Christmas Claustrophobia

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December 21, 2011 by Manny Wordsmith

Oh the holiday cheer! It’s in the air!

I love Christmas but I really dislike people. Not in the stuffy claustrophobic type of way, where I’m sidestepping everyone, hoping to not be touched. Ok who am I kidding? That’s exactly what I mean. Does that make me weird?

If so, just imagine this.

You walk into the grocery store around noon, hell-bent on making the quickest exit you can. You have your list, you have your expert strategy and you the eye of the tiger. The Rocky theme starts as the automatic doors open. You grab your cart and to your surprise…all four wheels work. Your thinking to yourself, “This might actually go well.”

But your optimism dooms you, because time you turn the corner you find a cart traffic jam. Three babies are mindlessly swinging their arms and feet while their mom is chatting on the phone with their father, who apparently forgot to put Chase’s “binky” in the bag today. Two pimple-faced teenagers look on as an elderly couple attempts to “sign” their way by, not knowing that the trophy wife with the leggings and the Northface bubbly jacket only listens to one person…her Swedish personal trainer and lover Gunnar Björnstrand.

So your there skirmming passively, trying not to be rude, but at the same time your trying to show authority. So you begin to ease close, putting your right hand up as you pass, signaling that your waypoint is well intended. But since no one is paying attention you get locked up in between the old folks and the kicking kids. You suddenly feel closed in and trapped. You think about the movie “Total Recall” and how Douglas Quaid felt when he woke up from Mars. You didn’t want to kick and fight anyone and get sedatives shot in your leg by some kid half your age. So you stay and wait…in the mess, brooding silently while a 4 year old tries to hand you his soggy sucker stick. Merry F’in Christmas.

So am I still weird?




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