I am dreadfully behind on my holiday shopping! This from the girl that normally starts my shopping in the summer and am finished before Thanksgiving. I hate shopping in general; particularly around the holidays, when the stores are really crowded and people seem generally cranky. Today, I was reminded of why I hate the holidays.
While waiting in line to check out, a confrontation broke out at the register on the other side of mine. From what I could gather, a woman stepped out of line for a moment and then returned. The man behind her clearly took the stance that once she moved, she had given up her spot and he was hell-bent on checking out before her.
When she moved back toward the register, either to take her place back or gather her belongings, he pushed her and knocked her onto the floor; she was using a cane.
Have we really gotten to a place in our society where we are knocking each other over to buy something?
At first I was concerned for the woman's safety, then I was sad that it happened and then I was just disgusted that this is where we are. We truly are at the place where we've resorted to physical violence to buy something at a department store.
When a cashier pointed out to him that it was wrong, he responded, "Hey, she moved out of line, she lost her spot."
"But she's using a cane," the nice young cashier pointed out.
The man shrugged, "So?"
There were a group of people surrounding the woman, so I didn't feel the need to go over and add to the mix. I've found that sometimes, the best way to be helpful is to step aside and not become one more onlooker. I didn't stick around to see the outcome; I was actually quite nauseated by this time.
Flashback to the 1980's, when women were punching each other in toy store aisles to get Cabbage Patch Kid dolls or to any Black Friday when someone gets stampeded over a discount TV.
It's the ugly side of Christmas. It's the side where people get so caught up in the consumerism that they forget how to be human beings.
Perhaps the man in line today was in a rush, I get that; time is money. I myself was on a break from work and keeping a close eye on the clock as I hurried along to the cashier. I've had people cut in front of me in line before; it's annoying, I don't enjoy it, but it never occurred to me to resort to physical violence. It never crossed my mind to put my hands on another person in the name of a faster check out.
Can we all stop for a few minutes in the midst of the holiday madness, take a deep breath, and pay attention to the people around us? Can we all just take a pause for the cause and remember the good things about the season? There are so many with so little. There are people this holiday season with no home, no family, and no job. There are people grieving the loss of a loved one, the end of a marriage, or a serious illness, either their own or that of a loved one. There are service men and women that can't be home for the holidays because they are serving our country.
And you're shoving someone because they stepped out of line at a department store?
It's a sad commentary on the ugly side of Christmas; where we're so rushed and so stressed that we resort to harming another person for a place in line.
Please take a few minutes to enjoy the holiday season with the ones you love. Please take a few minutes at the beginning and end of each day to show some gratitude for all the things that you have in your life. Be grateful for your home, your children, your pets, your health, and your life.
If you're going out to shop in these last few days before the holidays, please pack your patience. And if you can't do that, please stay at home and shop online.