shopping (broccoli)

Mom and I did a bit of final Christmas shopping yesterday. Our journey included a trip to the Galleria, which during more “normal” economic times is a trying place this close to Christmas. The asshole-to-non-asshole ratio among the shoppers is typically way out of whack (or, I should say, more so than usual) this close to the holiday. But it wasn’t so bad yesterday. As far as the customers are concerned. The staff was another matter.

I needed to buy something at the Apple store, which opened at 10AM. We arrived at 9:50-something and were surprised to see people inside the store. We thought perhaps they’d opened early, but then we saw the sign in the doorway that said “personal training in progress” or some such bullshit. Fine. So we waited for the few minutes to tick by to 10AM. It was literally two minutes to 10 when an Apple employee came to the door and asked if any of us had “appointments.” I said, “What, to buy something?” As if an appointment was going to make much of a diff since they were opening in two minutes and the staff in matching tee shirts way outnumbered the few of us waiting outside the door. In that remaining two minutes, my mother and I groused about how ridiculous it would be to make an appointment to buy something from a store, a conversation that garnered a shitty look from the guy standing next to us who I guess had been lamenting the fact that he didn’t call ahead.

Look, I dig my Mac laptop and appreciate the company’s interesting ways of packaging things (my iPod came in an origami box, for instance) and the great products they create. But I’m not trying to buy into some sort of lifestyle, where I put an Apple sticker on my car and am so special that I call the store ahead of time to let them know I’m coming. I’m not looking for a relationship, so that kind of fake highbrow bullshit is pretty tedious. Now I remember why I buy most things online.

The other side of that buying stuff online thing is that I act like a person who’s been in the wilderness for a few years when I physically go shopping. I was in Whole Earth yesterday and found myself touching everything. Wow…look at this. I like this. And that thing is cool. What is it? I don’t know what it is, but I like it. When I checked out, the girl behind the counter asked me if I needed a gift receipt for the one thing I bought. I said, “Nah, if she doesn’t like it, tough titty.” There was literally no reaction from her or the other woman in line. I said, “I was just kidding.” Still nothing. Come on, people.

And gift receipts are bullshit, too.