It's the most wonderful time of the year...
If you go shopping from today until the end of the year, these are the kind of crowds of remote-controlled beings you'll be dealing with.
Where do I even start? Today we started with the most innocent plans of spending a nice day in the city, doing some fun things (going to breakfast and to the aquarium) and doing something useful, like getting Willy a new warm coat. Breakfast was really, really good, and the aquarium was fun. After breakfast we wanted to show Willy the trains in the central station, and were then warned by a train station worker while looking at one of the high speed trains that we might not want to stand on that particular platform because a train full of football fans from Berlin would be arriving there shortly. We thought this might be funny, if only we could find a place to observe from out of reach of the rowdies. Noticing all the police officers in riot gear, we tried to discern where the rowdies would be going. Unfortunately, there were no riots, or we missed them, and so we continued on our way. We had a nice time at the aquarium, though it was a bit crowded, and I really can't stand a crowd. I guess this should have been a warning to go home and take a breather before going shopping. The real riot was just about to start.
Anyway, we ventured into the city, because 1) I wanted to buy some sweets, and 2) because Willy needs a new coat. We walked about 5 steps into the store where I could buy some sweets, and decided to take the quickest route back out. It was just full of people. Packed full, like a can of sardines is packed full. And I don't give up so easily when it comes to candy. Then we thought we would venture into the store with coats for kids, because we really do need this coat. It's cold here. We got about 10 steps inside when I had a complete meltdown and started swearing loudly in the middle of the store because people were literally pushing me, my child and my husband. Swearing loudly in public is generally not my thing, but this behavior I cannot accept. Is it not just good behavior to leave a little bit of space between yourself and the next person, especially when you don't know them, in a public space? A few minutes later I had another meltdown because some stupid jerk (and I really mean stupid jerk) pushed past the stroller and jumped over one wheel just to get past us. I cursed once again, loudly wondering what all the pushing and shoving was about, but of course no one cared. This really put me over the edge. I left the store, went across the street and waited. I felt pretty aggressive.
It got better. After leaving this area, we still had to make our way back to the car. On the way, we saw women dressed in clothing that made them look as though they were for sale, exposing amounts of skin that really isn't acceptable in the cold and holy Christmas season. The greatest was, however, a mother of a small baby in a stroller who actually rammed her stroller into ours and DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE BECAUSE SHE WAS TALKING ON HER CELL PHONE. Or she just didn't care, which is actually even more likely. Oh, yeah, then some guy tried to run us over with his car, just because we were walking on the SIDEWALK and he wanted to turn into a parking garage. I should have spit on his stupid station wagon. Or kicked it and really broken something.
The point of this is how incredibly pointless it is to get all wound up and just forget all good manners when December rolls around. This time of year is actually all about love and togetherness and all that jazz, right? I'm not even religious and I know that much. So why all the pushiness and aggression? If it's all too much for you, and you can't handle buying presents for so many people or whatever, then don't do it. Your relatives will probably thank you, because they don't like your presents anyway! They think about ways to get rid of them after they receive them! Just stay home and let normal people shop in peace for things they really need, like a warm coat for their kid.