Rosy Cheeks and Sparkling Eyes: A Holiday Shopping Survival Guide

Ok, to be fair, I should really call this “A list of things everyone needs to do so I don’t hurt anyone” – but that doesn’t sound very cheery.  The whole ‘Rosy Cheeks’ bit is really just an allusion to the fact that sometimes a glass of wine or two can be a good thing.  I don’t have any wine at the moment (sad face), so I shall use logic instead.

Today is Black Friday.  In my world its Family Sweatpants Day!  No, not because we all overate yesterday (Moooooom, I don’t Liiiiiiiiiiike Turkey).  But because I stay home ALLLLL day, lounging in my comfy sweatpants.  Well, or the other sweatpants that my new pair made me buy.  I think maybe they’re married now.  I try not to think about too much.  I told someone recently that I’d rather eat a cat than shop on Black Friday.  I won’t, of course, because I suspect that cats taste like fish and scornful distain.  Its not that I don’t like shopping – I do!  I just don’t like shoppers, and that’s an important distinction.

Ever since I became a responsible adult. . . . well, an adult anyways, I’ve been making careful notes about public behavior during the weeks leading up to Christmas.  I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on it at this point, so I’ve created a guide of all the stuff that drives me nuts, and what some simple solutions might be.  Selfishly, this is really just my polite request so that I can enter shopping establishments during the months of November and December (I buy all my groceries at Target, and I’d like to be able to get my Milk, Eggs, and Bread without feeling like my sanity is hanging by a shaky thread of tinsel.  And speaking of that, why is it that during every snowstorm (at least here in Iowa), we all feel the need to buy Milk, Eggs, and Bread?  Is there some conspiracy, or a magical breakfast casserole recipe I don’t know about that somehow protects you from winter weather?  In that case, why don’t we buy cheese?  Breakfast casserole is no good without cheese.  We have this all wrong.  Stuck in the house for potentially several days?  Why aren’t we all buying wine?  Sigh.  This parenthetical is really long.  I should probably wrap it up.  I just noticed I put a parenthetical inside another parenthetical.  Like a little literary hug where I tell you all I live in Iowa.  Most of you already knew that because you actually know me.  Oh well, the end.)


1. All shopping cart traffic MUST be treated like road traffic.  Slow traffic, keep right.  Maintain standard two directional patterns.  DO NOT SWERVE (unless a pig crosses your path.  Do they talk about that in Driver’s Ed if you aren’t from Iowa?  Quick, share this with a whole bunch of people from North Carolina and Florida and California and Arizona and Hawaii and stuff.  I need to know if it is only in Iowa that they tell you to swerve only if you are about to hit a pig).

2.  You know how you think you can talk on your cell and shop at the same time?  You can’t, you’re really messing up the traffic pattern.  Like a crazy drunk, you’re swerving all over the lanes of traffic, backing up erratically, and then stopping without warning to look at items, and argue with your phone person about which thingy to get.  Yes – ok – a few of you do this pretty well.  Most of you make me want to drop embarrassing things in your cart for the nice cashier to find (I have never actually done this – but I think about it all the time).

3. If you bring your kids with you, please take note of what they are doing.  I love kids, and don’t have any problem sharing my holiday shopping space with them.  However, letting your 6 year old drive the shopping cart at 5pm at Target the week of Thanksgiving is what we call here ‘a bad decision.’  What we have here is called a ‘teaching opportunity.’  If you run into me at Target, I will be the one saying ‘look where you are going!  Be respectful of other people!  Personal space, kid!’  And guess what – they sometimes even learn those things.  My small contribution to the future.  If you don’t, I may start presenting unwatched children with the most awesome light-up sound-making toys I can find in the toy aisle (hellooooooo singing Elsa!).  Enjoy!

4. Maybe, just a little, pay attention to the fact that there are hundreds of people around you?  Otherwise, I may have to bring the cattle prod.  Target security gets soooooo touchy about that too.  Please, it doesn’t cause any lasting damage.  City folk.

5. If you get ‘let out’ or ‘picked up’ at the door, and show no signs of any mobility issues, I JUDGE YOU.  Yes, I am Judgy McJudgemuffin!  STOP DOING THIS.  For Pete sake, the line backs up for 5 cars and the rest can’t get out of their lane.  I’m going to start throwing snowballs at you.  If I can’t find snowballs, I’ll throw my son’s wadded up socks.  For some reason, those are constantly in abundance everywhere.  Find a parking spot and walk.  If you are buying one of those super huge things that requires you to drive up, I suppose I understand.  Move fast, get it done, and move on.  Think:  ‘Chinese Firedrill’ as performed by Navy Seals.

6. Do not, under any circumstances, trample anyone because you are in a hurry to save money.  Why is it necessary to type that?

7. Ok – I’ve heard from at least one person who deliberately parks their cart in the middle of the aisle, or steps back and stands in people’s way – just to bug people and see their reactions.  You are a sociopath.  I turn my cattle prod up to 11.


I don’t suspect its going to get any better any time soon.  Now ‘Black Friday’ actually starts on Thanksgiving, and some places run deals all month long in November.  None of that makes any sense to me.  I just shop online because I’ve never yet had the urge to hurt someone in an online shop.  I don’t even post nasty comments (seriously – who needs all that negativity).  Plus – wine.  Wine helps.  I have a dream this blog will be read as far away as North Carolina, Florida, California, Arizona, and Hawaii (if you read #1, you can be a DREAM-COME-TRUE-MAKER).  Then, even if the world has not seen the wisdom of my words (very wise words), perhaps people will send my wine!

All I want for Christmas is to be able to go Christmas shopping without wanting to harm others, and without resorting to the wine too often.


Oh, and peace on earth and all that stuff.


And lots of LIKES and SHARES with friends far and wide!  SHARING ‘Quirk and Logic’ is the GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING!  Seriously, it is, because I keep writing stuff.  Someday, when I’m rich, I’ll even have giveaways and neat stuff like that.  Don’t hold your breath though.


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