How is it possible to love something and hate it so much at the same time? I don’t know. Maybe that question is better left unexamined. Maybe it’s better to figure out how to deal with the quandary. The way I deal with it is to shut down my brain and shuffle around like a zombie. I realized this when I was Christmas shopping yesterday. I love getting gifts for people but somehow every single year I go through the exact same pattern
November 26: See one gift for someone but don’t buy it because there’s plenty of time.
December 5: Laugh at friends who are wrapping gifts and pity them for being insane, uptight, micro-managing nutcases: It’s supposed to be fun you guys!
December 10: Start noticing Christmas decorations around the neighborhood. God these people are on top of things! Send photo of palm tree with lights to Mom back east. Look at these California crazies!
December 12: Pull out 500 foot long strands of lights and untangle them. (after an hour throw in trash and go to Home Depot). Hang lights on porch in the dark at 6pm. Feel manly and proud. Feel sad and wish I had a husband.
December 17: Realize there are only 7 days left to buy gifts, decide to go tomorrow.
December 18: Go shopping for the first time since back to school. Narrowly avoid rage confrontation with driver of white BMW who pulls into space I am waiting for. Decide oh well I have beautiful children and a loving family. Imagine shooting him in the face. Think about coffee I am going to reward myself with after getting some gifts out of the way. Stop into store I like on the way into kids store. See three things I have to have for myself right away. Justify in angel/devil interior dialogue by saying I haven’t bought anything for myself since last year. Feel sick and hate myself. Get coffee. Stand in line order line for 10 minutes, pick-up line for 20. Go to store where I saw original gift. Realize they are sold out. Make decision to give up for today, go home and write a list. On the way out, see some pretty gift wrap. Stand in 50 foot line. Start sweating. Wonder why I’m wearing a heavy coat inside. Smile at sweet little baby staring at me. Feel happy. Realize I am by myself and am having fun! Wish I had a husband. Get a lump in my throat. Have a little chit chat with the girl at the register; make a connection because we both are tired. Love everyone and make decision to make personal gifts for everyone in addition to the fantastic ones I’m going to buy.
TO BE CONTINUED… (yes, it’s still happening)