I went shopping. On a Saturday. A week before Christmas.
I braved the insane, pre-Christmas hordes, didn't develop an eye twitch, and didn't have to give anyone the People's Elbow. I consider that a success.
I survived, but I cannot say the same thing about my bank account.
I started off looking the picture of frugality. Spending time hemming and hawing and comparing prices. But as the day progressed, I fell prey to impulse purchasing, that cruel mistress.
I knew I was near the end of my sanity when I was giving serious consideration to a gadget designed to help coax toothpaste out of the tube. I had nearly convinced myself that every single member of my immediate and not-so-immediate family would die without one of these devices. I literally stared at the "Tube Squeezer" for almost 10 minutes before I managed to walk away from it.
That's not to say that I didn't impulse purchase other things, but I feel that avoiding the "Tube Squeezer" was a small triumph.
I don't understand how people can cavort around so joyfully while pre-Christmas shopping. The moment I entered the mall, I set my eyes to "EPIC GLARE" mode and stopped around with extreme purpose. I kept finding myself stuck behind shambling individuals who seemed to serve no purpose but to walk in front of me and stop abruptly. I started wishing for zombies to come in and cull some of the herd.
And when I start wishing for zombies, that's when I know I've reached my limit. Unfortunately, the zombie fantasies started about 20 minutes in to what turned into a 3 hour foray.
By the time I left, madly clutching several 4324 pound bags, all I wanted to do was go home and de-stress.
But I lost my car.
For those of you who don't know, I have the direction sense of a blind mollusk. I get turned around getting in and out of elevators. It's bad.
And because I came out of the mall from a different door and I stood, bewildered, in the rain, trying desperately to find my vehicle.
I wandered around the giant parking lot like a crazy person, clutching my car opener and emitting high pitched, worried noises.
It took me about half an hour of fruitless, rain-drenched parking lot stalking before I finally found my car. By that time, I had lost all feeling in both arms. Joy.
I made it home with no further incident and I'm happy to report that I managed to wrap all of the presents without giving myself a debilitating paper cut.
Tis the season.