It will start with Black Friday, when millions of people will ratchet their tired butts out of bed at 3 a.m. to stand in front of Best Buy for an hour in the hopes that they will get an iPod Touch or laptop for under $200. And, as an added bonus... if you live in MN you have a 90% chance of it being 25 degrees or colder that morning!
Then for the next 4 weeks, every store in every mall in every city will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. in an attempt to squeeze every possible shopping dime out of the holiday zombie collective. But I understand why they do it. After all, businesses like this need to sell their swords SOME time.
But for me, the biggest insanity will be the traffic. I don't have to shop on black Friday and I don't have to expose myself to the mall madness, but I do have to drive. And for that I am most uptight.
St. Cloud is a relatively small town, but because we are a central retail hub for a very large rural area, we see a LOT of traffic squeeze through our undersized main street corridor. And it is especially maddening during this most wonderful time of the year.
Nothing makes me crazier than sitting at a stop light for not one, but two and sometimes three cycles while the line of cars in front of me attempt to inch their way through a grid-locked intersection. I simply cannot stand driving in those circumstances. Last year, during this same period, my wife asked me to run over to the supermarket because she didn't have everything she needed for the fancy Christmas dinner she was preparing.
"Really?" I whined. "Do you really need to make that? I know there's like 3 boxes of mac and cheese in the cupboard. No, seriously - we'll sprinkle some paprika on it."
Ugh. I'll do everything in my power to not be subjected to that torture... like shop online instead of going to the mall, work from home instead of going to the office, and watch this guy on TV instead of going to church. Hey, I told you - I really don't like traffic.
I hate it so much in fact that in one of my very first blog posts I wrote that I wanted to move to North Dakota because "... in the entire state there is only one intersection that has the potential to gridlock." Doesn't that just sound like paradise?
I know, I'm a whiner, but it's only because it has finally sunk in. Normally every year I get surprised all over again when I innocently head out for a gallon of milk and it takes me 2 1/2 days to get back home. But not any more. Thanks to this blog I now remember what I have to look forward to. Umm... thanks, I think.
Anyway, that also just reminded me of one more thing I need to do... run out and grab a boatload of mac and cheese before tomorrow!