The Pains of Holiday Shopping
By Jordan Waldmeier | 12/24/2014
“*Sh-t, p-ss, f-ck, c-nt, c-cksucker, m-therf-cker, and t-ts.” The “Seven Words You can Never Say on Television” made famous by the late-great comedian George Carlin. Seven words I can openly say in this article because Exposure Magazine believes firmly in the first amendment, and they bow to no one. Seven words I repeated countless times today in multiple iterations and combinations while Christmas shopping. Why do we do it? To show appreciation and gratitude? Is it our natural narcissistic tendencies? Because Jesus said so? Or maybe as Giorgio Tsoukalos would claim,”Aliens.”
It often seems to be a combination of all of the above. We all crave that quick, heroin-like, warm, gushy feeling when seeing a person of significance open up that foot bath you purchased on clearance- that will likely be used trice and break just in time for the next corporately sponsored holiday around the corner. Possibly, the most important part of the gift is the memory. From the initial thought, to one’s struggle and journey, and the sacrifices made to obtain that “perfect” gift; all for a reflection and a smile. So let’s gather around that yuletide log and grab a hefty moose shapen glass of eggnog, as I reflect on some past memories and observations of “the most wonderful time of the year.”
Black Friday, the D-Day of First World Country Suburbanites
Lately it’s been assumed that the term has racial origins, never assume, when you assume, you make an asshole out of yourself (thanks, MCD). Makes me wonder how blue people feel about Blue Monday. I digress. Myself being a natural observer, I love Black Friday. I’m that creeper that sits in his car and watches as a herd of fleece-donned citizens begins to form a never ending line. You know, now that I'm thinking about it: Hitler liked forming lines, too.
With people pressed up against the storefront doors, resembling George Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead,” the floodgates open. The line quickly turns into a horde of hot cocoa and Starbucks-induced savages, rushing to and through (sometimes, literally) the doors. People are pushed and trampled, weaves are flying through the air, it’s the “War of the World’s,” it’s chaos; I sit back and enjoy the show. After all the rage-infected folks have made it inside, I make my way in. The stores take on the essence of Los Angeles circa 1992. I’m pretty sure I saw a car on fire at one point. With my magic rectangle filled with musical delights plugged into my earholes, I listen to “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head.” It’s the Thunderdome of housewives. Tug-of-war over food processors, people laying on the ground in fetal position with product cradled like an intercepted football, the infinite screams of movie titles; humans in true form. A perfect way to end a day of thanks.
Last-Minute Shopping Is Where I Drink the Best
I don’t do my Christmas shopping on Black Friday, though I will pick up a few select blu rays and I did get a Christmas tree for myself this year. I’m typically the last minute shopper kind of guy. Maybe that’s why “Jingle All the Way” is one of my favorite holiday movies, as I can relate to it in my current predicament. As people are taking tours of Christmas decorated houses in the neighborhoods, the only Christmas lights I see are the red brake lights of the consistent traffic jams that I am stuck in. This is where most of the foul language comes in handy.
I've usually got a good idea of what I want to purchase for the niece and nephews as I set out on the grand adventure, but the plans and strategies begin to fizzle away along with my patience. I pace through the store aisles trying to get a phone signal in hopes of being able to price match. My shopping day typically turns into what feels like the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, a lot of walking with little payoff. I make my way to the most important part of the escapade, a bar. After a bit of a rest, an adult beverage, and possibly a sandwich, I venture back out into the wild. There’s only one place left to go, the mall.
I abso-fucking-lutely hate the mall. It is my Hell. I cannot remember a time where I ever enjoyed the mall. Even as a child, when my grandmother would tote me along with her, I loathed it; even without knowing what loathe meant. The only good things that ever came out of the mall was the John Matrix massacre of 1985 and Tiffany. During the holiday season I treat it as a pederast would a Chuck E. Cheese. I stay away. But, this year I was summoned to go. I was needed to pick up my nephews birthday cake from a “patriotic” cookie company. As reluctant as I was, I didn't want to let him down. If you thought parking at Astro-World was bad, wait until you’re cussed out by a 60-year-old lady in a kitten-dressed-as-a-reindeer sweater for “taking her spot".
When the automatic doors opens I am pushed back by the winds that are produced by the screams of children in line to sit on an old catatonic man's lap. I treat the mall like the gauntlet in “First Knight,” dodging “try-me” kiosk and annoying teenagers. What happened to the days of being able to peacefully stare at a 3D image of a what is allegedly a schooner/sailboat? Making my way through, passing the stores filled with people buying their needed name brands (I’ll save that rant for a later article), I eventually make it to the cookie company. After waiting in line, staring at a sample cake that reads “Happy Birthday, Jesus;” it is now my turn. I grab the cake, and a cookie and drink for myself. Darting past the over infectious holiday spirit, I'm gone like a bat out of hell.
The Real Reason For the Nonsense
With Christmas soon approaching, most gifts are nestled safely under a tree, you gaze upon them in wonderment of what it might be, and when the day comes to tear them from their festive wrapping; try to stray from our judgemental nature. Think beyond the gift itself. Think of the giver. What kind a year have they had? What sacrifices have they made to get you this gift? The blood, sweat, and tears shed in pursuit of your gift. All in hopes of putting a smile on your face that they can forever remember. Be grateful.
As I am writing this, Christmas is in two days. Am I done shopping? Of course not! Godspeed.
*"Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits” were all censored because the publisher believed it made for a funny joke against censorship. It was not because he was worried certain people/groups would be offended.
"See? I told you I'd do it!" -Calvin Tyler / Publisher
About the author:
Hello universe, my name is Jordan Waldmeier. Scientifically, I am 28 years of age, as of 2014AD. I was born and raised in Sulphur, Louisiana and moved out of my mothers home at the young age of 27 and a half. Currently residing in Lake Charles, Louisiana (a whole bridge away): I am an observer of the human species, mentally taking notes on their actions around me, hopefully to be recorded to paper before they are lost by the inevitable dementia embedded in my DNA.
I am a collector of modified, petroleum formed, 6 inch scale likings of comic book superheroes and other science fiction icons. My favorite tree is one that has been processed into a 22 page full-colored comic book. Both of my parents are still alive, therefore, I am not Batman.
"Be excellent to each other."
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