We’re closing in on the first of the year, and none too soon, huh? Boy, workin’ down to the A&P, I’ve seen some mighty stressed out people, let me tell you! No need to name names. You know who you are. And if you’re not one of ‘em, you’ve seen ‘em, too, I’m sure.
Men on a mission, runnin’ in to get that one last thing their wife forgot. With the eye of the tiger and no time for hellos, they dash into the produce section or down an aisle only to appear at the express lane five or ten or sometimes fifteen minutes later, deer in the headlights, sweat on their upper lip. You can practically hear them thinking: Did I get the right thing? Is it the right brand? Should go back and get the other one, too, just to be sure? Do I have time to stop at the Brew Ha Ha for a shot of courage before headin’ back to Mrs. Claus and our “elves?”
Women mutterin’ to themselves in the meat section, trying to do the math. “Pounds plus ounces equals how much cook time? So, I’d have to put the roast in at…..” A frustrated shopper saying to a complete stranger, “I can’t think! I hate this Christmas carol, and I can’t think!”
One day last week, on my way to the break room, I felt the overwhelm radiate off a young mother, cart filled to the brim, with her toddler, half eaten candy cane stuck to his mitten, throwin’ a tantrum in the cookie aisle. I put my hand on her shoulder. “Hang in there, dear!”
Sad to say, many a worn out shopper was a little teary by the time they got to the checkout line. One woman wept openly at my register, the joy of the season leakin’ from her eyes, runnin’ down her cheeks and drippin’ off her chin onto the flashing “Deck the Halls” pin, now unhooked and almost fallin’ off her winter coat. Got so bad, I took to keepin’ a box of Kleenex at my register, and have been handing out Hershey’s Kisses to all those in need. By December 24th, I figure I was goin’ through about three bags a day.
But by now, Santa, Mrs. Claus and all them elves are settled in for a long winter’s nap or on that cruise to Aruba they’ve been talkin’ about takin’ for years. Santa and the Mrs. are stretched out in their deck chairs, drinkin’ Pina Coladas and enjoying the sunshine. The elves, well, they’re in the casino, ‘cause elves just love to gamble. The North Pole crew is kickin’ back and so should you. Now, you actually have time to admire your tree, drink the last of that eggnog and maybe read one of them new books you got for Christmas.
My wish for you? A hassle-free, stress-free and fun New Years Eve. You’ve earned it! Happy New Year, everyone!
That’s if for now. Catch you on the flip side!