Grinch List #1: Crowds
The last few Decembers I have made a Grinch List– things that I would steal from the holiday season if I could. This year I’m going to try to turn that list into something positive. Along with the reasons I am annoyed by each item, I will try to find a solution–an angle to adjust the way I feel about it in order to celebrate the season appropriately. I can’t promise I will change my mind about anything, but I can attempt to change my attitude.
I went to Michaels on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. After being in the store for exactly 1.8 seconds I had two profound revelations:
- 50% of the population of Virginia Beach had yielded to some primal need to purchase Christmas decorations two days after Thanksgiving. There must be something in the turkey.
- I was the only post-adolescent male in the store. I made eye contact with a ten-year old boy pushing a cart full of half-price wreaths and red ribbon. I tried to give him a look that would encourage him to be brave, let him know that he would survive, give him hope for the future. He seemed encouraged until he looked down and saw the pink wire cutters in my hand and realized that even adulthood and marriage is no escape from the tortures of shopping for Christmas decorations.
I can’t stand the constant crowds from Thanksgiving to January. How is it possible that everyone shops constantly? Why is every line in every store 30 shoppers deep? How can there be more cars than parking spots at every store? And it’s not just specialty stores, it’s every retail establishment in the world! Routine trips for mundane items turn into elaborate excursions that feel like a scene from Raiders of the lost Ark.
I’m a grinch toward crowds because I see them as a hindrance to my life. I see them as being in my way as I’m trying to do something important. Maybe I should realize that I’m part of the crowd and recognize that we are all united in our reasons for being out. People need lots of things this time of year and stores want to sell it to us. I can’t promise not to be annoyed by the swarms of humanity mindlessly moving from one sale to another but…
This year, instead of complaining about the holiday crowds, I will try to focus on the common interests that have us all moving in the same direction and try to remember that I am part of someone else’s annoying crowd.