I suppose, based on the title, anyone could assume what this is all about. Ah, you think, “Steve went to the mall today in search of yuletide gifts and ran into the usual gamut of disappointment, frustration, and drunken Santas.” Well, that’s about the size of it (excepting the Santa part, unfortunately). Ever since the time passed where scantily clad girls at the mall were in my age bracket, I’ve hated the mall. Hated it with a passion rather. I prefer to do any shopping I have online, sans atrocious markups and life-draining lines at the cash register. When did Christmas become so ridiculous?
I wish I could reminisce of a time when guys that looked like Bing Crosby innocently carried delicately wrapped, festive parcels up the thoroughfares of main street USA, but I can’t. Christmas, for as long as I’ve been alive, has been about clawing your way to the front of the line at JCPenny in order to max out the plastic buying meaningless swag for friends and family. Why? Because it’s that time of year. So? Well, the wise men brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to baby Jesus. Oh did they? Sure did. Relevance? We’re supposed to break the bank so Timmy can have XBox. Alrighty, I’ll just go along with that then. Jeez…
I like the sentiment behind gifts. You are a valuable person to me; I appreciate having you in my life. Please take this gift. I like that…that’s nice. That also can be done any time of the year, completely divorced from a season where the pressure to lavish nice things upon everyone is smothering. Not only nice things, nice things that are approximately equal in value to what the other person is getting you. You know what else is mildly sick? It’s sick that I find out people are getting me something, so I have to run out and buy something of approximately equal value and give it to them. It’s not that I don’t like giving gifts to people…in fact I love it. I just hate giving gifts out of that motivation. I end up ordering up a bunch of gifts that don’t really mean much just so I don’t feel guilty about getting something without giving something back. When did it get like this?
Steve’s new policy: next year, no one gives me gifts on Christmas. I don’t care about Christmas gifts; I haven’t since I quit playing with GI Joes. I don’t need anything for Christmas (or my birthday, the day before), so I don’t want anything. If, at some point in June, someone sees something I might like, or thinks of me and wants to get me something, that would be cool. Just don’t do it because of the importance our society places on giving gifts this time of year.
On a lighter note, isn’t it kinda cool to see angst ridden teenage mall employees aggressively take out their anger at the expense of their minimum wage job? Waiting in line tonight at Subway in Metrocenter mall, I encountered a couple of these disgruntled employees. There was a big line of people wanting sub-par Subway sandwiches and these two guys slingin’ condiments behind the sneeze guard were shouting out this anti-Subway propaganda:
“Hey, why don’t you guys go to McDonalds? You’ll get your food faster and I bet it’ll taste better.”
“Subway! It’s not made fresh! It’s old! You don’t want this!”
“This line is really long…you don’t want to be here!”
Oh man, I chuckled pretty hard. Stickin’ it to the establishment in a funny way. More power to ya, dudes…