Pause Please?!

Oh my gosh! Christmas is only nine days away!

And there is not one gift under our tree!

Not one.


And I work 6 of those 9 days.

Houston, we have a problem. {Sadly, I don’t think there is anyone in Houston to help anymore.}

I think if I were to wrap everything we have bought we might end up with 20 presents under the tree. You should know we buy some basics for everyone every year. They all know it’s coming so I’m not spoiling the surprise {yes, my kids do read my blog}, but it will be a rather sad Christmas if they only get these basics. Think unmentionables. That’s almost all I’ve bought.

I tried to go shopping last weekend. Youngest Son and I went to Cabela’s – the world’s foremost outfitter. I don’t even know what it means to be the world’s foremost outfitter. But it was a traumatic experience for me. I am not an outdoorsy girl – unless taking pictures outdoors counts. I don’t hunt, I detest fishing. It’s just not my kind of store. But several people on my list love the place. My nieces hunt. I honestly don’t know where I went wrong:). So in we go, on a Saturday morning two weeks before Christmas. I had mentally prepared for the visit; telling myself it won’t be that bad and I can totally handle the challenge. We make the blustery walk to the front door past the kettle corn booth. For some reason there is always a frigid wind blowing when I go there. We walk thru the front doors and I feel a bit of panic. I told youngest son, “These are not my people.” Not a judgment, just an observation. We make a bee line for the apparel department. How hard can that be? After about 20 minutes we have found what we were looking for…kind of…not the color I wanted, but it will do.

Now to find the archery department. In the corner under the steps. Do you know how much people pay for arrows?!! No woman should ever be criticized again for an expensive pair of shoes or handbag. At least these items get daily use and are pretty functional. I could have bought two nice purses for the price of those arrows! We have an amateur archer who likes to shoot in the back yard. I am not paying that price! Eventually we find some that are somewhat reasonable and cut our losses.

I’m feeling pretty successful at this point. I have not broken out in hives. Or punched anyone. Success.

Then we need to find an ammo box. See, these are not my kind of gifts. I see guns and figure ammo must be close by. I find a nice man in a safari shirt and ask him where to find ammo boxes. Apparently, that is too general of a question. I’m faced with a barrage of options. To which I just stare blankly at him. I don’t know how to describe what was running thru my mind at that moment. But I’ll try:). It was kind of the same feeling I got when Oldest Son tried to describe how the Segways work. A cross between thinking I should understand and I don’t give a crap what you’re saying. It’s a feeling where I want to say, I have successfully raised three children, am very quick at learning technology, can perform may home repairs and I’m a fairly intelligent woman. I’m not a stupid person. But I could not feel more dumb than I do at this very moment. That’s how I felt as he asked me about the ammo box I was looking for. All I could think of was the metal containers we have seen while geocaching, so I say metal. They don’t carry them, but he will show me the plastic ones they do have. As we wind in and out of aisles, dodging 3,000 people along the way, we pass no less than 3 pallets of metal ammo boxes. I’m thinking, I’m sure that’s what they are. Why did he say they don’t have them? When we arrive at the lovely display of plastic boxes, I casually ask, “What are those?” pointing to the metal boxes. Apparently, they only carry metal boxes filled with ammo.

At this point I politely thank the safari-clad man and tell Youngest Son we must leave. I can’t breathe so well. Let’s find the check out and get out. Escape.

We wander toward the front of the store passing ridiculously long lines of people along the way. We pass the gun purchasing line just before the front check outs. And I am surprised to see, there is no one in line!? They have quite a few checkouts, but there is no line for any of them. This is very strange. Are the thousands of people milling around this store just window shopping? I look around like a shoplifter casing the place. But still, I see no lines. We head to the closest checker, continuing to scan for the crowd. I say to Youngest Son, “I feel like I’m cheating, it can’t be this easy.”

So prophetic.

Just then a sweet, gentle, safari-clad woman walks up to me and says there is a line. I realize her expression, though sympathetic, may have a hint of are-you-seriously-that-stupid mixed in. I babble apologetically that I thought there had to be a line, but I couldn’t find it. She points away from the checkouts. I’m still not seeing the line. The entire front aisle of the store is empty. I’m scanning and again having that feeling; wanting to say I am an intelligent person. Then I spot a lady standing stealthily amongst the clothing racks. She’s holding piles of merchandise. Slowly they start to appear, like those optical illusions. When you stare long enough you find the hidden objects. The apparel department is full of stealthy shoppers lurking in line! And they were all watching me. I sympathize with the deer.

I politely ask the safari-clad woman where she would like me to leave my selections. She gives me the blank stare. I explained that I was leaving. NOW. I can either drop them here or place them where you would like, but I am not going to be joining that line. There is nothing I needed that badly.

So to my family members whose wish list could have been satisfied at the world’s foremort outfitter, I’m sorry. Looks like you’ll be getting gift cards this year.

And I have no presents under my tree.

And it’s 9 days until Christmas.



Filed under Holidays, Lifestyle

4 responses to “Pause Please?!

  1. Carolyn Olson

    I am proud of you for attempting that madness! I have to say, living in a shopping black hole has its advantages. You don’t get condescending attitudes when you shop those places online! 🙂

  2. Maria

    that is great. i love how you didn’t stand in that awful line! I have done the same thing before – left the store and my cart!
    we have presents under our tree but i’m not even half done – so i’m right there with you!

  3. Letha Markwardt

    So funny but I think I would do the same thing. Hope you have accomplished some more shopping.

  4. And this is why I love Walmart: tacky, but functional (and a price I can typically swallow). Remember when shopping was fun?

    Totally hear you about arrows vs. handbags, too.

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