The Boring Word About It Must Be the Season

December 10, 1986

I was moving along with the Christmas shopping crowd at the mall the other day, trying to make a dent in my Christmas list, when a lady approached me with a shirt in her hand and asked if I thought it was blue or green.

On the elevator a husband and wife were having a discussion about presents when the man turned to me and whispered, “it’s awfully hard to buy your wife a present when she is along.”

In the toy store as I looked at a doll my daughter had requested, a voice beside me said, “you can get that a lot cheaper at Hill’s.” Another lady, noticing the doll, asked how old my daughter was and commented that she wished the regular doll that cries ma-ma and opens and closes its eyes would become popular again.

At the snack area grandparents with twin, toddler granddaughters joined me at the only available table. After conferring as to whether the kids would like the hotdogs, grandma disappeared and grandpa frantically tried to keep the twins and their balloons under control. “We went to see Santa,” he explained – which was the cue for both girls to recite their wish list to me.

Standing in line to get boxes at the gift wrap table was a real education. The lady in front of me said she feels the crowds are bigger this year, people must be spending more. However, a gentleman in line left after a few moments of waiting muttering this kind of torture is ridiculous and he wished Christmas was over.

In the ladies department a man told the saleslady his wife as about her build so what size should he buy? Later I heard her tell another clerk the man’s wife would probably be returning the item. “They always think their wives are my size when actually they are two sizes larger,” she commented.

As I was walking to the car with my one, little bag I thought there must be something about the season that makes people feel the need to express their thoughts to total strangers. I didn’t have much time to ponder over my thoughts though, a lady struggling to put a microwave in her station wagon asked for some assistance.

Happy shopping.