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9:49 a.m. - 2004-12-20
Why Did I Ever Think Shopping Was Fun?
Well, once again, it's been one of those weekends where I had almost no downtime and reach Monday morning feeling like I need a weekend….

Friday night, BFRB and I trek over to the Y for the final weigh-in on the Total Body Challenge. Well, of course, FuckStick neglected to mention that we had to arrive before 4 pm…which, let's see, is problematic, seeing as how we work till 5. So anyway, we call the person who is allegedly in charge of this debacle, and she promises she'll meet us Saturday at 3. Therefore, instead of working out, we decide to go ahead and get our laundry on. By the time we get done with that, it's almost midnight. Go home, put the shit away (mostly), play a few rounds of Jewel Quest, and fall into my nice, clean, freshly made bed….where I slept for 9 hours. Finally. I was beginning to think it was my lot in life to function on about 4-5 hours….although "function," in that instance, is more like "wander about zombie-like, say 'huh??' a lot, and look like you have two Samsonites under your eyes."

So Saturday, I head over to the Y about 1, so that I can get a workout in, right? Well, about midway though, the person in charge shows up and informs me that she can't do the body fat measurements after I've worked out because they won't be accurate. Super. Lovely of them to tell us that.

Let me just vent for a minute here. The Total Body Challenge has been a total organizational clusterfuck from the beginning. Group members flaking, no new group, new group starts to vanish, no interim measurements, no information about where and when said measurements are supposed to be….and, as it turns out, no winner. Okay. I don't think there were probably more than about 25-30 people participating. There was NO reason for this bullshit. Basically, the problem was that the head trainer wasn't communicating with her staff, and the staff wasn't really communicating enough with their teams, so the whole thing was fried. It was nice to get some time with a trainer, and get some ideas for varying the workout, and we did get a t-shirt, so I guess it wasn't a wasted $20. But still. GRRRR. I have no patience with incompetence.

Furthermore, the Y is closed for the next TWO weeks for remodeling and expansion. Yeah, the expansion will be really nice, because it's been ridiculously overcrowded lately, but TWO WEEKS??? Over the holidays, when you really need to be working off some cookies and frosting and gravy?? Sure, we can go to other Y's…but they are nowhere close. And they are very near numerous retail establishments.

Which brings me to my original point…shopping, and why it blows the goat ass.

As I'm sure all of you have discerned by now, I despise the holiday season. I don't like people forcing cheer upon me. I don't like having to buy presents when the mall and/or strip mall and/or Evil Empire are crammed full of people who share my foul mood. Granted, I'm kind of disorganized when it comes to Christmas. I don't know if this is an extension of the chaos I embody the rest of the year, or if it's my way of rebelling against people trying to make me "get in the holiday spirit." Whatever, I usually end up either spending too much money or not getting good presents for everyone. I think I've managed to minimize the damage as far as cost (although I was unpleasantly surprised by the cost of a pair of slippers, but not unpleasantly surprised enough not to fucking buy them anyway). I am just so worn out by the traffic and fighting the crowds and looking for the "perfect gift" for everyone.

See, I like knowing that I have given someone a present they really like, instead of just a present that will end up in a closet somewhere. I also hate resorting to gift cards, but sometimes I have no choice. I feel like they are a complete cop-out, but at the same time, people are usually happy with them. I just want people to think I made more of an effort than that. However, with me, you should know: if you get a gift card, it's because I spent 12 hours shopping and didn't find anything that I thought you would like.

Yeah, clearly, my holiday stress is partially self-imposed. But the part that's not self-imposed is what makes me the most nuts. My gift buying also has to take into account the fact that I must carry said gifts on a plane. Which means that some requests are not possible to fulfill…i.e., my mother's request for new steak knives. Somehow, I'm not thinking that the FAA would allow them on the plane….plus, this stipulation also eliminates any sort of kitchenware (too heavy/breakable), bulky things like bedding, heavy things like actual books, and really, just about anything besides CD's, gift cards, and the occasional item of clothing. Plus, there's the whole "have shopping done and suitcase packed and all that shit" by Wednesday night, because you're leaving Thursday immediately after work.

Needless to say, shopping yesterday was horrible. I'm not that happy with what I bought people, I'm not sure I bought stuff for everyone, and I have no idea whether I can fit all the crap I did buy into either available suitcase. Guess if it doesn't fit, I'll just slap the shit in a box and FedEx it to my mother's house. (If it wasn't so expensive, I would just do it anyway….of course, my suitcase could end up being over the weight limit, which would cost me $50 or cause me to have to carry a bunch of crap all over the airport.)

Why can I not get my shit together? Why do I have to be such a walking contradiction? If I'm going to obsess over the perfect gift and beat myself up for the less-than-perfect, why can I not see fit to start in July? (I know…because I make fun of people who do that shit. But secretly, I envy this. I have organizational envy.) Or, if I'm going to be crowned Miss Procrastination, why can I not just accept that everyone gets Barnes & Noble gift cards for Christmas and eliminate the self-imposed stress?

I never make anything easy for myself, that's why. Something in my brain's wiring seems to thrive on chaos, no matter how much I try to eliminate it. I do my best work under pressure. Seriously, when I have pressing deadlines, my ass is ultra-productive on a stick. When I don’t….well, let's just say I write lots of diary entries, shop a lot on eBay, and play a lot of video games.

At least BFRB said she wants to wrap my presents for me. Yay. Even though I actually can wrap presents without fucking it up, I don't want to even look at any further reminders of this weekend's retail hell. Plus, I can't make bows, or even stick the pre-made ones on without messing them up. Me and stickers aren't such a good combination. (A story to illustrate this: last year, when I went to get my car tag renewed, they gave me the little sticker. I attempt to put it on my vehicle. It was a little crooked, so I move to straighten it, right? Well, it shreds. Guess that's a security measure, or some such bullshit. So I gather the remains of said sticker and trot my happy ass back into the tag agency….where they inform me that a new sticker will cost $13.50. Fantastic.)

My, but holidays are fun. I need some eggnog.



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