There are lots of drawbacks to being Jewish. But one of the advantages (at least in theory) is that you don't have to deal with Christmas. Most years, we can totally avoid the craziness of the shopping malls for the few weeks before Christmas, and feel fairly smug.
Except me. I have 3 December birthdays to deal with: my twin sons on Dec. 20, and my husband on Dec. 24. Now, I could probably avoid the crunch of Christmas shoppers by planning way ahead, but it never seems to work out that way. And even if I do all my gift shopping online, it is inevitable that at least one cake must be picked up at Costco on one of those two days.
Today was the day. Yesterday I did my food shopping for Gershon's birthday/Shabbat party tonight, along with all the pre-christmas -grocery-shoppers. And today was pick-up-the-cake-at Costco-day. And some other stuff, as long as I was there.
Needless to say, parking was a bear. But once I conquered that realm, I approached the visit like an anthropology project. It was fascinating, and sometimes amusing. As I approached the entrance, people were coming out with carts full of cakes, pies, meat, and wine. And one guy carried nothing but a HUGE box of Ritz crackers. An older couple came out with only two items: a giant box of dishwasher soap and a giant box of bird food. (I guess one of those had reached an urgency level that justified battling Christmas-eve parking lots.) Then I went inside, and it was too funny. The jewelry roadshow was mobbed with lookers. Many shoppers were on their cell phones, conferring with someone about the exact variety of their shopping assignments. Others wandered the non-food aisles with glazed eyes, desperately looking for last-minute gifts. Then there were the generals: organized shoppers with a battle plan on paper. One young couple had 8 packages of Dove chocolates in their cart, plus a bottle of wine. Myself, I was going around in circles, trying to find where they re-located the salmon. (And then I almost went into cardiac arrest when I saw the price on the salmon!)
I got my 4 items, paid and got out alive. All-in-all it wasn't too painful, as long as I looked at the amusing side of the whole thing. We had a wonderful party, the salmon was divine, and MAN that cake was good! Even though I can't entirely avoid the holiday shopping throngs, I did manage to completely avoid the Mall all month, while still supporting the economy. I feel smug. At least a little.
What's your area of NON-expertise? Computers? Cooking? Home repairs?
Mine is make-up. I'm serious. I am usually a self-confident person, sure of what I'm doing in the kitchen, at the computer, at the sewing machine, at the wheel. But put a make-up brush in my hand, and I turn to mush. I look at this assortment of powders and gels that I've accumulated, and I'm sure that at one time I knew what to do with them, at least in theory. After all, the Mary Kay lady explained it. And then the Shaklee lady explained it. And then the SheerCover lady explained it. But now I'm unsure. I'm not used to this feeling, and I don't like it.
Solution? Don't wear make-up. 99% of the time I don't. But once in awhile, I really want to dress up and look like the other grown-up girls. Like tonight, for example. I was getting dressed up for the annual Holiday Party for Gary's company, and felt that I should at least TRY to look festive. So I put on my best beadwork (which I later took off and forgot to put back on), and some nice clothes. And then I decided it would really be nice to wear some make-up. I'm a little embarrassed that this is such a big decision for me, but it is.
So once I made the decision, I gathered up the various stuff, and tried to remember what to do with them, and in what order. After putting mascara on one eye, I realized that (a) I have a new, unopened one that would probably work better than this dessicated corpse, and (b) I should probably apply it after the eye shadow.
Eye shadow? Eeek? Um, let's see... my dress is aqua green, but I don't have any green eye shadow. Let's try this blue stuff.... yikes! It looks like someone beat me up! Okay, back to the old standard... light brown, very subtle looking. Yeah, stick with that. It's all coming back to me now; I go through this same sequence every time, and always end up with the light brown. I should just throw the others away.
Okay, back to the mascara. The lashes I started before look all clumpy with the new layer. I really should wipe it all off and start over. But I am NOT going back to the eye shadow, so this will have to do.
Concealer? Yes, I need to conceal everything on my whole face. But first I have to use that white stuff to cover up my red blotches before concealing. Sort of a pre-concealer. Except this white stuff is going on kind of shiny. Aren't we supposed to avoid shiny-ness? Maybe that's what the concealer is for. Sigh...
I briefly consider calling my Mommy on the phone. But she has no memory left, and she never wore anything but lipstick anyway.
Lipstick! Oh dear, how did I end up with 8 sticks of pinkish-brown? Even when that one female dentist advised me to avoid pink lipstick because of my pitiful yellow teeth. Gee, this is really a great exercise for building my self-esteem. No wonder I avoid it like the plague.
Okay, pinkish-brown it is. Apply generously, and then blot with a tissue. Blot a lot. Until it's basically all gone. Perfect. I feel like an idiot.
And then Gary comes home, looks at me and says "You look beautiful." And I melt. Maybe I should do this more than once a year! Or maybe not.