mall. I try to not go in any stores at all during those final, frazzled days. So it was with much dismay that I realized a shopping trip was inevitable. Not at the mall, thank God, but worse still, the grocery store and Wal-Mart. The mother has been eating and drinking cleaning supplies, so I had to get more as we start to approach the home stretch. The groceries? I needed to get ingredients for the mock soufflé for Christmas with the family – away, that my pure genius forgot about Thursday night. And, I got some more things for post-Christmas with family friends – home, the visit that has touched off this mad bout of cleaning.

I also had to pick up more Christmas cards at Walgreens which I’d ordered online. I thought I’d have enough, but apparently Ozzie is a more popular dude on YorkieTalk.com than I gave him credit for. (He continues to get all kinds of cards from all over the country – even the world – daily. Three more came yesterday.) I’ll apologize now for the tardiness of this last batch which includes some of my local, real-life pals. I figured those would only need a day or so at most to arrive so I saved some of those for last.

Wal-Mart was the insane asylum one would expect it to be with less than two days left for shopping. I was glad to escape it. The soundtrack of screaming children put my teeth on edge. I stopped off at Walgreens to get my cards but they weren’t ready yet. The machine had broken down so I was about sixth in the queue. Great.

I went grocery shopping. Almost as maddening as Wal-Mart, but not quite. The most frustrating thing? Some of the key things I went for couldn’t be found. So, off to the grocery at the other end of the street. Things were only a little better there, but at least it wasn’t as busy.

I grabbed some fast food (pot pies at KFC) and back to Walgreens. Success! The cards were done. It was buzzing in there, too, so I was glad to make a relatively quick exit. Once in the car, I opened the box. Thank God I did. This wasn’t the design I had used before. And wait. Who ARE these people? My card doesn’t even have people. It’s a pic of Ozzie and Toby. Sh*t!

I looked at the box. Wasn’t even MY name on the box. I dashed back inside where the girl in photo apologized profusely. She’d just grabbed the wrong box. (They only had about 30 of them on the counter. Clearly, I wasn’t the only last-minute card purchaser. And, of course, they now have 10-cent prints going on. You know I’ll be all over that this week.)

The moral of this little adventure is this: It’s NOT a pretty sight out there. Get what you have to get – and only what you have to get – NOW. I suspect it’s going to get a whole lot crazier really fast.


Kay said...

Boy it's a good thing we're friends cuz I swear we see eye to eye only once in a blue moon. I think the most fun I ever had shopping was on Christmas Eve. Early morning, Alton sq. Parked right outside penney's. Echoing corridors. Armies of salespeople waiting to help me, and everything 25 to 50 percent off. Maybe you should try a Mall Less Traveled By. (And stay the hell outta Wal-Mart.)

NV said...

KayO -- Yeah, well, Alton Bare, I mean Square, doesn't really count. :-) Believe me, I'd love to stay the hell outta Wal-Mart -- permanently.

Karen Anne said...

Walmart was printing photo cards? I bet you could do that at home, and avoid the mall. (And Walmart.)

I have a ton of speciality papers like card stock for my HP PhotoSmart all-in-one (printer, scanner, copier). It makes excellent photos as well. It cost about $180 a few years ago, and I see current ones (hpshopping.com) are much less.

It scans like a demon. I scanned in tiny tiny old photos for a family history project and they enlarged like excellently.

I don't like pimping HP, because their tech support is Our Friends in India, who are clueless and snarf up jobs that competent Americans used to have, but this is a nifty item and I don't know of a U.S.-made substitute. Oh yes, they bought up the good company I worked for and laid me off, but that's another story.

As usual, the printer is cheap, they get you on the ink.

Mama Martha said...

My card arrived today so you were correct about that timing. Thanks! Have a very merry Christmas and see you soon at Escape.

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