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Game of Chicken Anyone?

by Deborah Cruz

This month is closing in on me like a Mac truck racing towards my bumper, suffocating me in the process.It started with turkey and family, and now its all a blurred haze of running to and fro, shopping, the Nutcracker is any day now, schools wrapping up, I was just informed that I am to help cook ( must be homemade..wtf?Even my kids don’t get homemade at this time of the year) for the teacher’s breakfast next month and then I got the surprise of a summons for jury duty.I almost fell to the ground in a crumpled pool of tears and assumed the fetal position.How the hell am I to fit jury duty into an already packed schedule with no family here to help? What the fuck am I, the bionic woman? Then there is Christmas. Is it just me or is anyone else feel like they are playing an intense game of chicken with Christmas?

In past years ( back when shopping was still fun for me), I’d try and have all my shopping done before the dreaded Black Friday.I thought I was so cool, all aloof and above these crazed housewives trying to save $2 on some ridiculously priced toy du jour. Oh yeah, I was a real asshole. Then I had kids and I thought, what the hell, I’ll do the Black Friday thing.I’ll play the game. The Big Guy and I went and had coffee while my MIL stayed with the baby ( she was like 8 months old).Hell, she was still sleeping by the time we had returned.There was no urgency. None at all. We were going to buy her what we wanted, no matter what it cost because she was THAT fucking special ( she takes after her Mommy).We’d even go out that afternoon, with her in tow, to buy stuff ( usually for ourselves) on the good discounts.It was a blast.

The couple years later, we had 2 kids. Money was getting a little tighter and so we decided this Black Friday had a little more importance to our lives.We had a plan, a reconnaissance mission, if you will.The objective;split up, recover the coveted items, rendezvous and pay. Simple, right?Newspapers were bought, items circled, routes plotted. We were ready.Hurrah! Then it happened…Toys R Us!If you’ve never experienced TRUS on Black Friday( or as I like to call it the fifth dimension of hell) you have no idea of which I speak. Imagine if you will hundreds of weary eyed,exhausted, broken spirit, broken mind, broken body, broken pocket book mommies and daddies waiting in the rain for a couple of hours with our same mission and a little more determined. These were the marines of parents, they were not backing down and they looked CRAZY! I’m not ashamed to admit it, I was a little afraid. The doors opened and these people, grown adults with children of their own, broke free like bats out of hell into Toys R US. There were carts being rammed, people pushed up against door jams, dolls ripped from Grandmother’s hands, in some cases, Grandmothers being beaten with said doll.It was my worst nightmare. The Big Guy and I said the hell with it, there is NOTHING in this joint worth risking our lives for..not even a damn Zune for $40. We backed our certainly out of our depth asses right the hell out of Toys R US,lucky to escape with all of our extremities and life. Beep, Beep, beep….new parents coming through. I’m sure I saw others, more seasoned parents, smirking at us and our defeat as they slightly released the death grip on their Baby Alive Dolls.

After that experience, last year we skipped it all together. We refused to even acknowledge the day existed. It was far too traumatic.The plan this year was to go out on BLACK Friday and get all my shopping done. This year, I have been a Mommy for 5 years. This year, money is tight.The year has been hard with all the traveling, tears and Daddy being away.This year, I wasn’t taking any bullshit.This year, I wasn’t taking any prisoners and if someone thought they were ripping anything out of my hands…they were risking their life and sadly mistaken.I had become my own worst nightmare. Then, after all the psychological psyching out and physical conditioning…my baby sitter crapped out on me!WHAT?

So, here I am. I’ve missed out on Black Friday, Cyber Monday holds no real enticement for me, and the month is packed full of responsibilities and appointments.Wonder if my girls would go for just getting a shit load of love under the tree..THAT I can provide.They get that every day.Too bad I can’t wrap up hugs, kisses, cuddles, sleepy smiles, children’s laughter, long lingering hugs,quiet moments, and priceless little voices lifted up in song. That’s all I want for Christmas..and maybe some alone time with my Big Guy. For now, back to my game of chicken between me and Christmas.Who’s going to swerve first..not me!Christmas, you will be my bitch!Well, if you call being my bitch, me shopping online until the wee hours of the night.But what about this jury duty business? Well, I’m not above crying and they would be real tears! What’s your worst Christmas shopping experience?

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4timesblessed 2010/11/29 - 11:57 pm

Loved it… I gave up on Black Friday and well, I am definitely playing chicken with Christmas. Great post. Onto your question, although this would probably be more like a blog so I will try to make this short and sweet. Keeping in mind that my son is Autistic, I would say two Christmas's ago when I took him to the mall to go shopping with me and he had just started shrieking uncontrolably. I tried to pick him up and he arched his back causing me to almost drop him. In the center of the mall on the ground, with a swarm of people, my son was banging(not tapping)his head on the ground. The whole time screaming at the top of his lungs. When I finally got him out of the store, I had to change his clothes cause he had an accident and then calm him down all to go back inside and try again. whew

Anonymous 2010/11/30 - 8:34 am

Dont you get excused from jury duty if you have young children? I think we do in the UK. (Love reading all your posts by the way, nice to know I am not the only one going through it!!

Bruna 2010/11/30 - 10:18 am

You absolutely crack me up! I SO want to get out there on Black Friday and just SEE what deals I can get but no one wants to babysit my kids. I refuse to take mine shopping. All they do is run around and hide in the racks. I must admit, it's absolutely scary how people become while shopping during the holiday season. Like you described, it's every woman for themself!

Thanks for sharing. It's always a pleasure visiting you. *HUGS*

Mommy This and That 2010/12/01 - 10:29 am

I did BF one time before marriage and kids. I hated it and never did it again. My son will be 2 in February. Last years Hubbs decided he would try BF at TRUS. He got up and drove 12 miles to the TRUS…only to find a line wrapped around the store and into the parking lot next door. He didn't even get out the car. He didn't listen when I said you have to camp out. I don't care how hard money is for us, I would gladly give up my gifts in order for my children to get what they want or I want to give them and NEVER set foot in a store BF. Cyber Monday? Yes, please!

The mad woman behind the blog 2010/12/01 - 1:48 pm

I avoid Black Friday and all the news coverage and anything with a cash register on that day.

But I do have a proud moment. I was pregnant with our first child and to save our vacation, we stayed home at Christmas. Our families had mailed us our presents which we opened on 12/23! Yup, and then I made a TON of returns on 12/24 and got some great deals on things I REALLY wanted when all the after Christmas prices were in affect without all the mad shoppers. AWESOME!


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