Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Comfort and Joy

Oh, my poor neglected blog. I'd be lying if I told you I've been busy doing things as I've done very little since my last post. Right now I'm halfway through a stretch of 6 days off and I am being decidedly lazy. And being lazy has never been easier.

First of all, the weather. It has been truly horrid over the last week or so. Gale force winds, horizontal rain teamed up with sub-zero temperatures don't exactly encourage me to venture out of the house. If I can hear the wind in the morning when I wake up, I find that an excuse enough to roll over and go back to sleep for a bit.

Second of all, Mr S is still away, so I have nobody to kick me out of bed. Or to come up with things to do. I am missing his
presence, I really am but the fact that I can just arse about in PJs all day long doing nothing is really quite wonderful.

I don't think I could do this any other time of year, to be honest with you. It's something about the long dark nights that make me want to stock up on good books, red wine, bread and cheese and just ride it out until spring. The only thing stopping me from doing this is Christmas.

Yes, THAT C-word. I hate Christmas shopping. Really hate it. And I'm sure I'm not alone. I mean, who likes going into over crowded shops, which always have their air-conditioning set to "inferno" for some reason, so as you walk in from the cold air outside, you're met with a balmy heatwave. You end up taking off your hat, gloves, scarf and opening your coat, and filling your hands with your own clothes even before you've started shopping. The heat in the shops makes me very irritable and tired of the whole experience before it's even started. This really isn't helped by the hordes of stressed out fellow shopper, 70% or whom seem to have a cold or a flu judging by the amount of sneezing and coughing around me.

For a season entirely
focused around joy and cheer, people are very very rude around Christmas. People out shopping bump into you, knock you in the back with their trolleys, push their way through you to get to the perfect Christmas present just out of arm's reach. All this done either accidentally or on purpose, never once have I heard an "I'm sorry" uttered not even over their shoulder on their way to plow through another unsuspecting victim.

So, this year I decided to avoid the shops at all cost. I shopped online instead. I bought all but two presents online, all of which are currently residing in our spare bedroom waiting to be wrapped and sent to family. The two presents I didn't get online however, were purchased the old-fashioned way. In a way of making up for such stress-free Christmas shopping experience so far, I headed out with my friend and her 4-month old baby boy.

I suddenly have new-found respect for all those
harassed-looking mothers pushing prams and buggies around the shops around this time of year. I never realised how hard it was to do the simple things you normally do when you're out shopping by yourself. Take trying on clothes, for example. No fitting room is big enough for both you and the pram. How are you supposed to work that one out? Leave the door/curtain open so you can keep an eye on your little one while at the same time really defeating the purpose of using a fitting room at all. You might as well go and try the clothes on in the middle of the shop floor. Everyone is going to see your wobbly bits anyway.

It also seemed as if the shops were stocked up to the maximum capacity, thus making any space between the aisles/racks even narrower than usual. Getting through with a buggy required an impressive amount of
maneuvering. It would've made any driving instructor swell up with pride, I'm sure.

And then there's the bathroom issue. If you need to go to the bathroom, what are you going to do with your baby? Leave him outside? All alone? In a world full of weirdos? I didn't think so. Seeing as all the cubicles are too small to take the baby with you, you end up using the wheelchair accessible bathroom. And to me, that seems like a completely acceptable option until I heard another friend of mine who had done just that tell me that on her coming out of the bathroom she was met by a very angry man in a wheelchair outside the bathroom telling her that "Having a baby is not a disability, it's a choice. You should be ashamed of yourself!" I don't know about you, but I thought that was a bit over the top.

In any case, I have all my Christmas presents bought in good time. With minimal stress. Until I remember someone I
should've shopped for and never did. Thank god for internet!

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