crate and barrel

Considering that it was Christmas Eve, I decided that it would be a smart idea to begin my Christmas shopping.  There is nothing that gets one into the Christmas Spirit like shoving your way through a jam-packed mall filled with super annoyed assholes, like myself, that have procrastinated as long as possible and now have to sweat their asses off in winter sweaters in the overheated mall, cutting off all circulation to their fingertips dragging obscene amounts of oversized bags from store to store.  What a joyous occasion!

I began my blood pressure spiking holiday adventure with a 45 minute debacle of f bomb dropping and bird flipping in order to finally finagle myself a parking spot, and by parking spot I mean totally illegal park job on the rooftop level of the garage.  This “spot” was about as close to the mall as Ellen DeGeneres is to giving a blow job.  Not to mention that it was a fucking skating rink up there.  Come All Ye Faithful!

I began my cross-country skate across the rooftop to the polar opposite side where the stairs were, leading down to another flight of stairs, that then led to the elevator.  It was freezing cold so I had on a wool sweater and a coat, which would prove later to be a very poor fashion choice.

After my arctic trek to the mall, I entered the annoying as shit carousel-like doors that are the stupidest invention on the planet, next to Willard Scott’s Smuckers Jam segment on The Today Show, of course.  I have to go around 6 times on this goddamn thing because some super cheerful Mom thinks that it’s perfectly ok to let her kids spin around in it like it’s a fucking carnival ride.  I’m sorry ma’am, I didn’t see a slot to put a quarter in for this ride, therefore it’s not a ride, what a douchebag.  I considered dropping a candy cane and when the little guy went for it, I would push the door right over his little fingertips to stop the ride, but I used what is called “good judgement” and decided that was not in the holiday spirit.

After my “ride”, I was deposited into the 98 degree mall with a bad case of vertigo…when what to my wondering eyes should appear…?  But 8000 sour faced stressed out shoppers and pissed off employees and long lines in every direction.  Joy To The World!

I only had about 12 people to shop for so this should be a breeze, no problem.  First things first, Starbucks.  After standing in line for 15 minutes and paying $12 for my coffee, I was ready to get my shop on.  Jingle Bells!

I cannot even tell you how many stores I was in and out of, but each was more frustrating than the next.   I actually had “complete set of pots and pans” on my list, that’s really fine planning right there.  After purchasing this gigantic box of extremely heavy cookware, I could no longer drag all of my other 5 bags and this in and out of stores.  It was time to do what every person will avoid doing at all costs…make a trip out to the car.  I was going to try to see the bright side, there were a few perks.  The most obvious being that I would not have to drag all of this shit around anymore.  The fact that I could actually breathe some cool air and stop my armpits from sweating up my wool sweater.  And last but not least, I could relax and enjoy a mood enhancing cigarette.  Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all.

As I began to climb the Mt. Everest of stairs, with my gigantic box of cookware balanced on my forearms and 5 heavy bags dangling from my purple and desensitized fingers, I felt a strange sensation in my ladyparts.  Seriously?  You have got to be kidding me.  That’s right,  Merry Christmas!  Aunt Flo was in town, code red, moontimes, checking into the red roof inn, a visit from cap’n bloodsnatch, walking along the beach in soft focus, my cat has a nosebleed.

Awesome!  Deck The Halls!

I packed all my shit into my illegally parked car and lit up a cigarette.  As I inhaled deeply, I took great satisfaction in letting people sit in their cars with their blinkers on, thinking that I was about to leave.  I finished my cigarette, found a tampon in my glove compartment, and waved to them as I skated back across the lot to the stairs.  I got a nice wave back, with a middle finger.  Ho-Ho-Ho!

Only 3 people left on the list, plus wrapping paper and all of the accompanying accoutrements.  I got my A game, set my eye on the prize, and could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I finished up 2 people, and all of the wrapping shit…one more store left, and I was done.

I was feeling like a hooker must feel by the end of her shift, worn out but thankful it was almost over.  With my sweaty armpit wool sweater, Aunt Flo, and 3 very full bags in my hands I sauntered into my last store, Crate & Barrel.  I think this must have been everyone’s last stop, because it was packed to the hilt with other sweaty armpit people weighed down with shopping bags, looking utterly defeated in gay-ass christmas sweaters.  Grace Be To God!

I meandered my way through the store like a burglar through a laser field.  My large annoying rolls of wrapping paper protruded from my bag, threatening to break every delicately balanced display of glassware.  Stay focused…stay focused…and there it was, my last item, a 15″ Mango Wood Salad Bowl.  I stood in the line with my cumbersome bowl, shifting my weight from leg to leg, trying not to pass out from the heat or the smell of the chronic halitosis that seemed to be enveloping me from every direction.

I was greeted at the register by a surprisingly cheerful employee who asked me if I would like to sign up for a Crate & Barrel Rewards Card.  I asked her if she would like to please just ring up my fucking Mango Wood Salad Bowl.  She did.

I felt a deep sense of accomplishment, and perhaps even a slight glimmer of Christmas Spirit as I walked away from the register.  I had completed my Christmas shopping, on Christmas Eve, and was experiencing a serious shoppers high.  I held my head high, clutching on to all of my relentlessly heavy bags. I allowed myself to relax, to smile at the other patrons, I even heard myself say “Happy Holiday’s!” in passing.  There was indeed light at the end of the tunnel, and I walked proud, full stride, directly into the thick plate-glass wall mistaking it for a door.

I heard a loud “goooohhhnnnnggggg” of the glass echo through the store as I hit the ground, like a bird that flies stupidly at full speed into a window.  I was splayed out like what I can only describe as a chalk outline at a crime scene.  My bags were thrown all around me, and through the pain of the developing goose-egg on my forehead, and the circle of sweaty heads peering down at me, I could see the perfect makeup imprint of my face on the glass.  Voices above me asked if I was ok, if I needed help.  All I could do was lay there and laugh, like a mental patient.

Merry Christmas To All, And To All A Good Night!

12 replies

  1. You t hysterical and I swear I walked into that same glass looking non door twice…once in bmore once in Chicago…I avoid all crate and barrels now! Keep writing you inspire me!

  2. Oh my god, tracy, I’m crying from that last bit. Literally, writing this through tears of laughter. Well done, you!

  3. oh wow, I am alone at my office and I actually LOL’d at that…and my laugh had that crazy moment where it starts to turn towards a sob…no one heard it though.

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