Shopping. That's what.
I am a classic last minute shopper. I start out mid-year with good intentions in a strange fantasy sort of way.
Then all of a sudden it's November. I'm focused on two things. Words and turkey.
Next I wake up and realize I am that mom that sent the kids to school and forgot to have them open their Advent calendars to get the bite of chocolate first thing in the morning. I blame it on our staggered start times. Between 5:30 and 8:30 we have 6 different wake up times, shower times, leave the house times, and somewhere around 9:30 I find my way back for naps, showers, coffee, silence, words or whatever.
Somewhere around now I get cranky about the shopping.
Partly I'm cranky because I just don't like going to malls or stores. I did my time. Many long years of retail, back when sales women wore suits and high heels. Yup, 8 hour and 12 hour shifts in heels on concrete floors. I still feel it sometimes. I set up sales and tore them down. I set displays. I managed stores. I did my time.
I watched my pay checks slip right back into the stores. No better sales person than one who wears or uses the product they sell. Right.
When I remember all the fun of the mall life, I start thinking I'll shop online. That's where I fall into a new trap. The shipping fees and the time. Will it get here in time? Do I have to buy the most expensive shipping to get it here in time? The final dilemma for me is always when I have 15 tabs open and I'm trying to compare.
And here I waffle. I go back to thinking I'll make two or three wretched trips to the dang mall and get it over with.
That's when I realize. I don't really have a list. I don't have a plan. I don't even know who exactly I'm shopping for.
It seems my list of how and who changes each year and I don't pay very close attention to anything, in case you haven't noticed. I have the lump sum amount of how much I can spend for the gifting, but I haven't figured out how I'm breaking it down between the 20-30 people I buy for. Some of you reserve watching me to math as a spectator sport, need I say more?
The next issue? My list is really just a vague list of ideas. Sometimes for my immediate kids I have good solid specific ideas, but that's cause I cheat and read "the" letter. More often it's things like well, she's a girl so glittery pink stuff or he's a boy so wheels or sports are a theme. Translation? I'll be wandering the mall without a plan or a clue.
I end up here where I am right now. Close to having a plan. Roughly 20 days left to pull it off, less actually for some of the events we do. Trapped in a whole bunch of well heck I'm not smart enough to figure this out or have enough time or patience to figure it out, so I'll punt and hope. I'll get gifts that I hope will be good enough. I hope they will make the kids happy enough. I hope they will keep the fighting at a low level. Notice I don't have hopes of satisfaction, contentment or zero fighting.
I am cranky as all get out.
Add in bonus items like unplanned socials and court dates. School stuff and sports. It's always a triple bonus if you have a majority of the family come down with something so every one can have that extra added measure of edgy. Toss in fights with besties, kids and adults, bullies and elderly dogs. Then you have my kind of party!
What's your shopping issue? Prices? Coupons? Sales at stupid hours? Limited quantities? How about products that are so similar you can't figure out which ones you really should buy?
Honestly, some years, I really think can I just stop at the ATM and hand out cash? Please?