I don’t know what I was thinking when I planned my day. I guess I’ll blame it on being out of the country for the last five Christmases. I don’t know whether the Christmas Eve madness got worse in my absence, or, like they say about the pain of childbirth, I just blocked it out of my mind.
I did well before I walked out of the house. By 6:45 a.m., I had tutored online for an hour, baked two batches of cookies, and washed all the cookie-making dishes. This day was gonna roll right along.
Then I got in my car and drove to town. I went to the gym…no problem. I went to the Red Cross office and donated blood. Easy peasy. Then I went to the grocery store. Oh. My. Gosh.
Over two hours to find and buy just 17 items. I’ve never seen so many people in a supermarket. The produce section was a total bottleneck…carts scattered every which direction, people wandering aimlessly from clementines to potatoes back to bananas, no fewer than eight stockers with their trolleys parked inconveniently in the major pathways. But that was nothing compared to the baking aisle. Complete gridlock. If anyone managed to get in, they weren’t getting out until the crowd deemed it time. It’s a good thing shopping carts aren’t equipped with horns, or my ears would still be ringing.
By the time I’d gathered everything I could from my list, I felt as beat up as the poor cashier looked. And I’d been to the gym. Plus I’d given blood. I was feeling puny. I needed a milkshake, stat.
Fast forward (not really…traffic wouldn’t allow it) to the Chick-fil-A drive-thru. It’s a two-lane set-up, and they were stacked eight deep on both sides when I pulled up. Obviously, all the last-minute bargain hunting had driven the entire shopping public to starvation. Chick-fil-A has always had my respect as the fastest, friendliest, most efficient fast food establishment EVER, so I was not worried. Ten minutes after taking my place in line, I hadn’t moved an inch. Not. One. Inch. Cars continued to pile up behind me, and all the slots for dine-in customers were filled. Christmas would be here before I got a milkshake. I pulled out of line in defeat.
I’ve been away for five years. Apparently I no longer know how things work around here. Can someone tell me when the holiday retail madness subsides and a girl can get a milkshake?