Noa Gavin's Guide to Holiday Gifting: Store Etiquette Refresher

12/20/2010 · 11 comments

in Grace, Social Services

1. Child Appropriate Behavior

I don’t have children. I don’t think I want children. I’m resentful of unruly children.

However, after teaching children for many many years, I realize that sometimes, there’s nothing you can do about a screaming child. Could be hungry, could be tired, could be a demon–who knows. You’ve done what you can think of short of pleading to the Gods of the Backyardigans, but they’re on a screaming, punching, crying tirade. You’ve tried. I see that. I sympathize with you, and will make a sadly empathetic frowny face as I walk by you.

Inappropriate Action That Really Took Place: As Grace witnessed on Saturday, to strap your three-year-old to the sunshade of your stroller with your belt.

Appropriate Action: Shame your child. Shame them and implant horrible fears of abandonment into their hearts. Don’t be afraid to use Santa. “Do you think for one second that I will not trade you in for a starving, grateful, well-behaved child in Africa? Did you know Santa also offers that service? Child swapping? Well, you’ll find out on Christmas, I guess.”

2. Check-Out Load Evaluation

There’s a shitload of people in this Wal-Mart. So many, in fact, that there are no carts available, so I decided to grab my ranch, croutons, and gallon of milk and just carry them up to the checkout.

But Ma’am, I am aware you saw me walking towards express checkout, and I am even more acutely aware that you FUCKING SPRINTED to the line with your CART loaded with ONE PACK OF TISSUE PAPER AND HAIR DYE. Fuck you to death, ma’am.

Inappropriate Action That Really Took Place: Not everyone is aware of the rule that if you have a cart and the person behind you does not, you let them go ahead–I forgive you for this. However, you chose to leave your cart behind you in the line so I cannot even set my things down. You know you’re doing it, too, because you’re purposely not making eye contact with me. Then, when we both make it to the parking lot at the same time, YOU STILL BRING YOUR CART WITH YOU WITH YOUR ONE BAG IN IT, YOU LEAVE YOUR CART NEXT TO MY CAR.

Appropriate Action: Shove your cart into the women’s clothing section–a jungle conveniently located right behind the express lane. I’ll be checked out and in my car by the time you get back. I’ll wait for you to go to your car, then when you leave your cart, I’ll hold it until you pull out. At the last moment, I’ll shove your cart in front of your car as you drive away.

MERRY GODDAMN CHRISTMAS.

3. Grocery Cart Traffic

Yes, we all need M&M’s. I know this, for I am in the aisle with you. There are a lot of people here. My cart will come close to you, but for the love of my crippling social anxiety and claustrophobia, I will absolutely not touch you with it. I promise.

Inappropriate Action That Really Took Place: When my cart comes within 6 inches of you so I can grab some taco shells, you shove it back into my shins as hard as you can.

Appropriate Action: Do you see the panic in my eyes? I should remain unprovoked. If you shove a cart at me, be ready for Adrian, a man with many Black Belts, to swoop down from the juice aisle like a Hungarian Ninja and wreak havoc on your salami.

4. General Shopping Behavior

I know you don’t like to shop for Christmas either. The mall is packed, traffic sucks, you’re way behind schedule–I get it. WE ALL ARE.

Inappropriate Action That Really Took Place: Throwing your elbows straight out like you’re an rampaging square dancer when you’re grabbing some bows. Watching me reach for that candle and snatching it out of my hands. Wearing a too-small velour sweat suit and Uggs with your Jersey accent to the customer service counter in Target and trying to return a two-year-old car charger that broke last week. The Manager, and everyone in line will be angry at you.

Appropriate Action: IT’S CHRISTMAS, MOTHERFUCKERS. Show some joy, some sympathy. If you hate shopping that much, give to charity instead–The Bloggess proved how many people would kill to be in your shoes this year. Remind yourself that we’re all in this together, and the retail salespeople have it the worst this time of year.

Be kind. Remember what you have. Be grateful for what you have around you. And remember what you’re here for–a Merry Christmas and a HAPPY New Year.

PS-Booze Helps.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen holiday shopping?

Grace December 20, 2010 at 6:11 pm

How’d I know this was gonna be the next post? You already nailed down the craziest shit I’ve seen so far. Poor Louise, strapped to that stroller wailing her bloody fucking lungs out. I did think I forgot to mention that I witnessed all of this while using a wrapping paper roll as an “extension” for knocking boxes I needed off the top shelf, letting them fall off, examining them for damage/usefulness and then tossing them back up onto said shelf? Don’t worry I made sure there were no small children that could’ve been injured by these “meteorite” boxes…though I’m not sure why now

Noa Gavin December 21, 2010 at 12:28 am

Like when Ma used her cane?

Holy shit, Grace. You really are old.

Amanda December 20, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Your list is exactly why I do my Christmas shopping online. I do have kids and, when they were babies, they did cry for an assortment of reasons. It irritates the hell out of me now when I go to a restaurant and there’s a large group and there’s a screaming baby and everyone at the table is ignoring the baby. That baby is crying for a reason, dammit!

Noa Gavin December 21, 2010 at 12:29 am

I love you for having children and hating ill behaved children. Love you.

elizabeth-flourish in progress December 20, 2010 at 9:51 pm

jesus, joseph and mary….i was worried about not having enough holiday spirit, but your post makes me think i may be some kind of saint now or i should grow a belly and some facial hair and give gifts to nasty kids. i can’t believe people practice this kind of behavior during the holidays…or any day. douchebags.

also, you are funny. (just in case you didn’t know.)

Noa Gavin December 21, 2010 at 12:29 am

Best part? All of these happened within the last week.

hoodyhoo December 21, 2010 at 5:50 am

Again, there you go, sitting inside my brain, thinking all my thoughts… LOVE THIS! The good thing about Other People’s Children is that they’re really good birth control — one day at Walmart will hit snooze on the ol’ biological clock for at LEAST 6 months!

Kernut the Blond December 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm

This is why I don’t go out unless it’s absolutely necessary. My sister asked for something I could only get at the mall – I pointed this out to her and explained I wouldn’t be going to the mall. I got it online and am not concerned if it’s going to be late.

I don’t want kids either. It’s probably best for all involved because I have no tolerance for ill-behaved kids and would probably end up burying them in the backyard.

Noa Gavin December 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I am right in line with you there. Buying things in stores anytime in December is like saying, “Hey, you know what? I’ve lived long enough.”

Lynne May 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

I didn’t see it… but I was working when it happened (major NC police dept). Someone got shot, oddly enough at an upscale mall, over a parking spot the suspect thought they “stole” from him.

Noa May 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Holy shit! Wow…my ordeal didn’t get that bad.

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