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The Christmas Collision


I have a confession to make. I absolutely hate shopping. I despise going to the mall. I detest the toy store and the shoe store and the grocery store. If I could hire someone to purchase and deliver anything and everything I could possibly ever need from any store directly to my home, I would.

There are a lot of reasons I don’t enjoy shopping. If I’m looking for clothes, I typically try on half the store, carry it around like I’m going to buy it, and then end up putting it all back because I lack the ability to make any kind of fashion decisions. When I do fall in love with something, I usually end up feeling guilty for spending too much money on clothing for myself that will undoubtedly get stained by my toddler, chewed up by the dog, or shrunk in the dryer by my husband. If I’m shopping for my son, I usually debate over what size to get, considering he grows out of everything within mere minutes and the seasons change about every other week. I hate shopping for groceries because despite my OCD husband’s list that is neatly categorized by items and their corresponding aisles, I still end up wandering around aimlessly looking for something random like croutons. Where the hell do they put the croutons anyways?

Having a child brings on an entirely new level of stress when attempting to shop in any kind of store. Shopping trips are like strategic missions that involve an intense amount of planning and trickery to keep the kid occupied and happy at all times.

So now that you know how I feel about shopping in general, you can imagine how I feel about shopping in December. I’m a relatively anxious person to begin with, so dealing with the parking, the crowds, and the Christmas craziness all while trying to keep track of a very fast toddler is just way too much for me to handle.

Last December was my son’s very first Christmas. While I would normally try to avoid toy stores and strip malls at all costs during the month of December, I made an exception. Greyson was about ten months old and my husband and I were pumped to make it an awesome holiday. We got a babysitter (which was rare at the time) and made plans to go to Toys R Us to get his gifts. With him being little, we weren’t going to go crazy, but we were so excited to pick out a few new toys for him to open on Christmas morning. These are the things you look forward to as a new parent, right?

We maneuvered through the insane holiday traffic and the December snow and finally made it to Toys R Us, which was a complete mad house. Wives were barking orders at their husbands. Fathers were grabbing toys off shelves while running full speed up and down the aisles. I swear I saw a disheveled parent scaling a shelf to claim the last item left of a specific toy. One woman was walking around like a zombie repeating the list of “Hot Toys of 2012” over and over again quietly to herself. It was like a parenting war zone.

We did our best to keep to ourselves and to get a few things and get the hell out of there. And that’s when it happened – The Christmas Collision. Despite our efforts, our cart accidentally collided with another woman’s in the aisle we had been browsing in. I fully (naively) expected this chick to apologize and move out of the way. On the contrary, she slowly turned her head to size us up. The scowl on her face made her look like the mother of a brood of beasts who hadn’t slept in at least five years. Her hair was muddled and it looked like she hadn’t showered in days. Before we could even get a word out, she started yelling obscenities at us, right there in the aisle – in the middle of Toys R Us – in front of her children and other people’s children. I couldn’t even tell you exactly what she said because I’m fairly sure that I blacked out due to shock. I am a relatively non-confrontational person. I’ve never been in a serious fight in my life. I’ve never sworn at anyone (except my husband…. once or twice…..).  I couldn’t believe that the first time I considered losing my white knit mittens and throwing down was in the middle of Toys R Us while Christmas shopping for my infant child.

Honestly, it was unbelievable. I was disappointed that the shopping experience for my son’s first Christmas was tainted by this women yelling at me for accidentally bumping into her cart. Merry Fucking Christmas to you too, crazy mommy lady. Maybe you should ask Santa for a good night’s sleep and a gift card to attend Anger Management classes.

Needless to say, I shopped online this year.