ah, christmas shopping. so much of it to do & so many places to go. There is one place I steer clear of if at all possible: the mall.
Parking (more in a minute), it's crowded, everyone's crabby (including me) & it's hot because you wear your stupid winter coat which is likely to be bulky and cause you to take up twice as much space as you would in say, a cute sundress.
I have a vivid memory of going to Rosedale Mall with my dad in my later elementary school years, maybe even junior high. After circling the parking lot forever to find a parking spot. We finally resorted to stalking a woman we spotted coming out of JC Penney's. We slowly drove behind her as she walked to her car and waited ever so patiently as she gingerly placed her shopping bags in her trunk, got settled in her car, started her engine & let her car warm up for a couple of minutes ("Oh, come on, lady," my dad would say through gritted teeth, "It ain't that cold out, just give us your spot!") and as she carefully pulled out of the spot, her tail end toward us, another car came from nowhere and zipped into the coveted parking spot right under our noses. Many expletives came out of my dad's mouth as he sped away and threatened Rosedale Mall that we would just leave and not shop at all. While I doubt Rosedale heard him and would have cared if it had, we relented, stalked another shopper leaving the mall and got our parking space, fair and square. Yeah.
I hadn't thought about this occurance in ages until this afternoon. I found myself at Rosedale Mall, much to my chagrin, attempting to park near JC Penney and I was circling and circling and circling. At one point, a car ahead of me was stopped for what seemed to be a very long time and just as I was beginning to feel annoyed, I noticed another car coming from the opposite direction (& the wrong way at that) attempting to awkwardly pull into a vacant parking space. The car ahead of me was shaking his fists and honking his horn. The car going the wrong way seemed to be ignoring these gestures but finally gave up on the parking spot and drove away. However, not before stopping next to the car ahead of me to exchange a lot of nice words in really kind tones about how smart each other was in regards to parking. Obviously I'm being sarcastic, there was nothing nice about the 30 second exchange at all, except that it completely distracted me from my annoyance. I will admit that I rolled down my window so that I could hear better.
But seriously, it's a parking spot and it's the holidays so why not just be a little bit nicer while exercising better patience. I don't know, I suppose because we're all stressed out about an assortment of things & it's much easier to freak out at a complete stranger over a parking spot than it is to deal with the source of the stress & anxiety directly. I'm a little guilty of this myself using a different outlet, but guilty none the less.
Witnessing the said encounter helped me put things in perspective and I'm proud to say that I went into the mall at 4:31 and was out by 4:46 having visited the two shops I intended and coming out with exactly what was on my list. All the while I was perfectly chipper and wearing my bulky winter coat and feeling too warm. But I made it through and you know what's even better? I don't think I'll have to go back! (Knock on wood)