Monday, December 18, 2006


In dire need of a christmas cheer transfusion

Feeling the press of Christmas and not having (m)any gifts for my loved ones, I decided to suck it up and go shopping this evening after work. My first stop was Filene's Basement, in the silly hope that the cheap, yet tasteful picture frames that I did not buy last week were still there. Not only were they not there, but the entire display had miraculously turned into a rack of bras. Small matter.

So I loaded myself onto the train, and zipped to Pentagon City. On the way over, I mentally went through my list. I had to buy Yankee Swap gifts - the most pressure-filled gift event there ever was - something for my mom, something for my older brother, something for my Godson. And frames for my dad's gift. And a few other doodads.

I decided that I would first stop at Eddie Bauer. I had this semi-lame idea of buying one of those squishy handle umbrellas for the Yankee Swaps, along with an oven mitt-looking ice scraper that keeps the hands warm. Kind of a crappy weather themed gift. Not the best idea, but it was the only one I had. And I was sorta hoping that a gift idea for my older brother would fall from the rafters in there.

I hesitated on the second floor, then went up to the third. Not seeing the store, I meandered/made a beeline to the directory. I first checked under men's fashions. No luck. I checked under women's fashions. Nothing. A minor setback, I paused, then rallied, deciding to go to Kay-Bee Toys to get Ry a present. Not remembering which floor the zoo was on, I checked under the "Toys & Games" category. Kay-Bee wasn't there, but there was a nice little label saying "New Store Coming Soon!" in its former location.

I stared at the sign, dumbfounded. Bouncing back, though slightly less resilient than before, I decided to keep moving. Who needed the stupid directory, anyhow? Especially when I had a miniature one in my pocket.

Remembering my Crate & Barrel plan, I headed to the store of over-priced glittery goods, incredulous at my yucky luck. When I got to where I was going, my jaw dropped, and my eyes widened in the manner of someone who had been unexpectedly slapped. Crate & Barrel was nowhere to be found. For reals. I consulted my pocket directory, and it was not on there. I put my hand on a bench, suppressing that "I went to the wrong airport" feeling that was bubbling up in my stomach.

And then the dizziness hit. My cold had been stuffing up my nose all day, and making my face hot, but the dizziness was a new feature. I took out my phone, needing to comiserate with someone about the ridiculousness that was Pentagon City. While the phone was ringing, I checked the other stores on the map to see if there was anywhere that I wanted to go. Bebe? Arden B? United Colors of Benetton? Guess? XXII? WTF?

My mom came on the line, and gave me the appropriate sympathy. I said, "I mean, honestly, is this a bad dream?" and that made me realize that, no, it was real, because I never wonder if I'm dreaming in my bad dreams, I just plunge blindly down tunnels of despair.

My mom gave me the spirit to go on, and I less than enthusiastically headed over to the Borders/Linens N Things/Best Buy/Marshall's mini-mall. At Linens N Things I found a nice frame for my dad, and things began looking up. While waiting to pay, I looked at Border's, and realized that maybe they still had Apples to Apples, the game that I bought for my mom last Christmas. And if something's good enough for my mom, it's good enough for the damn Yankee Swap.

I went over there, did a little circle, and ended up at the Information Desk, where a guy was asking an employee if he could put his books on layaway. His voice was like Sidd's, and I listened for a second, enjoying it because a) Sidd has a nice voice, and b) it was nice to be reminded of Sidd.

Then another employee came over, I asked my question, and he responded in the negative. Gaarrggh!!!

This whole time I was still feeling dizzy, and entertaining myself by wondering what would happen if I fainted.

I shot into Best Buy, and headed straight towards the TV seasons, and picked up Boston Legal. I wanted Boston Legal. Too pissy to play the "what would others want" game, I bought Boston Legal, hoping that I end up with it in the Yankee Swap. So here's hoping.

I then went for a spin in Marshall's, turning my nose up at what little I saw, and then being glad that I did because the line was horrendous. Absolutely horrible. Trudging back to the metro, I enveloped myself in a shroud of pity so thick that I almost didn't hear a friend's roommate loudly calling my name several times.

We stopped to chat, and he told me an amusing story of how he used to live with an illegal immigrant. I was all spacey and sorta rude, and apologized for it, saying that I wasn't feeling well at all. We parted ways, and I continued my trudge.

At the metro, walking to the turnstile, I saw a little boy, not more than four, crying and holding his young mother's hand. She was yelling at him - not speaking harshly, but yelling - calling him a stupid ass, and saying that they missed the train because of his slow ass. I wanted to pick him up and give him a big hug...I stopped walking, and they kept walking down the platform, his cries and her chastising echoing off the walls.

Being overemotional and tired and feeling sick and throwing myself a little pity party on the platform, tears came to my eyes thinking of that poor little boy. And I realized that I had bought a frame for my dad that held three pictures, all vertical, or all horizontal, and swore out loud, silently. I had two vertical pictures, and one horizontal.


Before some random blogger comes out of the blogosphere to call me self-centered or whatever for complaining about this...let it be known that I know this is peanuts.

It's only 10 p.m., but I'm going to bed, after I send a short email to Sidd saying hello, and that I miss him and hope he's doing well.

And it's time for a good quote:

"The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night's sleep" - E. Joseph Cossman

Look out, Malls. I'm coming back tomorrow, and I'm going to squeeze every little last present out of the marrow of your commercialism.


I'd give you all the Christmas cheer I have to give, but I sadly, have little to give out.

Seriously though, trying to find "that" gift sometimes sucks. It'll be better tonight and you'll get everything you need to. :)
All those stores are gone from PC????? What the hell!??!

This is me sending you a little "All I want for Christmas is you" via your blog...

PS - I'm making Christmas Cookies tonight (here's hoping our oven works) so maybe that will put u in the mood!
tc: thank you for your hugs and sympathy!

c-note: I KNOW!!! WTF! I'm playing Mariah Carey while I write this, in order to pretend that you're really sending it. :-)

tk: I love you guys too! Thank you! I love sympathy!
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