My Wife and I finally got to take our honeymoon this week, so I dug into the archives for one of my all time favorites (from December 2006) to help kick off the holiday season. I know it's a little early for a Christmas column and I even have a strict rule that any Christmas festivities (i.e. music, movies, decorations, etc.) cannot start until the day after Thanksgiving – despite what many department stores will try to tell you – but I really wanted to get this one posted this year as well as spend some quality time with my new bride (I'm sure you can understand). I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving this week and I’ll be back next Monday, rested and refreshed, with a brand new column.
I love "To Do lists.
Seriously, there is nothing more thrilling to me than getting up in the morning, pulling out a sheet of paper and listing all of the things I have to get done that day.
I don't get out much.
It wasn't until recently that I started making daily To Do lists. It just started getting to the point where I was forgetting to do "borderline-important" to "legitimately-important" things so I figured I needed some help. And I've gotten so into it, that I now write things down that there is no way I would actually ever forget to do just to make the list look longer and fuller; stuff like, "Shower" or "Put on clothes" or "Drive to store".
Apparently I'm in serious jeopardy of one day wandering out of my house dirty, unclothed, and trying to walk to the store because I forgot to remind myself to do those things.
I probably need something of the medicinal variety more than I need a list.
But what is even more exciting than making the list is actually getting to cross something off when I get it done.
Goosebump City, baby!
With the holiday season here and all the extra running and events and parties that come with it, my lists have gotten bigger and bigger and that much more exciting to navigate through.
Like I said, I don't get out much.
One of the things on my list recently has been "Christmas Shopping" and I'm proud to say that this year was the earliest I have ever been done with my shopping in my life.
It came at a price though.
I have to preface this entire story with the fact that I pride myself on always being aware of my surroundings because I hate feeling disoriented or lost. When I walk into a new store, I do a quick scan of the entire place so that I know where everything is and where to go get it. I'm also very aware of my general social behavior, as I hate to be an inconvenience to anyone else around me or look like I don't know what I'm doing.
Unfortunately I’m beginning to realize that most Americans don’t seem to be trying as hard as I am and appear very content in their ignorance.
They say it's bliss!
Recently I was in a local one-stop shopping store to get my dad a DVD he wanted (the very last gift on my list!) and went right to the department that had the item I was looking for. And I, knowing that there was a check-out stand in that particular department, even took the time to pick up a few other items along the way to avoid back-tracking.
I got my other stuff, got dad’s DVD and turned to get in the check-out line when this random woman (probably in her 50's) came out of nowhere and stood right in front of me. The only thing was that I couldn't really tell if she was in line or not because she kept teetering back and forth with a bewildered look on her face.
I was just about to ask her if she was actually in line when she called out for "Tim".
Just then, a disheveled, overweight man in his mid-to-late 30's, appeared with an even more bewildered look on his face.
"Do they have the movie, Braveheart here?" the woman asked.
"The movie, Braveheart?" Tim replied dully.
"Yeah, the movie, Braveheart," she responded just as dully.
"I don't know." Tim answered.
"Well, go look for the movie, Braveheart," the woman ordered.
Two things really jumped out about this little one-act that was unraveling in front of me: (1) the use of the phrase, "the movie, Braveheart" was surprisingly high and on the rise and, (2) since I knew where the DVDs were located, it irritated me beyond my functioning capabilities that Tim was now heading into the OPPOSITE direction on his quest.
As Tim meandered aimlessly into the televisions and DVD players, the woman decided to enlist the help of the young woman who was working the check-out stand.
"Excuse me, do you carry the movie, Braveheart?" the woman asked.
"The movie, Braveheart?" the cashier responded.
"Yeah, the movie, Braveheart," she answered.
(OH, COME ON!)
"Hmm… let me check," the cashier said. "Lateisha!" she called out, "Do we carry the movie, Braveheart?"
After a few seconds the smaller cashier, Lateisha, came waddling out of one of the aisles and stood there thinking for a moment.
"The movie, Braveheart?" she asked.
"Yeah, the movie, Braveheart," the first cashier responded.
At this point I cannot tell you how hard I began praying for a Texas-sized meteor to hit the store just to put us all out of our collective misery.
I was finally able to check-out and exit the store with what was left of my sanity. Oh, and in case you were wondering, this particular store does not carry the movie, Braveheart.
But that was it, picking up that present for my dad was the last thing to do on my list and it felt really good to cross it off and just go home to my own personal universe that already has all the excitement I can handle.
Wait, that wasn't the last thing on my list… I just remembered one more:
"Wish everyone a happy Christmas season!"
Ahhh… What a feeling.
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