Un-shopping

November 30, 2011 at 3:26 pm 4 comments

I love getting gifts for other people. I enjoy shopping. I adore the Christmas season. But, from now until sometime in 2012, I won’t go anywhere near a mall.

Not to shop. Not to get my hair cut. Not to pick up a free TV. Here are a few reasons why.

People suck at parking in parking lots. And no one seems to be paying any attention to my suggestion that SUVs, Hummers, and mini-vans be given separate parking areas where they can take as many spots as they want within that area and park as close to each other as they want.

Note:  It has been calculated that, on average, it will take approximately three shopping days to find a space, requiring a lot of gas, a lot of time, the patience of a saint, and the bladder of a camel.

There are many criminals in the mall parking lot this time of year. (I always wonder where they park.) It’s not a good idea to leave packages in the car. It’s not a good idea to be walking through a parking lot over-laden with packages. It’s also not a good idea to put packages in the trunk and then go back into the mall. (The trunk is easier to pop open than the car door.) Better to put stuff in the trunk and then move your car to a different parking space so the criminal will think you are leaving.

Of course, by the time you find another parking space, Christmas will be over.

Let’s say you actually do find a spot. The people inside the mall are only a little better than those lurking in the parking lot waiting for a chance to rob or injure you. Mall shoppers on the best of days are rude, obnoxious, self-centered, and on a cell phone. This time of year they’re twice as bad and there are more of them. It’s Walking Dead with a little less biting but less respect for personal space.

Let’s say you’re brave and tough enough to handle the hordes. Department store prices are ridiculous. Sales are virtually meaningless relative to value. And they won’t have the size or brand or color you want.

Gift boxes aren’t free anymore.

Christmas music is some of the most beautiful, sentimental, wonderful music ever written. Christmas music filtered through mall speakers is sadistic and may cause vomiting.

And then there are the extras:

  • Spritzers.
  • People who want you to eat small bits of mystery food out of little plastic cups.
  • Creepy Santas.
  • Sticky, frightened, sugar-high children and the mothers who scream at them.
  • Carts run by carny folk capable of casting a spell to make really stupid sh*t look interesting.

I avoid it all. I shop online. Choices are endless. Hard-to-find gifts aren’t. Free shipping offers are everywhere. It requires no gas. It can be done while baking cookies, decorating, watching Rudolph, or drinking a martini in a tutu while playing a harmonica. It can be completed early in the morning or late at night, no camping gear required. Items will be delivered to your front door or to someone else’s front door.

And, best of all, you’ll make it through the next few weeks without losing your temper, getting frustrated, or being plagued by visions of stomping all the Who’s in Whoville. You can make it through the Christmas season without growing to hate all of humanity, which is sort of the best part given the real reason for the season.

Peace and fa la la la la folks.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Julie  |  November 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I thought that you wanted accordion lessons, not harmonica lessons?

    Although, shopping at the mall in a tutu while drinking a martini could be fun. Well, watching you shop in the above would be fun.

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    • 2. boatdrinkbaby  |  November 30, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      haha — which reminds me . . . accordion dude never called me back.

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  • 3. WritingbyEar  |  November 30, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    You had me at “Gift boxes aren’t free anymore.” Really? That’s just wrong. (You can tell how long it’s been since I shopped at a mall.) Happily did most of my shopping on Amazon and eBay this year — the only danger for me is getting done too early so I’m tempted to keep shopping!

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  • 4. mel  |  December 6, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I actually guffawed, aloud, at this line:

    …drinking a martini in a tutu while playing a harmonica.

    good for you–the mall is evil and full of poison gases even when it’s not Christmas. I wish I could be sure that avoiding that bad place would help me feel more love for humanity… island for one, maybe?

    (Calliope School of Folk Music teaches accordion, among other great instruments–my hub has thought about learning the mandolin. I think they are located in/at Chatham?)

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