Normally when the holidays arrive I feel like most people drift nicely into a mostly-universal sense that this time of year it's time to play nice. Be it left over lingering psychosis from the whole naughty and nice thing or a deeper sense that for a couple weeks a year it's nice to have everyone be nice, the general holiday kindness thing has always been one of my favorite aspects of this season. I can forgo the gifts, I start sweating just thinking about it.
This year I had a particularly unique experience of "christmas spirit" whilst shopping with my beloved at a cute little store called Patina. For those who haven't been imagine a much more happy version of Bibelot. For those who don't know Bibelot (there's no "T" sound) it's like a high-quality version of what Spencers gifts wanted to be. Needless to say the majority of the clientele are generally friendly and look like your run of the mill folks much like you might find in the audience at A Prairie Home Companion.
I was pa-rousing the basement portion of the shop while Mike and Aasta were milling about elsewhere. Of particular interest to me was a shelf filled with all-things-Minnesota-for-baby. I was about to step in to take a closer look when I was abruptly shoved backwards by a robust young woman wearing a mustard wool coat. Shocked, I chuckled a bit thinking it must have been an accident, right up until she turned to glare at me with a look that can only be described as, "You wanna go bitch!?" Baffled, I turned to my right and headed toward the jewelry section of the store while silently pondering, "what the...?!!" As I was walking away her boyfriend appeared and attempted to convey with great urgency that it was time for them to leave. A few deep breaths and a couple chuckles later, in order to put a little more distance between me and "Mustard," I slowly meandered into the gaudy purse gallery whereupon I was greeted quite forcefully again by my nemeses. This time she put herself directly in my path with her back to me then turned with her every-so-familiar look of, "bring it!" Without even acknowledging her existence I side stepped her and cleverly picked up a very feathery hair barrett, then turned and made my way toward the picture frames. Mind you this whole time all of this feels very surreal because I'm simultaneously being hunted while listening to the Concordia Choir sing "Holy Night" while surrounded by thousands of little plaques saying things like "Dance like no one is watching." Thinking this is either really "blanked" up or that I'm being punked, except for that one minor detail, I'm not famous and Ashton Kutcher has no idea who I am, I decide it's safe to go look at that Minnesota children's book again. I do a quick look over my shoulder and coast clear I reach for the book. Mustard's back. She bumps into me hard enough that I am forced to move a quick step to my left whereupon I'm greeted by a mediocre-ly maniacal look of "I'll take you right here right now." Tempted to sucker punch her but being generally non-violent I simply grin and slowly make my way upstairs to find my child and husband, purchase a few unnecessary but quaint gifts, and wait for Ashton to come tearing out from behind the cash registers.