Holiday cheer gets to wait in line

By weeklyvolcano on November 25, 2006

What had me braving traffic on the heaviest, nastiest shopping day of the year?  I owed my kid a cool thing after she complied with my “no tears at day care rule.”

We went to Toys R Us, quite possibly one of my least favorite places on the planet in the best of times, in part because she wanted to go there, in part because I wanted a dose of Christmas cheer.

Getting there was almost half of the hassle. Between Costco, REI, JoAnn Fabrics, Video Only, Compaq computers, and oh yeah, the Tacoma Mall, that little patch of road system off of I-5, from 38th to Steele Street is more congested than an allergic person after a crying jag in the middle of a hayride.

And then there’s the parking lot traffic, which isn’t any better than the main roads.

Finally, we were in Toys R US, and I was amazed to see things looking quite civilized; only one little boy tore through the aisles on a pre-MX (a BMX with training wheels).

And then it hit me.  The crowd was mostly grandparents and parents sans-kids, shopping for Christmas. One woman commented to a long-lost friend,  “Yeah, I’m really running behind this year.” 

I didn’t have the heart to tell her my family’s Christmas Eve-eve shopping tradition.

After quite some time, Madame Greedyface found The Perfect Thing (A Little Mermaid jewelry set, after investing 15 minutes gazing at Barbie stuff.) 

So then we went looking for the line.  Turns out that organized strip of people lined up nearly around the store were the line.  Toys R Us had the foresight to organize one big feeder-line that fed into individual lanes.  The feeder line moved well, but our cashier line was seriously speed-impaired. 

Finally, 20 minutes of line-waiting later, we were off to the lot, and then stuck in Steele Street traffic again.

Somebody, remind me: why do we love this season? â€" Jessica Corey-Butler