I discovered a new circle of hell today: IKEA during the holiday shopping season.
Oh, and don't be fooled, the holiday shopping season has begun. That fact drilled me in the forehead this afternoon as I made a stupid decision to go to there.
See, I thought I was being clever. I needed to return something from my almost-done studio makeover and I specifically waited for today. Thanks to the UAW's creative observance of veteran's day, I had today off. (I am salaried but what the union get off, so do we. And its a complete conincidence that its the friday of deer hunting season opening.) I was also sure I was being extremely smart by going in the early afternoon.
Let me be clear: I went on a weekday, during working hours, BEFORE thanksgiving.
The parking lot was packed. No problem, the weather was decent and I don't mind walking and its really not that unusual for their lot to be full almost all the time. I needed to locate a cart because the stuff I was returning was kind of heavy. I found one in a return coral, grabbed it and as I was walking away, I heard a woman swear at me. I mean, we are talking the F word and the B word. I turned around to look at her and she was giving me the look of death as she stomped away. I had no idea what that was about but as I was walking into the store, I saw her tromping her way toward the same entrance with two kids in tow.
Now let me explain something: I am not psychic and I'm pretty sure I don't appear to be. Had I known she was toting around two tiny human beings I would have let her have the cart and gone looking for another. I think she enjoyed giving me dirty looks too much.
I should have just gone home after that. It pretty much set the tone. I took a number, got in line to return my stuff and took care of that. But not while the gentleman (that term is used loosely) was cussing out the cashier next to me because he didn't have the credit card he used when he made his purchase so he had to take a store credit. Oh the tragedy.
I wanted to pick up some meatballs for a holiday party that I'm hosting soon and the fun continued there. People were bumping into each other left and right, not because it was that crowded but because the new trend for shopping this year seems to be wearing headphones while shopping. Charming.
But this was the best part....ready? At the cash register they had samples of their ginger cookies out. Now, I am not paranoid about much but I don't usually take food samples, especially during flu season. And believe me, its totally justified.
As I was paying for the food, the guy behind me sounded like the host for the plague as he was hacking up a lung. To his credit, he was at least covering his mouth -- with the hands that he then used to reach into the cookie sample tin. He took two pieces but decided after eating the first one that he didn't like it. He said he "didn't want to be wasteful".....so he put the second one back. Thanks typhoid mary. I thought the cashier was going to wretch on the spot.
I was relieved to get the hell out of dodge but then discovered a real treat when I got out to the parking lot. An SUV the size of houston had parked next to me. So close that I could not get my driver side door open. I had to crawl into my car through the passenger side door. Note to the big SUV driver people: if the space looks to small to park in, it IS. Go park somewhere else because the next time this happens, I'm keying your car.
I'm home now but still twitching. I am not stepping foot into a single store until after Christmas. The only exception will be the grocery store because I have to eat. And I have to admit that I am pretty much done with my gift shopping. Don't look at me that way, some years it works out real well and this happened to be one of them. I also have a shortish list so that helps too.
I'm going to go distract myself with my almost-done studio and try to forget the trauma of the day...you've been warned, the insanity has begun....