Today my girls and I headed to town so my oldest could pick up little gifts for her friends. I was also going to try and get a few things on the sly for both of my girls. I knew that the last Saturday with elbow room before Christmas was going to make for hectic day. I know that NEXT Saturday is the actual last weekend before Christmas, but that weekend is for complete knuckleheads or folks who have really lousy pay schedules.

We got into town at 11:30. By 2 pm I was ready to jump off the fiscal cliff.

I hate crowds. I have now come to the conclusion that when I am on a shopping mission, crowds (aka assholes who are in my way) just piss me off. If I’m at a wine festival or a crowded holiday party, the more the merrier! I have a drink in my hand and all is right with the world! But Christmas shopping? That’s a Santa of a different color.

For example, Toys R Us was a monumental cluster-fuck today. It took me 7 minutes to get from the front of the story to the Barbie aisle in the back. Folks were clogging up the already congested aisles thanks to bins and tables of worthless “on sale” crap placed smack dab in the middle.  This eliminates the shopping cart passing lane that is so crucial at this time of year. While granny is pondering the sticker set on the end cap I’m all dressed up with no place to go.

And it amazes me how clueless people are about the space they are taking up. Stopping to swipe your cell phone is not appreciated when you are blocking the Lego aisle. The cherry on the Toys R Us sundae was when I was trying to get in line to purchase my stuff. Mario Andretti couldn’t have maneuvered the turns they had set up to wait for the next available cashier. There was a woman browsing the Pokemon display which was right at the entry point into the sit and wait maze. This entry required a hairpin turn from where I was positioned and she was not budging. I tried to ease by her, and brushed her purse.

I apologized and waited for her to make room for me, which she didn’t. I then nudged forward again, and made contact with her purse for a second time. Meanwhile, scores of people are getting into line ahead of me from the other, easily accessible side. With each nudge and subsequent brush up against her purse I apologize, and she won’t move. I finally say “I’m really sorry, but I’m just going to have to bust through here” and she says “I’m sure you’re really sorry.”

Fuck you! Who buys Pokemon cards anymore? Can’t you see that your are blocking the entry to the line?

Next we head to Best Buy where my oldest realizes that our lunch isn’t agreeing with her and spends the next 45 minutes in the bathroom. What was supposed to be a 15 minute visit turns into me standing and watching my youngest mess with the iPads. Then the power went out – too many tv’s, computers, and stereos going at once. This day is getting better by the minute.

The rest of our day was no better – crowds in every store, and my youngest with an attitude. I turned into one of those crappy parents who balled her child out in the bead aisle at Michael’s. I  had to change purchase lanes 3 times after I waited 10 minutes in line behind a kid who was paying with her shit from a jelly jar crammed with $1 bills. The normal person would’ve found that charming, but at 4:30, dying of thirst, and aching feet? She was not charming, she was the evil seed.

From now on I think I’m going to do my Christmas shopping online – not just for my sanity, but for the well-being of the folks around me.