Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sleigh Bells Ring... Are You Listening?

I guess the holidays are officially here. I was at the store today and they had Christmas music playing. I always get a weird trapped feeling when I am in a store playing holiday music. Even more than I usually feel trapped when I am shopping. One winter during my college years I worked as a part-time night stocker/security for K-mart. It was a sort of soothing job since it all brawn/no brain, so I didn't mind it except for being a little freaked out by some of the janitorial crew I was locked in with.

Locked in. Yes, that is what I said. As in, once when I became really sick when I was working, we had to call the manager at 2am and he had to drive thirty miles from his home to unlock the store so I could leave. It was such an odd feeling being at someone else's mercy to let me leave my job, the whole work as a prison metaphor made too fitting. After that the music, dusty dark store room and the smell of the floor polishing machine all took on a sort of menacing twilight zone hue for me. A midnight in the bowels of K-mart, the Christmas episode, sort of thing. I don't need a therapist to explain my holiday shopping anxiety to me. Well, maybe to get over it...

It really surprised me to discover that the music is played on a continual loop, which didn't even stop at night. So from 10pm to 5am the same constant holiday soundtrack played over and over while I straightened shelves and restocked end caps. There are still a few songs I cannot listen to because I just overdosed on them that season. But I do like holiday music in general. I don't mean to come across as a scrooge, because I am the sappy holiday type and a bit of a seasonal music junky. I just put Christmas itunes playlists on the ipod yesterday, so I get it. It is time for the good cheer and Rudolph and Silent Night. But not one of the K-mart Christmas loop songs make the list. Nope.

Is there a point to this post? No. I don't really think so. It was mostly triggered by my trip to Meijer tonight with my husband and the holiday music playing there. We were shopping for last minute birthday gifts for my boy, and we both almost talked ourselves into leaving without everything on our list. We are forever talking ourselves out of the store once we go in, and the holiday music just adds an over the top element to our store phobias, but leaving just means that I end up going back and facing the crowds alone. Alone with the dazed faces, dangerous carts and stockers blocking aisles all accented with a frenzied holiday soundtrack. No way. So I dug in my heels and I do believe we are totally ready for the party this weekend. Yeehaw.

But I am not ready for Thanksgiving, and I am guessing I will be alone for that adventure. Maybe I'll just wear a Santa's hat and pretend my life is a musical. It always works in the holiday movies. Sigh...

1 comment:

val said...

Ahh, this made me LAUGH. My older kids worked at a store with sound track music and some darn song with a line "...and I will play, play, play, play, my green tambourine," was one of the songs. It's been YEARS and they still imitate the song and do gestures, howl about the sheer torture of the music hour upon hour.

Wow. It's got that One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest thing going on. No wonder you have issues. love, Val