Monthly Archives: December 2011

Don’t Panic, There’s Always Boots!

Despite my late start this year to get into the Christmas spirit and even though at the beginning of December I decided, in a fit of childishness, to ‘cancel’ Christmas, I finally managed to cajole myself into some sort of excitement. Which meant I had to do a u-turn on the ‘I’m not buying any presents’ decision and go shopping.

Hence on Saturday I found myself panic-buying in the 3 for 2 aisle of Boots. I was not alone, as I’m sure you can imagine. Several hundred people with a guilty look on their face were scurrying into Boots then participating in a free-for-all. Hello Kitty make-up bags, Twighlight perfume sets and Lynx body spray rained down on my head. A Sanctuary bath scrub whistled past my ear, tug-of-war broke out in the Royal Jelly section and arguments raged on all sides. Near hysteria was reached when selecting items in order to get the best value (cheapest product free), everything had to be the same price or it “wasn’t worth it”. There was definitely no sign of gifts being chosen with love and careful thought. Which didn’t actually make me sad (though I am aware that it probably should), oh no, I turned my elbows out at right-angles and got stuck right in!

I fricking love Christmas. The insanity of it. The wild look in peoples eyes as they charge up and down the high-street with rolls of wrapping paper held out as if in a medieval jousting contest. The consideration given to meaningless tat that would be discarded promptly at any other time of year, the miserable queues for Santas grotto, the screaming children abandoned in their pushchairs as mothers do battle for the latest must-have toy, the hysteria in Argos, the absolute bedlam in the gadget shop, the awkward wrestle with your conscience as you realise that yes, Aunt Maud will yet again be given lavender-scented microwaveable slippers. Chaos reigns, it’s brilliant!

I must confess that I have also had my moments of fraught frustration. One year I bought my brother a set of weights. Great idea, except I had parked miles away and carrying over 30kg through town was no joke, chivalry does not exist at Christmas time so I was merely glared at as I collapsed regularly, I nearly abandoned the bloody things several times. The pubs look so inviting at Christmas but should be avoided at all costs whilst shopping, I am gung-ho enough without being aided and abetted by alcohol; buying my Grandmother a t-shirt that says “nobody knows I’m a lesbian” will not seem nearly so funny on Christmas morning, when stone-cold sober.

I look on enviously at the people in Starbucks, burying their faces in cream-topped mochas. Who has the time for this luxury?! And how on earth do they carry coffees and shopping? And how do they find a table to sit at? I braved the German Market in Birmingham last week, it was hideous. I wanted to lay down on the floor and weep (which is what I did last year when I went with my friend Chris, but in my defence I had the flu) so I calmed myself with an over-priced Gluwewin and left.

But despite all this; the stress and the strain, the madness that everyone is gripped with, the punch-ups in the car parks, the soaking wet feet and freezing cold hands, the aching shoulders and tired legs, the lack of change for the bloody multi-storey and the rage when you discover Next have run out of mens slippers, I will never resort to being one of those smug b*****ds who do all their shopping on the internet. It just wouldn’t be the same without at least one dash through the 3 for 2 aisles at Boots!

The Office Christmas Party

Promises and points to remember for oneself this year, before the Christmas Party;

Under no circumstances should I mount the bucking bronco, even if it is dressed up as a reindeer.

Thrusting towards to the cute marketing graduate on the dance-floor will lead to excruciating embarrassment for the whole of the next year.

The boss is not a priest, confessions will be taken down as evidence and used against me at a later date (possibly in a P45 format).

Attempting to lasso people with my scarf is only amusing to me and may result in an assault charge.

Being hailed as a ‘nutter’ is not a compliment. Do not get on stage with the band.

I cannot River-Dance, do an Irish-Jig, Belly-Dance or be a Cossack. This still applies after the consumption of alcohol.

Pole-dancing is for professionals only and pillars must not be writhed against in an unsightly (or any) manner.

Crowd-surfing is for festivals only.

Ditto mosh-pits.

There are no ‘amusing’ stories about customers. Refrain from discussing anything that may have raised a snigger in the past.

My moose impressions are not suitable for this environment.

The compere will not appreciate anyone ‘stealing his thunder’. Or his microphone. Leave well alone.

If I head-butt the toilet door whilst going to the loo, it is time to leave the party.

The Office Christmas Party is not a time to enjoy oneself. It would be wise to remember my management status.

My assistant is there to enjoy herself. Her duties do not extend to looking after me in any way, shape or form and certainly do not include holding my hair back, cajoling me to leave, fetching me water and/ or a bucket, making apologies on my behalf or reassuring me that and I am in fact brilliant and will not be sacked on Monday.

If I suddenly find myself as the Centre of Attention and realise I am the most beautiful, witty and hilarious person at the party, STOP. Immediately. This is an illusion, it is time to exit with dignity (though dignity may have left sometime earlier) and get the hell out of there!