Today I started my Christmas shopping. Since I only shop for Emily it should be an easy task. The only problem is that she never wants anything. That is probably a quality that many men would like in a woman. I say that it is a pain. I am easy to shop for the following is a list of things I would want for Christmas:
1. A new iPod with the 160 GB
2. A set of new grips for my mountain bike
3. Another mountain bike (if you could not find new grips)
4. New Baggie biking shorts (I like Endura products)
5. A gun (not picky but an Assault Rifle is preferred)
6. Rock Band for the X BOX 360 so the kids and I can live my Partridge Family fantasy
7. A torque wrench for my bike (in/lbs)
8. Winter riding gloves
9. Warm weather full finger riding gloves (Specialized BG gloves are great)
10. Insulated/windproof riding tights
11. A knife (any length as long as it cuts stuff)
12. A remote control car (several or I would have to share with the kids)
13. A Grill (who doesn't want a set of diamond studded teeth?)
14. A Grill (to cook meat on)
15. An i Tunes card so I can fill my i Pod with 160 GB of stuff
16. Outdoor speakers
17. A bacon variety pack of Daily's Bacon
18. Chips and Salsa (Medium, I am sensitive)
19. Bicycle shoe covers to keep my toes warm
20. New Allen wrenches
I will stop at 20 because I think I have made my point. I am easy to shop for. Emily on the other hand is not. For our 11th anniversary, she said she wanted diamond earrings. No problem, Olivia and I went out in search of diamond earrings. Emily specifically stated she wanted a 1/4 karat. I don't know what she expected, so I conducted a test. I casually suggested that I get Emily a bike, she said "no that would cost at least $600." I began to sweat profusely, I had officially done wrong. Olivia and I both had agreed that you could barely see 1/4 karat (total weight) diamond earrings and we chose the 1/2 karat. We had also spent about $600, a price to which she clearly had rejected (at least in the form of a bike). It was too late, as the king of good intentions I had also paid extra to put screw on backs on the earrings. Then she opened them and said "those are bigger then I expected." She doesn't wear them because they hurt her ears. So I have pretty much eliminated jewelry from the list.
For her birthday I bought her some shirts, but since she has many shirts she doesn't wear them often. She will not be getting clothes. I was thinking about lingerie, but that is more of a gift for me. So there I was, wandering the store looking for something that would not be too expensive or too insignificant. It was at that point that I made a number of observations.
1. I hate Christmas from the standpoint that it is way to commercial (unless you are getting me something, then it is just the spirit of the season)
2. I hate people, maybe hate is a strong word, but so is my hatred for people.
3. There is no such thing as holiday spirit. Unless by holiday spirit you mean the spirit that drives people to trample over others to get the last set of headphones that are on sale. To that I say "I don't care if you have a walker with tennis balls on the legs, you better move faster because I got the last set of headphones that were on sale!!"
After a failed attempt at purchasing a adequate gift (by adequate I of course mean something she wants that is not to expensive or stupid) I decided to go to the commissary on Fort Lee to purchase some California Rolls and a Red Bull. By the way, wasabi and Red Bull don't go well together. As I was walking in I ran into a co-worker who stated that he had walked through the door, saw the commotion, did an about face, and walked out. I did not heed to his warning and purchasing lunch proved to be a mistake (the commissary, not the wasabi/Red Bull mix) and I should have turned around when a friend told me to run away.
Instead I found myself fighting through people who were stocking up for both Christmas entertaining (which is not all that entertaining) and for the expected snow this weekend. Every register was open and the line extended half way around the store. Seriously, it was bad. So I naturally went to the shortest line which turned out to be a self check out line. I quickly found out why it was the shortest line. A piece of cardboard was stuck to the self check out line. It said:
"This register don't take cash or debit"
I thought, well if it "don't" take cash or debit I will just use the credit card and get the hell out of here. There was one flaw to this, the old guy at the self check out! (queue ominous music)
I am assuming that every one is familiar or has at least seen a self check out isle. Like the ATM it was created for both the convenience of the customer and to save the business from having to employ several people. Unlike the ATM it is neither convenient for the customer and they require people to help because they are hard to use. Additionally, I pay the same for the food whether some guy checks me out or if I do it. I should at least get some money knocked off for my labor.
Back to the old guy, it is clear that he had not used a computer since, well probably since computer monitors ceased to monochrome. So there I stood holding my Red Bull and sushi while he tried to figure out how to ring up 6 items. At one point he rang up some bananas wrong. The computer voice told him to put them in the bag. He then began to argue with the computer stating that he was not putting them in the bag because the were not the right price. Twenty minutes later he finally made it out of there.
Old people should not be able to use self check out at the grocery store! By the way, it is a computer and even though it is talking to you, it cannot understand you so arguing with it only prolongs an already painful experience.
As if that was not bad enough, I decided to take the kids to the mall to shop for a gift. Emily said she wanted some perfume, the problem is that I am not fond of the the smell of that particular type of perfume. So I decided to let the kids help me "surprise" Emily. The fact that the word surprise is in quotes should be a hint for future blogs. As for holiday spirit, there will be more to come. Maybe I should just get her an assault rifle.