Saturday, November 28, 2009

Into the Fray I Go



The male of the species via plan59.com

I've generally managed to reduce my Christmas shopping to one afternoon a year. Not a panic, hair-loss kind of afternoon but generally more of a latte-sipping window browsing casual shopping afternoon. Yet it reveals my male minded hunter approach to shopping (as opposed to the more feminine "gatherer" methodology). I'm more of "hide in the duck blind and wait" type of shopper. I stalk my prey and sniff the ground then when the salesperson has forgotten about me and has gone to the pond for a drink, I pounce. Like the jaguar. Search and destroy, that's my motto. More Gen. Patton than SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker for those not in the know/care). I'm not shopping, I'm hunting. One shot. It's war boys, so gird you loins, put your armour on, nut up or shut up.

I apologize for the drama. The truth is I try to mask my dislike for shopping with a casual indifference. It's been said there are no atheists in a foxhole. Conversely, there are no Christians in a shopping mall. Ye of little faith, go shopping. Go forth and multiply your debt, I say to thee.

I suppose I've abandoned my chiding of retailers who advertise Christmas specials starting on All Saints Day. It's just business. If you made 75% of your revenue in a six to eight week block, you'd want to make the most of it. For businesses it really is war and early advertising is the equivalent of a pre-emptive strike. Yet what to make of my neighbours who took down Halloween decorations and immediately replaced them with Yuletide trimmings? Or were the lights there all year and needed only to be plugged in? The absurdity is distressing not to mention a waste of electricity. We didn't build planet smashing nuclear power plants to make pretty glowing trinkets did we? Have these people been so convinced that Christmas is a two month long celebration of consumption that they've forgotten the point? Clearly they have. Are their lives so bleak and bereft of joy that artificial lights are the only things that will make them happy? Maybe it's not the only thing. Buying disposable crap (insert Grinch-like list of invented products here) also acts as a salve to their open emotional wounds.

I'm sorry to report to you that my afternoon sojourn was a failure. Nothing accomplished. Can't a hunter have a bad day? Patience is not merely a virtue but also a labour. This is something you occasionally have to work at. Thus it is that once more I throw myself on the mercy of the market and pass through the valley of once in a lifetime specials. Pray for me, friend. Pray for us all.


Update: The following day, I left the house determined to do in an hour what I couldn't do in an afternoon. A short drive, 30 minutes later, the task was done. This expedition frees me to point and mock others trapped in their despair.

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