Relax. It is probably one of the best things you can do at this time of year.
The last week before Christmas Day and everyone seems to be going mental out there.
Car parks are full.
Shops are chocka-block with people so you can’t get around them quickly. Talking of which, why do people either block 4ft of shelf space, or 75% of the aisle with their trolleys? They stand their in a daze, looking at the shelves, as if they haven’t seen most of the products before.
I have a theory about why men and women should never shop together. In fact, the first shop that has men only days and women only days I think will make a fortune. It is not that one is better than the other, it is just we have two different approaches to shopping.
- Make list.
- Go to shop.
- Get items on list.
- Pay and get out.
- Don’t know why they are going to the shops, but it is that time of week so they must go. It’s the law!
- Grab trolley from outside.
- Stop at the front door of the shop ensuring they block access to other people.
- Rummage in handbag (or purse for my US readers) for at least three minutes whilst preventing access.
- Finally put handbag (or purse) in the trolley and take three steps forward. Then stop suddenly, ensuring everyone behind who has been kept waiting has to swerve round you like avoiding a deer on the road.
- Gaze at all the pretty lights.
- Take a random path through the shop looking at each shelf, whilst blocking the aisle or preventing others from taking items from your 4ft of shelf space, just in case it was something you want.
- Decide you didn’t want anything from that shelf after all.
- Change your mind. Go back to that shelf, ensuring the blockade is put back on.
- Have a ten minute discussion with anyone who will listen about which of the brands is better and which of the sizes is better value for money.
- Decide you didn’t really want it after all. Put item back on shelf in wrong place.
- Move to other side of the aisle. Ensure aisle remains blocked by the trolley. Repeat previous five steps for next aisle.
- Every third aisle, go back two aisles just in case you missed something.
- Head for the checkout only when each aisle has been visited at least twice.
- Pack shopping as it comes down the conveyor.
- Be totally surprised you are actually asked to pay for the shopping.
- Spend five minutes rummaging in handbag (purse in the US) for your purse (is that a ladies wallet in the US?)
- Go back through the coupons you have saved for the last 18 months and hand them over to the checkout operator.
- Act surprised when at least 40% of the coupons have expired or are for items you didn’t actually buy.
- Force the checkout operator to ring for a supervisor to replace at least one product you didn’t mean to get.
- Move bags to the trolley because amazingly, they won’t levitate to the car. Ensure checkout remains blocked while this done.
- Spend three minutes returning purse (ladies wallet in US?) to handbag. (purse in US). Making sure at least another minute is spent fastening the handbag.
- Walk two steps towards the exit then stop suddenly to re-arrange the bags in the trolley, making sure nobody can get past you to leave the store.
- Leave store.
- Work out where you parked the car.
- Unload shopping into the car.
- Do not return the trolley to the bay. Leave it in the next door parking space to stop someone else parking there.
See what I mean? Totally different and incompatible approaches.
That’s why, being a country boy, if I want to relax the week before Christmas, I’ll head to the woods and avoid the jungle of retail stores.