Shouldn’t Black Friday signify the death of someone important, or the celebration of some African American who did something of powerful note? Instead, it’s about ‘being in the commercial black.’ How shameless!
Taking another survey here…please raise your virtual hands if you got up early enough on Friday morning to be in line when the doors to several major department stores in America opened at 5 am. This is a tribe of people with whom I am wholly unfamiliar.
I have to be ‘in the mood’ for a shopping expedition, especially if I have to go to a mall. I try NEVER to go to a mall, but during the holiday season, sometimes it is just necessary, like having to have a colonoscopy. If I could drive from one location in a mall to another at the opposite end I would be a lot happier. That’s a LOT of walking from one end of a mall to the other, and when you’re done shopping and exhausted, you have to walk to your car which is only God knows where and way far away from where you are at ANY given moment. May I suggest that malls provide those little golf carts on which to ride or a miniature train with enough room for all of our packages?
I like to go to the itty bitty specialty stores and buy things for people that they will never use, can’t understand and end up re-gifting (sometimes back to me!). It’s just more fun, and the sales people are happier. The mall people have worked an 18-hour shift; they don’t care about Christmas or any other holiday and are only in it for enough cash to pay off the stores to which they still owe money from LAST Christmas.
Online shopping is now my favorite way to give strangers money in exchange for goods that I cannot see or feel. There’s a kind of excitement in that you’ve got a 50-50 chance that what you ordered actually winds up being something you’re happy with. If it’s a gift and you can’t see or feel it maybe, ever…you sheepishly ask the recipient of this gift, “Um, how’d you like the mittens and matching scarf?” Of course, they’ll be frightfully polite and tell you that they loved your gift…to which I often reply, “You DID…really? I mean, I’m so glad.”
Another show of hands from those who buy themSELVES one swanky, expensive holiday gift, leaving not so much money left over to spend lavishly or even frugally on loved ones. I must admit, some of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten, I gave to myself…I mean, who knows me better? Who really knows that I prefer cashmere over scratchy wools or Chanel No. 5 to ELizabeth Arden? Well, now YOU do, but don’t feel obligated…no pressure.
I hate shopping. It makes my back hurt and I hate trying things on. I would rather go to the dentist than to the mall. Maybe my problem is that I don't ever have a list or a clear idea of what it is I want. I just think, I need to buy a present for KK or for Pam or the Ancient One and then off I go. I figure I'll know it when I see it. And then I am overwhelmed by the abundance of ideas and gifts to the point where I am left standing stupefied in the middle of 'Bed, Bath & Beyond' staring at plastic, handsoap dispensers. Hmmmm....nah. So then I end up at 'Apologie' (my favorite store) where I end up buying little novelty books, two foot tall candles and garlic cat treats shaped like Jesus' face. What was I thinking? I cannot be trusted.
Once I went shopping in search of a very specific pair of black, cigarette pants and came home with t-shirt with a green, sequined picture of a marijuana leaf on the the front and the word, 'Smokin' on the back. I just couldn't resist it. Actually, I wore that to the 'Keep Austin Wierd' parade and about 80 people asked me where I got it.
Austin has a great outdoor event about once a week. It's the bats flying out from under the bridge at Sunset and the Bat Festival, wine tastings at the park or gypsy music at Laguna Gloria. But my favorite bazaar is the 'Armadillo Christmas Bizarre,' a yearly holiday sale and the booths are fantastic. There is everything from paintings and original blown glass to hand-made bongs and ceramic mushrooms that you stick in your garden. I got one of those. KK will go with me this year as usual to stop me from buying something queer like clown shoes or wind chimes with the state of Texas cut out of thin copper. I must have the voice of reason in my ear. I must get away from KK so that I can go back to that booth with the wine holder necklaces and get one for her for Christmas.