With only four more days to go until Christmas, I’ve locked myself in my apartment with my sick little body and super-sized bottle of NyQuil where I can safely avoid the swarm of holiday shoppers, sight-seeing “flockers,” and general jerks during this busy shopping weekend and, hopefully, recover from this cold in peace. I put in my hour at Trader Joe’s earlier, and after frogger-ing my way around the post-work crowd and discovering some Trader Schmo had bought up all the semisweet chocolate chips, I think I need to remind myself of my rules of retail shopping, especially applicable during this time of the year.
It’s quite simple, really: have some goddamn respect. This goes for the people waiting on you and the people waiting with you.
As a former retail associate/server/basic bitch at a handful of markets, bakeries and restaurants, I’ve wasted my time trying to help too many assholes. People often say that everyone should have to work in retail in order to better understand how to treat other people. This theory is part of our whole “treat others as you’d like to be treated” mantra. I’m sorry, but I don’t think you need to work as a cashier to know that throwing a handful of empty peanut shells at an employee is a shitty thing to do. Throw your own trash away, get off your phone, and* use your words. This means if you’re unhappy with a product, confused about a sign that said 50% OFF, or just not sure what you want, maybe you should ask. Politely. Because instantly yelling at someone who has little to no control over the situation, and who probably worked on Thanksgiving and probably has to work on Christmas Eve is mean. Don’t be a bully.
Respect your fellow shoppers by not pretending that the concept of a line is totally foreign to you! If a 2 year old knows how to line up, so can you. Respect your fellow shoppers by not ramming into them to get to something or somewhere faster. Seriously, dude at Trader Joe’s, I wasn’t going to grab the last 39 cans of sardines you shoved past me for. Respect your fellow shoppers by getting out of the way if you’re contemplating how many cinnamon scented candles you’ll need for the next week. The answer is one. You only need one candle.
How about we just steal the three rules of every museum and use them everywhere we shop? That means no running, no yelling, and no touching.
If you don’t know someone, don’t touch them. Don’t push them. Don’t ask to hold their baby or touch their fur jacket, ‘cause that’s weird. Don’t yell at someone because they got the last Queen Elsa doll and don’t yell at your kid for wanting to be anywhere but shopping with you (who could blame them?). Don’t run into me and we’ll be cool.
Finally, to go above and beyond all you have to do is say thank you! But don’t fucking smile unless you really mean it, because we’ve already got enough fake commercial bullshit this time of year as it is.
*Preschool Teacher Alert
I stepped into a lot of emotional realms I didn’t plan on dealing with today today. Slightly hungover first. Sleepless and delirious. Sad and broke loser, later and continually. I wasn’t sure if I’d be spending my evening curled in bed watching sappy television dramas about fairytale characters in the real world (oh my god, I can’t stop watching stupid tv) while randomly tearing up at each sappy sentimental scene. Things turned around. Want to know why?
Because it’s beginning to sort of, kind of, slightly resemble Christmas in our teeny tiny apartment. My boyfriend Patrick and I bought our first Christmas tree for our first home! Sure, it’s the biggest thing in our living space at the moment, but the place smells like pine. Yes, we only have one ornament to put on the tree, but it’s a fuzzy squirrel! But once we filled the little guy with those cheap CVS lights, my mood instantly lifted.
Now that I’m feeling the quick approach of the holidays skipping nearby, and even more so the stress that I haven’t bought a single present for anyone yet, I wanted to share the new game of the season. It’s #cheesycheer(s)ing and everyone [me!] is doing it!
I’ve become friends with several people after discovering their fondness for tequila rivaled my own. #cheesycheers was spawned from one of those friendships. As we would raise our glasses, my friend would always cheers to something both simple, and lame. We’d toast to friendship, and love, and dreams. We needed to progress. We needed to cheers to the beach at sunset or candles in the wind! So we did.
I’ve been trying to get this trend going for a while now. And by trying, I mean, I hash tagged a couple of my Instagram photos back in the summertime and proceed to clink shot glasses to “dancing like no one’s watching” on a fairly regular basis. But I think now is the perfect time to bring the rest of the world into the wonder and fun of cheesy cheer(s)ing.
The way it works is simple.
Step 1: Buy someone--anyone--a shot of hard liquor. My drink of choice is tequila, because it always is, and because tequila shots are a whole fun process in themselves.
Step 2: Raise your glass and propose the cheesiest toast you can think of.
Step 3: Drink.
Step 4: Repeat as desired.
You might be wondering why is this perfect for the holidays. Simple! This is that time of year where you’re going to be expected to go out: holiday work parties, family dinners, cookie exchanges, parties in one of your high school friend’s parent’s basement, and the dreaded New Year’s Eve. A lot of these events are going to be dull. But not if you engage in some good cheerful imbibing!
Oh, you’re also probably going to be expected to start exchanging gifts with some folks, right? Fear not, friends! #cheesycheers are the perfect gift! You buy the shot! You cheers some cheesy words of praise to your buddy! If you’re feeling really ambitious, get someone else to snap a picture of you pre-/post-shot and let’s get this hashtag moving up the ranks online. Wahlah! Cheap and sweet in a snap. Don’t be afraid of seeming like the broke friend (If you’re cheer(s)ing, you know you’re the broke friend!) The greatest gifts aren’t the ones we can literally wrap our fingers around. But presents that you can wrap your stomach around rarely go to waste. Here’s to Christmas trees, sugar cookies, and home is where the heart is! Don’t spend this holiday season sober.
heavy heeled when walking; heavy handed when pouring a drink