I went out today with my husband to a shopping centre. Shopping city would probably be a more appropriate term for it. I’m not generally a shopping centre person. I especially dislike massive consumeristic gatherings in one place, full of agitated people with only 3 things on their mind. Get in, shop, and get out again alive and solvent.
The silly season is now upon us, and I suspect that the term ‘silly’ has been derived from observations of just what lengths some will go to to secure that ever elusive parking spot closest to the entrance. I try to park as far as possible from the fray if I can. I prefer to walk a little further than suffer the anxiety of jostling for position and running the gauntlet of a recently vacated space, or even worse, one that is about to be vacated. We’ve all been there…waiting patiently for the aforementioned space with blinker at the ready, only to have some inconsiderate sod zoom into the space before you can even get into first gear. I’ve seen some nasty results from such scenarios, and it has taught me that parking a little further away can sometimes be the better part of valour.
My husband isn’t really deterred by all the shenanigans, and will bravely forge ahead to any potential opening he can find as close to his point of entry as possible. By the time we have finished trawling for a good vantage point and securing our position, I could have gone and parked up the other end and been in for a milkshake and a browse. On these occasions I find myself reaching for the rescue remedy before I even hit the shops.
Once inside it becomes a game of tactics. I must get what I need to do done before my husband starts to exhibit signs of agitation borne from what he sees as a penance, and try to distract him before the rot sets in. I have devised different methods over the years to gain maximum benefit for minimal effort. Plan A has been the availability of the ‘while-u-wait pressure point massage centres catering to the everyday stresses of the tired and harassed shopping populous. I don’t even have to ask any more, he heads straight for them and takes the longest session available. Then it’s all plain sailing, as long as I can do the required tasks in the allotted time frame. More often than not this tends to work out well for the both of us, but today it was too much to hope for.
As I have mentioned before, I’m not one for shopping centres, especially ones filled with pre-Christmas shoppers intent on making it as difficult as possible for not only themselves, but for all those around them. Okay, so I am generalising, but it sure felt like it as I negotiated screaming children, irate mothers, distracted fathers, pottering pensioners, disoriented foreigners, disorientated locals, gangs of teenagers, and in-betweeners, in every bit of breathing space imaginable. I had nowhere to go, except back to my husband in order to get out of there before I lost my marbles completely.
He decided to cut his losses and, at my suggestion, head for his favourite restaurant. I reserve this as backup plan B if plan A isn’t resolved. So far I have never had to resort to plan C, which involves one of us finding our own way home, preferably not the writer of this post. As we both have a set of keys to the car, it could go either way.
I have decided that my Christmas shopping for the year will consist of cards, money in envelopes, and a good method of delivery. Sadly, this trend has been developing over a number of years and looks like setting in for the duration of my existence.
It could be worse. It could have been plan C.