December 13, 2011
It’s that time of year. December, the time during which I refuse to go to the mall or anywhere near it on the weekend (unless there’s a dire emergency). The crowds, the angling and strategizing for parking spaces, the passive aggression, the outright aggression. Don’t get me wrong; I love the holidays. I am just amazed at the hostility that the mall brings out in people.
I had to go to the Mall of Georgia this past Sunday. Not my choice — I was meeting some dear friends at a place of their choosing. Now any savvy shopper in the 30518 and surrounding zip codes understands the mall entrances at this particular mall. Incoming cars have the right of way and no stop signs entering the parking lots, am I right? Yes, I am.
Professional shopper that I am, I entered the mall parking lot and cruised right through the initial entrance, knowing that the two lines of cars exiting the parking lot had a stop sign. I believe I was listening to “Holly Jolly Christmas,” singing away in my awful, off-key voice that only I can truly appreciate.
To my surprise, I glanced to my left just in time to see an angry 50-something woman in a white Suburban (those things are huge, especially up close) barreling down on me, waving her hands and shouting, obviously unaware of Mall of Georgia mall entrance etiquette. She was quite frightening looking, really. Scared me at first. She saluted me with just one finger, which I thought to be a bit over the top.
She also had who appeared to be her grandchildren in the car with her, staring wide-eyed at Granny’s behavioral display. My goodness.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that careless drivers irritate me. But come on. First, I had the right of way. Second, her reaction was a bit extreme. Third, in front of your grandchildren, or whoever those kids were? Santa would not be pleased.
I was proud of myself. I did not salute Granny back. I just smiled at her and went on my way, continuing to sing Christmas songs at the top of my lungs while I jockeyed for a parking spot.
In my sunset years, I am learning to pick my battles. Now if that same woman grabbed a sale item out of my hand inside the mall, that’s a different story. In that case, the gloves are off.
To the lady in the white Suburban, Merry Christmas. I know it’s politically correct to simply say “Happy Holidays,” but I mean it. Merry Christmas, to you and the little ones in the car with you.
Carole Townsend is a Gwinnett Daily Post staff correspondent and author of the recently released book “Southern Fried White Trash.” The book takes a humorous look at all families and how we behave when thrown together for weddings, funerals and holidays.