Monday, December 22, 2008
This building is next to New Point fire house. I love how the shadows of the tree branches on the side look like veins. Speaking of veins, mine were throbbing today after I tried to finish up my Christmas shopping.
In today's edition of Chesapeake Bay Woman's Guide to the Holidays, we discuss the very important process of shopping for gifts. Shopping is really all about strategy, planning and a careful attention to details. Only 17 basic steps are required for a successful shopping experience.
Once upon a time, children woke up Christmas morning and were thrilled to find oranges and nuts in their stocking.
If only that still were the case.
For some people, the process of Christmas shopping and gift-giving is so well-honed that it is listed as a skill on their resume. For others, such as Chesapeake Bay Woman, shopping is viewed as something only slightly more palatable than emptying the litter box; going to the dentist, and hanging suspended upside down from the top of the Eiffel Tower. For four days straight.
Just as an example.
Today I was in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the home of Civil War battles, Civil War museums and also a Target Super Center. And when I say "super" I mean "a Target the size of Indonesia, with the population of China inside."
Now it's time for me to share the Chesapeake Bay Woman Approach to Christmas shopping. May I? Thank you. Here we go.
1. Make a list of everyone you have to buy for. Be sure to add a line for yourself, this is crucial to a successful venture.
2. Beside each person's name, write down some things you know they want, and then some things you think they want. Also be sure to write down "avocados."
3. Take this list and stuff it somewhere. Quite possibly "somewhere" is the bottom of your pocketbook, but in all likelihood "somewhere" is "balled up in the bottom of the Hefty trash bag on its way to the Mathews Convenience Center, also known as The Dump, because you tossed it aside like all other scraps of paper that look like bills--which you also toss in the trash because you're only going to get them again next month, so what's the harm?
4. So, enter Target Super-Incredible Center of the Universe with no list, and no memory to speak of. See all the nice food as you enter the gates.
5. Place two avocados in your basket. You read recently that avocados have trace minerals and "the good fat" that will undoubtedly keep your feet moving on this planet another few decades. Avocados are really a super food, and thankfully they're on sale at Super Duper Target for .99, which is exactly a dollar less than they are at Food Lion in Mathews Court House.
6. Go down the frozen food aisle. Marvel at all the organic stuff and the frozen seafood; start to wonder what you'll have for Christmas dinner, and then get distracted by something called blue organic tortilla chips. With flax seeds.
7. Determine that Blue Organic Tortilla Chips with Flax Seeds is not an item on your Christmas list, whether you brought that list or threw it in the trash can. By accident. However, in your food-focused mind, Blue Organic Tortilla Chips with Flax Seeds and two avocados are moving quickly towards a delicacy known as Guacamole Heaven, which is a little-known Christmas delectable, and--all of a sudden--declared to be a brand new Christmas tradition in the Chesapeake Bay Woman household. Push your cart down the wine aisle.
8. Notice that Target Super Center has boxes of wine packaged in sophisticated looking boxes not found in Mathews County. Notice that the Target brand of boxed wine is on sale, and put two in your buggy. Also known as a cart.
9. Realize that you've been in the food section for an hour and that you've purchased nothing that was on your Christmas list, which is now being squashed by the Mathews County Convenience Center, aka The Dump.
10. Run over to the small gadgets/appliances aisle and remember that your mother wants a mixer. Throw that in the buggy.
11. Realize that you've wasted way too much time in the store altogether-- never mind the amount of time spent in the food section--and need to get on Route 17 to head home before it gets dark.
12. Go to the checkout stand.
13. Notice that when the cashier rings up your boxed wine, that the price is not the same as what it said on the shelf. Don't say a word.
14. After the purchase is complete, proceed to the Customer Service desk and tell the teenager that you feel certain this price is wrong.
15. Wait 2 hours while they check the price.
16. Due to your patience in the matter, where "patience" is defined as "Chesapeake Bay Woman stood eye-to-eye with the teenager and would not give up until her point was proven," Teenager decides to give you the wine for whatever price you said you thought it was.
Have a vague memory that you did not enter the store for boxed wine, rather for Christmas gifts.
17. Depart Target Super Center with this:
2 boxes of wine
0 Christmas gifts.