Christmas makes people do some crazy sh*t. Mostly women – because, for some reason, the bulk of the gift buying, gift wrapping, gift sending, party planning, holiday card creating/sending, menu planning, calendar management, wardrobe procuring, costume sewing and relative-pleasing is done by the woman of the family. And so it’s no wonder that I walked out of the grocery store with a bag of sour cream and onion chips that I didn’t pay for.
Not because I spaced it…….because I took them. I stole them.
I was dragging myself through the grocery store for ice cream Christmas trees and candy canes and handing over my credit card for the seemingly millionth time when I suddenly felt the weight of my burden. I was losing my grip on Christmas. I was crabby and tired and resentful and worried about the money that was being separated from me by my constant handing over of my credit card. And as I walked out of the store with my paid-for groceries, I saw the display of sour cream and onion chips near the exit and thought, “Yeah, that’s what I need.”
But there was no way I was getting back in that line again.
So I reached out my hand and omigod I grabbed the chips and just kept walking. I wasn’t sneaky. I didn’t grab them and run. I think “brazen” is a better description of what I did. I reached out and grabbed those chips and just kept slogging to my car like “f***k you, Christmas! I just took these chips!”
It shouldn’t be like this. I shouldn’t have to steal chips to make myself feel better. I do my best to plan ahead and keep things simple but I think the only way to escape the frantic energy that surrounds us is to go off the grid and isolate ourselves from the rest of the Christmas-celebrating world. I think Jesus would be pissed if he saw us celebrating his supposed birthday like this; fighting over parking spaces at the mall and maxing out our credit cards. Where’s the peace? Where’s the goodwill? Where’s the contemplation? It’s not in the parking lot, that’s for sure.
Inevitably, my chip-stealing incident will lead to some serious introspection about Christmas 2013.
Epilogue: I put the chips back. I tried to be a shoplifter but I just couldn’t do it. But for the time it took me to walk to my car, unload my groceries, come to my senses, and then turn around and walk back into the store, I felt like Superwoman. I guess almost-shoplifting is all it takes to make this good girl feel even better.