Each year around this time, I go into scramble mode for gifts. With Mother’s day falling usually on or around my birthday, it’s easy to forget that there’s other stuff going on–like CareerMom’s birthday! (she’s older than me by three days) And when you have kids, it doubles your responsibility.
For example, instead of just getting her a birthday card and present, I instead need:
- A card for her birthday (from me)
- A present for her birthday (from me)
- A card for Mother’s day (from me)
- A present for Mother’s day (from me)
- A card for her birthday from the boys
- A card for Mother’s day from the boys
- Some kinda somethin’ from the boys for her
It’s a wee bit crazy all the things I have to get done by early May. I’m still not sure what to get her from the boys for Mother’s day. I know the idea is to get the kids to do something, but I don’t have that kind of time without her here to do it and anyway, the last time I tried, I ended up doing it myself thanks to that zero attention span thing kids have.
But what I really don’t like about this time of year, is the inevitable contemptive vibe I get from women whenever I venture into a greeting card store. You can almost feel it oozing out of the other customers and the ladies hovering around. It never fails that someone asks if they can help me and it’s all I can do not to say, “Um, I’m looking for a card! DUH!” (Here’s your sign!)
But this year took the cake.
Let me set the stage:
I walked into the Hallmark store, because last year I did Target and ended up spending like $4 for some generic card anyway and I figured I might as well get a name-brand one for the same money. Anyway, I was one of the only people in the store and after waving off the ever-so-helpful worker-bee, I finally found several cards that weren’t too sappy, but had enough truth and love to them to be keepers.
As I walked over to the counter, one lady was off to the side straightening things up while another lady, presumably the manager, stood behind the counter talking to her:
Manager: Has it been busy?
Worker-bee: Eh, it’s come in waves.
Manager: It always does.
I walk up and say, “Here comes a small wave,” which elicited chuckles from both.
Now, as I went to put my cards up on the counter, there was a bottle of Windex sitting there and the worker-bee rushed over to move it like it was a copy of “Playgirl” magazine that, if I saw it, might scar me for life. Attempting to put her at ease I said, “Don’t worry, I’ve seen that kind of thing before.”
And she says…
“Have you just seen it, or have you actually used it?”
When I was in the 10th grade, I had this vile woman for an English teacher. Her name was “Mrs. Davis.” The things that came out of this woman’s mouth were astonishing. Once, after she said something snide about my parents in front of the class, I actually called this woman out on the front porch and gave her a tongue lashing such as most 10th graders can only dream about giving a teacher. Since she knew she was in the wrong, and in front of 30 witnesses, I knew I could get away with it.
Suffice it to say, I have a hard time holding my tongue. And it took everything I had not to let this woman have it. Instead, I just said, “No, I’ve used it quite a few times. In fact, more than my wife.”
And I took my stuff and walked out of the store.
Looking back, I wished I HAD said something a little more barbed, but then I probably would have just earned myself some bad juju and I don’t need anymore of that right now.
But couple this woman’s attitude with the fact that I didn’t even get any gold stars for my envelopes and I just may have found enough reason to never visit Hallmark again!