I am not the type of person who has a lot of policies, but I do have two, and they both revolve around the holiday season.
Policy #1: I do not travel during the holidays. Nordic Boy and I spent a few years dragging our sorry asses across the country at the end of every year, breaking our necks in misery in order to spend a few days with family, which granted, were good days, but we have many other days that we can spend with family, at times when traveling does not make us want to crawl into a hole and never come out. One year, we sat in an airport, stranded due to snowstorms, among the great unwashed, hungry and tired and sick of standing in lines, and we looked at each other and said, you know, we don't have to DO THIS. It was like we had discovered warp drive, or electricity, or jello. Life changing. And thus, our first official family policy was born. I always feel a little embarrassed about this policy, because it makes us (I fear) sound cold and unfeeling, like we wouldn't sacrifice a little inconveniece to see our families or something. But that's our policy, and it works for us.
Policy #2: I do not step foot into the various retail districts of my city from Thanksgiving until after New Year. I still shop, mind you. I will go to my corner bookstore, or order something on Etsy, or whatever, but go into the heart of shoppy land? Or a mall? Nope.
I am only now realizing, as I write this, that both of these policies have less to do with noble anti-consumerist feelings and more to do with a hatred of crowds.
This Friday, I had the day off and I used it to break Policy #2. I had to send off some items to the nieces and nephews so I ventured to the the UPS store which is not really in a retail district, but still, it's the UPS store. A week before Christmas.
As I stood in line, I watched as the UPS workers were browbeaten by the customers. It was ugly. At one point, when told that her package was going to cost $20 to mail, a woman screamed, with visible spittle: "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?" at the worker at top decibel levels as if he had personally made up the price chart during his last coffee break. I also witnessed a rather huffy gentleman who didn't verbally abuse anyone, but showed his impatience at the dude feverishly working behind the counter via a continual barrage of loud huffy sighs.
So yeah, just be nice to your customer service workers, people. Or at the very least, don't scream profanities or subject their faces to saliva spray. I mean, that should go without saying, right?
On the brighter side of my weekend, that evening Nordic Boy and I had a dinner party with our poker friends. We are so used to cooking little meals for the two of us that the sheer amount of food and pots and pans it takes to cook dinner for 8 people is fricking nutso.
On Saturday night we went out to rent a movie, and picked up a Wii game rental while we were at it. When I paid for the item, the conversation went like this.
Renter Guy: That'll be $9.
Me: (opening up wallet).
RG: That's because the game rental is five dollars.
Me: Ok, that's fine.
RG: I was just saying that because it seemed like you were making a "what the fuck?" face.
Me: No, I wasn't. That's just how my face looks.
RG: Yeah. Ok. I guess it does.
That's when I showed him what my WTF face really looks like.