And Merry Grinchmas to You

by Deanna Verbouwens

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I hate Christmas shopping.

Actually, I hate shopping in general.  But today is about my specific distaste for holiday shopping. I hate the lines; the inability to find the perfect gift, and my indecisiveness when I finally do find something. But what I really, truly hate is all the cranky and rude customers.Isn’t it supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year? So why is everyone so cranky?

I realize shopping is stressful, I realize shopping is exhausting and I realize that everyone is on overdrive. But I firmly believe that because of the stress of the holidays, we all need a little more patience. We should shell out a few more "pleases," make sure not to skimp on the "thank you's" and certainly not cheap out on the "excuse me's." But for some reason, it's the absolute opposite during the holidays.

Why?

The other day, when I was in the checkout line, I did a little a dance with a woman who I inadvertently bumped into. I was yakking it up with my sister as we waited in this terribly long line and apparently I hit the 20x20 frame she was holding with my cart. As soon as I realized my infraction, I said “I’m so sorry." But no sooner did the apology leave my lips, then I got smacked with a snappy snarky reply:  “It was the fifth time you did it.”

What did I say in my head? Really, five times? You’re so patient that you let your item get reamed by a cart FIVE TIMES? Well good for you, I’ll take what you’re having. But what I said out loud was, "I’m so sorry, I didn’t even realize it."

I guess Jim Carrey retired from the role of the Grinch because in a shrill, rude and cranky voice, she replied "Well, you should be more aware of your surroundings."

And because I’m a loud Italian and a Virgo (which means I love to get the last word in), I replied in a syrupy sweet voice:  “You are correct, I am so very sorry."

I was civil, I apologized again.

End of story.

Or so I thought. 

I guess my dance partner had a few more twists and turns up her sleeve. She threw right back:  “Umm, I guess I believe you, just be more aware, I mean really, you hit my frame like five times."

Ok, really? My first, second and third thoughts are not publishable. But because it's the Christmas season, I put my snark on the shelf, and said “I know. You are so right, I should have been aware of all my surroundings, I am wrong, so wrong, and I seriously hope I didn’t harm the frame, and as long as you believe me, I’ll be able to sleep, but most importantly, please have a very very Merry Christmas!”

And with that. I did my curtsy and ended our dance.

I don't know about you, but I'm certainly not going to let grinches get me down this holiday season!

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