Thursday, December 18, 2008

Relapse Via Retail

Yesterday morning I felt so good. Yoga was held outside and it was almost too warm but then my part of the platform came into the shade and it was perfect. The hawks wheeled overhead in the impossibly blue sky and cried out, and the leaves on the oak tree nearby fell, sounding like crisp rain.

I felt so good I believed that I could do anything, anything at all, and so I went to town with stove shopping on my mind and decided I could do a little Christmas shopping too. I went to Best Buy and that was fine and then to New Leaf and got chocolate and vitamins and that was fine too and then I went to Borders and it started to happen. That feeling like my head was going to explode. I would reach for something and then somewhere inside me a feeling started that was nothing but NO, NO, NO. The lines were long and people around me seemed fine but I couldn't do it. I had to leave and in the parking lot was a couple who were so young and so obviously in first love and she was crying and he was holding her, awkward, because he hadn't yet figured out how two bodies can fit together, even in a hug. I could feel her sorrow and his sorrow for her and I felt like a voyeur, watching them and I drove away.

On to Sears, which is in the mall and all the stoves make no sense to me. The "power burner" is in the front right position, the simmer burner behind it. As far as I know, a power burner would be needed for nothing but to bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta and the logical place to cook the sauce to go on the pasta would be the simmer burner. The large pot in front of the small?


And none of the stores made any sense to me. I tried. But the head-exploding thing kept getting worse and I bought nothing. I thought to go to Starbucks and get a coffee but just as I approached the counter, about seven teenagers stepped up to it. When did teenagers start drinking coffee and Red Bulls? By the time they're my age, they're going to need IV meth to get through their days. Knowing that each and every one of them was going to order something frappee-ed and frozen and blended and would take at least twenty minutes, I walked away.

I kept hearing Christmas music, sung by sopranos with impossible ranges, throwing the most unlikely and unneeded notes into the stupidest songs as if I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas was Ave Maria. It was eighty degrees outside and I was dressed for nothing higher than sixty-five. I kept sweating.

I went to Esposito's and bought the tiniest conifer in a pot you ever saw. It's so small that if I strung cranberries to put on it, they would have to be Craisens. That tree almost made me happy. I went to Publix, I bought salmon for my supper. Mr. Moon was going out with co-workers so it would just be me.

I drove home, so happy to get to Lloyd that I almost cried with the relief.
I unloaded everything and put it all away and dragged a little table off the porch to set the tiny tree on in the library. I wound the tiny string of lights I'd bought for it around it, plugged them in. There was no magic there.

I'm so tired. I'm so tired of feeling crazy. Normal people don't fall apart in the mall at Christmas. Normal people just cowboy up, cupcake, and get 'er done. They might bitch and they might moan, but they do it. They aren't afraid that they're going to start yelling in the mall, shouting things like, "No one needs this crap! Go home!"

Or maybe they do. I don't know. I just know that I feel crazier than I've felt in a long time but that one way or another, it'll pass.

The crazy and the Christmas.

They'll pass.


  1. Oh man, I really dislike shopping, so going to that many stores all at once would make me unsettled. I like to go in, buy what I need and get out. This time of year it's difficult to keep the patience, definitely.

    Wow, 80 degrees.

  2. I think normal people just start throwing money in big chunks in hopes that they'll be allowed to go free from the mall environment.

  3. I don't shop.
    I have specific things I need from specific places and there better not be any one else there, but if so, if someone is trying to use a Canadian check third person with an expired online coupon, blah blah sucking up 3 salesperson's time, or a bunch of terds ordering coffees with ingredients other than coffee, or whatever- I bolt! Out the damn door immediately.

    Don't fret; I'm with ya on that one.

  4. Some people get so weird at x-mas they abandon their blog!

    I (sometimes) feel they same way you do, depends on the day if I can hack it or not.

  5. I'm not good in most stores. I do better in the smaller stand alone kind. But if there are crowds forget it.
    I went to sears to buy my dryer, and was overwhelmed by the sales people. I left immediately. I went to rex and felt instantly better. Sales person just said "let me know if you need anything" and left me to it.
    I've totally left baskets of stuff and bolted from various stores in a weird mix of anger, panic, and relief.
    You are not alone...

  6. Oh, I understand perfectly. I hate shopping at this time of year! It's like all the negative energy that other people are expelling gets wrapped up inside of me, so no matter what kind of good mood I'm in, it's gone by the time I get shopping.

    Which is why I'm resorting to online shopping this year!

  7. I wonder if the advent of online shopping has lead to a small decrease in holiday suicide attempts.

  8. I'll be damned if I have any idea what normal people do.

    I am regularly standing in line places, when something annoying and time-comsuming begins to happen behind the counter. It seems more and more when that happens that I have lost my ability to control my face/emotive sound making. I want to moan and groan and sigh and roll my eyes and throw my hands up...
    And some times I just can't help it and I do. And I feel like everyone around me thinks I am a bitch and I just don't care.
    But I do look at the seemly patient people around me and wonder what they have that I don't.
    And it doesn't even have to be Holiday season. Sigh.

  9. There are those who would say that I'm crazy too, but I feel exactly like you do. I leave half-full carts just standing wherever when I get so over-stimulated that I have to leave the store. I just ventured out to an outlet mall where I found mostly empty stores and stuff marked down so low that I was encouraged. But then it happened. I went into a watch store, found the one I wanted in black, asked for it in brown and was told that the brown one was full price while the black one was half-price. I mean, WHY? So I left and came home. Every time I hear the stereotype about women (that they like to shop), I think, well, what does that make ME?

