Monday, January 05, 2009

Out of Sync Holiday Season

This holiday season I just felt out of sync for some reason. It may have been the two feet plus of snow that got dumped in our normally wet Seattle area during Christmas, or it may have been the economy, or some family challenges we have had…I don’t know what it was about holidays ’08. Let me just give you a little snapshot of my holidays and maybe you can relate in some way.

My 16-year-old daughter, Holly and I went to Costco several days before Christmas to do a little shopping. I often like to play games with my daughter that involves a little friendly betting. I proudly exclaimed, “You know I have never been to this Costco and not seen someone I know. So the first person who sees someone they know, wins.” That was the worst Costco experience I ever had, or maybe the second worse if you count what happened a few days later. How was I to know that for the first time in my Costco career I would see NO one I recognized and neither would Holly? The whole time we shopped I couldn’t relax, giving every person in the store the “Do I know you?” stare.

My daughter noticed my obsession and finally sighed, “Dad it is just a game. You are staring at everyone like some kind of creep. Just forget the little bet we made. You are ruining this for me.” I couldn’t quit, of course, and I kept an ever-vigilant eye out for a familiar face but to no avail.

Just a few days later I was back at the same Costco with my wife, Cindy. I decided not to play the game with her after the last experience with my daughter. But no sooner was I in the store then I spot a woman from our church. I enthusiastically greeted her and told her about the little game I had played with my daughter last time, and how frustrated she had been with me–even indicating that I was acting like some kind of “perv” staring at every person in the store to see if I recognized them. “Where were you a couple of days ago when I had a bet on the line with my daughter,” I joked with her. I felt that she was a little “standoffish” but I chalked it up to the holiday stress.

Soon, her husband arrived and I repeated the story to him, talking enthusiastically about what I had told his wife. After we had chatted awhile I felt that it was time to leave. As I began to walk away the husband came alongside me, put his arm around me and discreetly informed me that my fly was unzipped.

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