Thursday, December 15, 2011

RELUCTANTLY I GO

Fog and drizzle, damp and cold,
days like this are getting old.
Not what I need this time of year,
to fill my heart with Christmas cheer.
I want the land all snowy white,
a scene that fits the season right.
Instead I'm faced with soggy mud.
As weather goes—today's a dud!
———


Yes, it takes a lot to make me commit such doggerel. But, I have my reasons.

Dud day or not, I'm soon preparing to haul my arthritic carcass out and onto the traffic-choked freeway for at least a partial day of Christmas shopping—though I can't say I'm looking forward to the ordeal. It's dark and cloudy and sprinkling. Parking lots will be jammed and messy. Stores will be crowded. Clerks and cashiers will be harried and short-tempered. Fellow shoppers surly, ruthless, and devious.

If that isn't bad enough, Thursday is the day when area retirement homes and senior-citizen centers often decided to load buses with their ambulatory inmates and foist them off on the general public—as if the malls and big-box shopping marts were a sort of free-for-all day-care facility. Never mind that half these folks get lost making the round trip from their room to the cafeteria, or must use a cane or walker to remain upright—a mile of lookalike storefronts illogically arranged on three levels, divided by all manner of escalators, elevators, ramps and stairs are disregarded as no problem by the captors who've set them temporarily free. "Why," they say, "they'll manage to get around and find their way just fine." 

Wanna bet? 

And let's not forget that seniors sometimes get a bit, er, cranky as they age; I certainly am. But I'm not yet to the point of those cantankerous oldsters who have at some point advanced from curmudgeonly to homicidal. Give them a shopping cart and they're armed and dangerous…and those sweet little old blue-haired ladies who look like Miss Marple are the worst! They'll lacerate your shins in a heartbeat, bang you in the hipbone for a bruising you'll wear until Twelfth Night, and if you still haven't fled for your life, flatten you over like a highballing steamroller—leaving nothing but wheel tracks along your spine and little waffle marks on your ears from the white tennis shoes with the sparkly pink laces they always wear.

Nevertheless, reluctantly I go.
———————

14 comments:

Arija said...

Dearest Grizz, do enjoy your Christmas shopping regardless of the machine gun wielding gtret-grsnnies.

Gail said...

Hi Grizz - oh my, reluctantly indeed. It is the same weather here, rainy, dark, windy, and a good day to be inside by the fire with some hot tea or cocoa. I don't envy your jaunt. And too funny about the 'senior brigade' to the mall. You are a great writer, really. :-)
Love Gail
peace.....

KGMom said...

Scribe--you make me so happy that we have no Christmas shopping left to do.
We visited our son & his wife a week ago, and had our "Christmas" then. And over Christmas itself we will be on a trip to Cape Town with our daughter & her husband. And that, we decided was gift enough.
Hope your shopping turns out well, and that you do not tangle with too many lost seniors.

Debbie said...

You poor guy! I quit all that. I'm an Amazon convert. I order it and have it sent for me with a little gift card and save time, money, life years, insurance deductibles.....
Just a suggestion!
:D
Debbie

The Weaver of Grass said...

Poor old you - hope you are now home again, warm by the fire with a glass of something warming in your hand - saying ' that was not too bad.'

Amish Stories said...

I'm just stopping by different type of blogs and thought id say hello folks. So greetings from an Amish community in Pennsylvania, and wishing everyone a merry Christmas and a healthy and happy new year. Richard from Amish Stories

Grizz………… said...

Arija…

I did rather enjoy my shopping, actually—and I'm now more-or-less finished. And no road-killed granny was left in my wake.

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

It is getting colder here—upper-20s for tonight. I have to stay in and work tomorrow, so today was the day or else wait for the weekend.

Be good…sorta.

Grizz………… said...

KGMom…

I'm now pretty much finished with my shopping. And I didn't even rise to the misdemeanor level with the seniors I encountered. So all's well.

Have a great trip!

Grizz………… said...

Debbie…

I know, I know…I'm probably too old school about gifts. I buy a fair amount of stuff online, but never receive Christmas gift lists until the eleventh hour—at which point I'm reluctant to order from some places. Plus, I like to have the thing, whatever it may be, in my hot little hands when I fork over the cash. Seems so nice and clean and simple an idea. No middlemen, carriers, shippers, or clerks to mess the scenario up. Besides—and I truly hate to actually admit this—I really enjoy shopping, or at least looking and buying. I'm not a tire-kicker, but I'm a price-hunter. (Irish blood, you know.) And I loves a bargain! In addition, part of the joy of Christmas is the spirited bashing and elbowing and cart-whacking of my fellow holiday-crazed shoppers—all in the name of good Capitalist-Consumer fun. Nahhhh, I can't forgo all that hunter-gatherer warm fuzziness for the digital unreality of a bunch of pixilated Xs and Os.

Grizz………… said...

Weaver…

Home. No fire, or glass…yet. But supper warming and the creature conforts will soon be addressed. And I did have a good day. So no more whining until tomorrow…and possibly longer. ;-)

Grizz………… said...

Richard (Amish Stories)…

Thank you for dropping by. I took a quick look at your blog and thought it looked really neat…so I'll be back. We have a lot of Amish here in Ohio, too, you know. Please keep in mind you're welcome here anytime. Merry Christmas!

George said...

What a relief this post is, Grizz. First, I relate to it totally. Who wants to subject himself or herself to such endangerment and frustration during a season supposedly dedicated to peace. Second, and more important, it's very reassuring to know that you remain steadfastly grizzled and incorrigible. With your ever-softening heart—made apparent in your love notes to nature—I feared we might lose you to the first sight of a crocus in spring. Now, however, I am reassured that you will return to the highways, byways, and shopping malls next year, as incorrigible and grizzled as ever.

Grizz………… said...

George…

Well, huh. And I here thought I had been noticeably reforming my impenitent ways. Alas, those old habits are hard to shake, especially when I'm busy warding off creeping geezerhood with one hand and throttling a cart-wielding octogenarian with the other. This is not the season for letting down one's defenses.

You do make a good point, though, as there have been times afield when I plumb near keeled over like Ferdinand the Bull at the sight of a hillside covered in bloodroot, or when listening to the dulcet melody of a robin ringing in the dawn. There are indeed worse ways to expire.

However…rest assured what typically occurs is that holiday shopping, with all the la-de-dah canned carols, anorexic Santas, plastic Christmas trees, and savagery-in-the-isles that's replaced good manners and pleasant behavior, can usually wind me up for a good 8-9 months down the road. The gentler, kinder, sweeter, tree cuddlier extraordinaire, and all-around swell fellow—that Grizz you've come to love and expect—will begin to reappear about August.

In the meantime, what you see will only be an deliberate act, designed to avoid being mistaken for a saint. (FAT CHANCE!)