  10. Nicol- I just never know what I need. And yes, eighty degrees.

    DTG- I think you're correct about the money and the mall. People just start going crazy. I have no idea about internet shopping and fewer holiday suicides. Maybe. You could probably get a grant to do a study.

    Magnum, Brother B., Ms. Grrl, Aunt Becky, Lady Lemon and NannyGoat- I feel the solidarity. I'm the one, though, that seeing the long check-out line actually takes every item back to where I found it before I walk out. This generally happens in Ross where you can dress for less and also stress for less.

  11. totally agree with you on the stoves!!!

  12. I've felt that way before. When I see parents buying things for their children that I know they don't need. Those extra Nike's,

    "Mom can I have this?"
    "No, Christmas is coming up, wait til then."
    "But mom, I really need a new pair of shoes."
    "It's almost Christmas, just wait."
    "Mom, it's almost Christmas, can't I just have them today?"

    That made me want to yell.

    Or the time I was trapped in an aisle in the sports store and a dad was being unbelievably cruel to his daughter. Thankfully an older woman ahead of me told him he was being an asshole. She glared him down. I wanted to kick him in the penis.

    I think we all have these parts of us that cry out within us for change.... for something to be different.. the question for me always comes back to, "How do I get them to listen?"

    I think it's VERY normal, and HUMAN to want to scream in the stores, especially during Christmas.

    I'm with you in the waiting for it to be over.

  13. "They aren't afraid that they're going to start yelling in the mall, shouting things like, "No one needs this crap! Go home!"

    And THAT is why I love your blog!

  14. If you want a good cup of coffee, without barrista attitude, try McDonalds.
    I have one of those stoves you looked at (it came with the house I bought in 2002) - smooth surface, very easy to clean - but why does the large burner go in the front on one side (the right) and the other side on the left? What is the simmer burner thing in the middle rear? I never use it. Unfortunately, your stove picked the worst time of year to crap out on you. I don't even know if you can get a new one delivered by Xmas, if you can find one. I think you just tried to do too much today.
    And, don't get me started on who's going to have the suckiest tree this year - I'm going with an artificial one, no more than 18 inches high, placed on a fire place I don't use, so the twins can't trash it. I'll try to post a picture. I hope you only try to do one thing tomorrow. Feel better!

  15. The other thing I do if I don't know exactly what I need or want (with clothing shopping mainly, but other stuff too), is buy more than I would need or want, take it home and try it on and think about it there, rather than in the store. Then, I just take back what I am not keeping, which admittedly is usually most of it. But, other people do it too! Last time, there was a girl behind me doing the same thing and commented she was glad she wasn't the only one who does that.

    Yeah, they love me in the stores, but at least I get out of the there fast and that's what matters, right?! And, I never have this problem in the grocery store of not knowing what I want. With food...I KNOW what I want. :)

  16. AB- yeah, who designed those stoves? Not someone who cooks.

    AJ- I would have wanted to kick that cruel dad in the penis too. Or somewhat south. General area, at least. Anyone who is cruel to children is going to HELL.

  17. I absolutely love shopping...just not for other people. Nothing relaxes me more than a few solitary hours meandering and browsing, looking for nothing in particular, and delighting when I find exactly what I didn't know I needed.
    It's this holiday bullshit that is making my mood go foul.
    And the backache which I think is due to a combination of hauling my chubby son around and wrestling with the garage door this morning. Advil is my new best friend.

  18. 80 Degrees? OMG. AS I sit here in my warm cabin because it's 24 out and we have a major storm barreling down. I HATE malls and shopping. I try to make the presents. This year it's calendars and photos of me and Jake. It will be over the day after, whew... Power burner? Never heard of that, of course, my last stove caught fire.

  19. Rachel- I have said before that there is nothing wrong with me except for an Ibuprofen deficiency.

    Sally- yes. Eighty. Even we here in N. Florida are stunned.

  20. May I have the last word on the stove issue? Repair the one you have. At least you'll keep it out of the landfill, and $189 isn't that much to keep an old friend going.

  21. Ms. Moon...I (and obviously several OTHER people) right there with you. I hate shopping for all those reasons. My best friend actually does alot of my shopping for me, Bless HER heart, because it takes me three times as long to recover from shopping as it does to Go!
    And I too wonder to myself..."what do Normal people do???....
    Post a picture of your tree :) I want to see it!!
    Peace and cool breezes to you.

  22. Nanny Goat- well, the only problem with that is that the broiler on this stove has never worked. Also, the smell of gas made the repairman nervous. So- I am not sure that fixing it is the right thing to do. Oh yes, the burner in the oven has rusted where the gas comes out.

    Michelle- picture to follow.

  23. I have the same experience in the shopping areas. I totally get it. There's just so much intensity. It's hard to explain but I know what you're talking about. I know it feels crazy, but I'm not sure whether the crazy is us or the environment we're in. Some people can filter out this sort of intensity, but I know it gets harder and harder for me in some ways. And also why I need your stories of rural quietude to balance me out :) Thanks for helping :)

  24. Quiet Girl- I think WE'RE the ones who are sane. Going out into that environment makes us crazy. And why shouldn't it? It's completely artificial, weird and bizarre.
    Ah. I am so glad it's all over.


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