Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Better keep the receipt for this title, eh?

Oh blog, I missed you so. Let me curl up in your lap and tell you my tale of adventure and daring while you stroke my hair and feed me sweet salted licorice until my smile is aglow with lumpy black teeth.

I went to the mall today... now wait right there! Let me make two things perfectly clear:

1) I was not there to shop
2) I fully qualify for sympathy

My library is in the mall. I had no choice. If I waited until after Christmas to return my due items I'd be looking at a good fifty bucks in late fines. I'd dive into a shark tank at feeding time if you dropped a dollar in there, so yes, I was prepared to brave the festive shoppers to conduct my business.

Actually it wasn't so bad. I got a decent parking spot and everything, and ten count 'em ten documentaries were sitting there on the hold shelf with my name on them. Happy Geekmas to me!

So that made me smile. And that smile made me unique amongst the thronging masses. And my favorite thing about Christmas is having an excuse to use the expression thronging masses. And I'm digressing. Interesting that I was one of a very small minority of people in that mall not in the service of holiday celebrations, and yet I was also the only one smiling. Well, there was me and a library assistant who was clearly new to the place. She was wearing the mandatory "Hi there, I'm agreeable!" expression common to everybody working their first day at a new job and shelter dogs trying to get adopted. Unlike her, though, my smile wasn't causing my gum line to cramp up.

Hope she does okay. She really was doing a great job on the smile.

Yeah, Christmas would be great if it wasn't for all the anger. Now normally I do use the considerately inclusive term "Holidays" when talking about seasonal celebrations, but I don't know if the other solstice holidays are as retail intensive as Christmas. Maybe Hanukkah, but I think Hanukkah partiers are done their shopping by now, aren't they? Well anyway if I'm wrong and you're all out there elbowing each other in the eye sockets trying to get the last box of Menorah candles, count yourselves included in this post too.

It's just amazing how quickly people switch from normal citizens into crazed all consuming holiday beasts. One day everybody's just going about business as usual, joking light heartedly about how late they've left their shopping and oh how they hate you if you've managed to buy something already, hahaha you keener you, making them look bad! Then the last weekend before Christmas comes and goes, everybody suddenly remembers how to read a calendar, and people are cutting in front of ambulances in snow storms to make it to the last passenger drop off spot five seconds ahead of the DATS bus.

This is the part where I'm supposed to say something wise or profound about having devised a clever alternative to holiday shopping and/or system for getting holiday shopping done early, hm? Share photographs of the gaily painted magpie eggs I harvested and pickled myself, and will be giving to everybody in nests made out of old scraps of recycled ribbon along with a donation receipt from ducks unlimited in lieu of crass commercial items people might actually want, perhaps. Or maybe graph my analysis of what exact time and day of the post-Christmas sale season is ideal for scoring the best merchandise for next year's gifts at the best prices with a minimum of effort? No. There'll be none of that here. I mean yes, I did think I was clever and had thought I'd beaten the system. The system does not like to be beaten, though, and I have been thoroughly punished.

I decided to have a hundred percent, handmade Etsy Christmas. That turned out to be a terrible idea.

Okay now wait another minute - yes you know I know some of you are Etsy sellers. You know I'm one too! Gabba gabba one of us! Put down the crochet hooks, ok?

It's possible some of you haven't got clue one what I'm talking about, too. Etsy is a non-auction site that is otherwise kind of like Ebay (juuuuuuust leave those hooks on the table where I can see them, Etsians - this is just shorthand for the civilians. Yes we all really know Etsy doesn't actually compare to Ebay at all and nobody's suggesting otherwise, okay?) where sellers open shops to sell their handcrafted wares.

And to throw home made, one of a kind, 100% recycled hissy fit tantrums when you point out that they haven't got a clue what they're doing, too, which unfortunately you sometimes do need to do. There's good reason so many Etsy sellers spend so much of their lives sitting at home all alone doing crafts.

