Through the Back Loop

Adventures in knitting, fiber arts, and family.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Get Out of the Way! (And other holiday greetings)

I love Christmas shopping. I love the crowds, the scurrying about, and the high impact sport of being the person to get to the last item on a shelf. In fact, I find myself halting when I overhear a store clerk tell a customer, "There aren't many left, but if there are any, you can find them over there." With that I'm off, even though I have no clue what item they are talking about. I find myself consumed with the competition of beating that person to the shelf. "Get out of the way," I yell out to other shoppers as I shout and finally reach the finish line to call out, "A-HAH" as I am the first one to grab for it. Ah, Christmas shopping!

Any shopping trip must also include a little time at Barnes and Noble. Today was no exception. I could sit and pour over the knitting books for hours, if I didn't have a freakin list of things to get done. Years ago, when I was pretty much the only knitter in the state of Wisconsin, it was hard to find knitting books. Most store clerks weren't even sure if their store had any. The knitting book area would always be in some dark, quiet back corner where I could sit by myself without being bothered. I am happy that knitting is more popular now than it had been. I love the resurgence and all of the new materials, but I now I have to share my private space. Today I found myself getting nervous as I came near the knitting section. Would someone else be there? Would I have to push my way through and apologize as I reach in front of someone to get a book? As I turned the corner, I sighed. There were about 5 women, all fighting for the best position to select knitting books. There was no room for me. In the festive spirit of Christmas I was tempted to say, "Get out of the way!" But I decided to go do some other shopping first.

When I returned, most of the women had cleared, but one remained, sitting on the floor directly in front of all of the knitting books. I quickly glanced to see if she, too, was looking at knitting books. She was not a competitor. Her books were about sewing. I was safe. I began to peruse. This is a highly evolved art. It begins with the finger walk. Slowly walking along the bookcovers, my fingers stop at a title or color that intrigues me. Next comes the quick tug to release the book from the shelf. Then, I look at the back for the price (similar to card shopping), and next look at the cover. I flip through a few pages and decide if it warrants a more thorough examination. If so, it is placed on a pile and if not it is returned to the left of where my finger walking ended. As I was completing my finger walk on the second shelf, the sewing book lady broke book shopping etiquette. She reached over to my shelf and took a book from the knitting section, one that I had not finger walked past. "Get out of the way!" She is lucky that my sharp knitting needles were in my knitting bag near where my mother sat with her cup of tea. She would have suffered serious consequences otherwise. I sat with my jaw wide open, in shock. How could she interrupt my obvious finger walking of that shelf? I thought that she had better put that book back on the next shelf, and not slip it in somewhere I had already completed fingerwalking. That could throw the whole perusal off and force me to start over. The undercover knitter, posing as a sewer, looked at the back cover and then the front cover. The book obviously passed her test after she flipped through some pages, and she added it to her pile. Now what would I do? I tried to peek at her pile to see what the book was so that I could find another copy myself, but she caught me in the act. I could see the pride in her eyes as she had beaten me. I decided that I had had enough, so I took my own claimed book pile to sit next to my mother and examine more closely.

Shopping is definitely not for the faint of heart!

After a few hours of high impact shopping, my mother and I went to lunch at Atlanta Bread Company. I have wanted to eat there for a long time, but the rest of my family didn't. This was the perfect occasion, as my mother thought it looked like a good choice. It was good, but not what I was expecting. The menu was very limited, only sandwiches, soups and salads. I guess I was expecting something a little more substantial, but the food was good. My mom really liked it, and that's what matters because today was all about helping her feel better and happier. I think it worked.

I need a nap. Last night I didn't fall asleep until 4:00 am and I shopped from 9:00 this morning until 3:00 this afternoon. I'm heading for the couch for some serious napping, so you better be sure to, "Get out of the way!"


  • At 5:36 AM , Blogger Elaine said...

    Bless you! I can't STAND any of the things you seem to enjoy about the feeding frenzy that is shopping.I've done all my husband's shopping online. For the kids,I'll make a list - get out one time - and be finished. Well, except for stocking stuffers! Happy holidays!


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