There are sellers with balanced personality profiles that I know and trust, though, yes. Many! That is the point of this post, which I am getting to. I've just also discovered that the unknown substances on that site are cut with some pretty harsh downers. Amusing when it's spring and you're just waiting for a pretty handbag to go with your sandals, but amateurs with unstable personalities are not to be trusted with the time sensitive deliveries of gifts for people you love.

Ultimately after weeks of fighting people who moonlight as vending machines for crazy that dispense as soon as you insert money, almost everything did arrive, and where things didn't these marvelous sellers stepped up to the plate and saved the day:

My Nominations for Santa's Good List

BathingInLuxury who, upon learning how a seller had decided to sell the item I'd already bought and paid for to someone else a week after I'd purchased it, practically strapped a bar of the most divinely fresh scented soap - green grass scent, to help get my gardening neighbours through the long winter! - to a rocket pack equipped pigeon in order to get it here in time for me.

UrbanCheesecraft who, upon listening to my concerns that the item might not arrive in time, did back flips through flaming hoops to make sure that come what may, I would have a gift to give and was 110% committed to making sure I was 120% satisfied with the transaction, and oh yes I am. Seriously, how cool a present is a kit for making your own cheese? Comes highly recommended by other people I know and trust, and it is put together beautifully. I can't wait to give it!

And special mention goes to a very, very special seller indeed, who is as wonderful a person as he is professional, and that's pretty darn very damn. I didn't happen to purchase anything from him this year, but I would never hesitate to for even a split second. He was there standing ready to dash out an overnight delivery of wonderful gifts for me to give to the people I love if I'd come up short, and the guy's undergoing chemotherapy. Selfless much? If you're on Etsy it would be a very, very good idea to heart mindlesspursuits and check out his insanely cute t-shirts when he returns. You couldn't patronize a more conscientious seller.

So yeah, just laughing at the lunatics and loving the heros in my life, and so happy to be completely done with all my Christmas performances now and back to blogging at last! Seriously, no commiseration necessary for the nut jobs, okay? I've learned my lesson about sticking to sellers I trust when time is an issue, and I've been blessed with great sellers as great friends who were there for me when I needed them. That's the happy ending we're taking away from this Christmas story.

Oh yeah, and to address all of the speculation, I produce and perform interactive comedy for corporate and promotional events. For now, anyway. I don't know... you all might just be on to something with that bank robbing idea.


Anonymous said...

You're covered. Channukah ended last Friday. But I was running around like crazy the first night looking for candles because I kept forgetting to get them before and apparently, no one cares about Channukah, so hardly any of the big box retailers bother to carry candles.

But I digress.

I don't get the anger, either. I actually really enjoy Christmas shopping. Mostly because then I get to wrap things and I REALLY like to wrap things. My boyfriend says I'm weird.

And I think I just found my Christmas Eve blog post, so thanks! :-)

Brian Miller said...

i was going to stop at th mall yesterday...ended up driving by...way too many people!

Eva Gallant said...

You're right! So many people out there are downright ugly-acting in the season of love and peace!

Fire Byrd said...

The joy of having very few shopping malls in a country . We have to walk down the high street on the pavement (sidewalk) ( which version to Canadians go for?) and in and out of old fashioned shops.... No air condiontioning for us stoical Brits.
However we can still do a fine line in grumpieness so not that different after all!
Have a very Happy Christmas with or without a title.


JenJen said...

I honestly don't know what Etsy is that is, until now.
Thanks for the education.
I think I'm heading to the GAP right now, I need ONE MORE THING!!


Count me in the lunatic bucket.

e said...

Happy Christmas to you as well. I was only in the mall last week as I rarely shop there, and I spotted no meanies, though it was quite crowded.

I celebrate Chanukah, and yes, sometimes getting candles from retailers can be a pain, so I purchase from my temple. That may be a better alternative than retail outlets, if your commenter has one in her area.

I hope 2010 is a good year!

secret agent woman said...

When a store, including the grocery store, is crowded this time of year and everyone seems irritable, I have a trick. I sing very quietly to myself. Some Christmas song. To remind me that there is just no sense in buying into the madness. SOmehow it always works and I am another person in the store who is smiling.

♥ Braja said...

Thank God there's no malls in this village.

Buckeroomama said...

You are TOO funny!

I am all "malled" out. I just have to get that one present for my dad this afternoon and I am done. He's going to get --get this, --dried oysters! On his list, seriously.

Have a wonderful Christmas.

TheFrogBag said...

Ugg, malls!

I couldn't quite do a 100% etsy Christmas this year (I tried, but the men in my life make it hard) but I did do an almost all on-line year. Of course, I'm still short a few gifts, so I guess I'll be running around like a nut tomorrow, when what I really want to do is go to the Observatory. I wonder if anyone on my list wants anything from their gift shop? I mean, besides me...

Happy Christmas (or, if you're like me, happy Newtonmas) to you and yours!

Jeanne said...

You are brilliant at coming up with unique, new and perfect metaphors.

So the cool thing is, I can now go into Christmas all color-coordinated for the holiday, as I'm spruce-green with envy....

Hope this is your best Christmas ever!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

What a lovely blog you have!And your post is so very well-written and i love it!.
Thank you so much for your comments on my blog, you're very welcome here:) and i think your way of spending the holidays is the best!!
I look forward to this, too!
I just love your blog!
Happy Holidays!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I am your brand new follower!

I hope you can visit me again!!!

otin said...

Maybe they should start calling it a shopping maul! People really will kill each other to get at the last item!

carma said...

glad you survived all the "thronging" Now go make some mac n' cheese already! ;-)

LadyFi said...

I hate shopping at the best of times. Can't go anywhere near the shops during busy times...

Sorry to hear about your Etsy problems. Most have problems shipping abroad at reasonable rates, so I've only bought a couple of stuff from a Swedish based Etsy shop...

So glad you got some good sellers to help you out.

Traci said...

You are so funny -- you hit the consumer Christmas craziness on the head. I am, unfortunately, headed out for a couple of last minute items.

I thought that was what you did. As an actress, I never actually did the corporate events but I had friends who did a lot of day work that way. Cool for you!

Merry Christmas!

nitebyrd said...

Going to the mall at this time of year? I'd rather die the death of a thousand dogs. You are a strong woman.

So far, I've had no problems with Etsy sellers. Only one needed to be poked with a sharp stick a couple of times before she sent my stuff out. I always am considerate to my buyers and mail the product out right after payment. It's the only way to do business.

Merry Christmas to you and Cynthia!

Queenie Jeannie said...

Merry Christmas!

IB said...

I once had a throbbing mass on my neck, but I was able to get rid of it with a cream applied twice daily for a week.

Indigo said...

Happy Christmas xx

Unknown Mami said...

I had a feeling that's what you did.

The Blonde Duck said...

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

....Petty Witter said...

Sorry that I haven't been to say hello before now, Pooter caught a virus and then there was that little matter of Christmas. Many thanks for visiting me at Pen And Paper, always good to see new faces as it were. My best wishes to you and yours.

Jason, as himself said...

I've never been to Etsy but I've seen the link all over the place...and....my friend got me an Etsy bread basket for Christmas this year!

Menopausal New Mom said...

Oh I headed to the mall today and was pleasantly surprised at how polite the shoppers were. Even snagged a good parking space twice!!!

Lucky, I live in a small town where we all know one another so that seems to keep people in line Lol!

kys said...

I can't believe your library is in the mall. That seems strange to me.

I will check out those non-crazy Etsy sellers. Thanks!

Liza said...

"my favorite thing about Christmas is having an excuse to use the expression thronging masses"
Oh that made laugh!
Happy holidays to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Dread shopping at the mall. I need to check out your links for future reference! Thanks!

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