"Can't We All Just Get Along?" Holiday Edition
by Michele Christopher

Okay people, just a few things we all need to remember during these hectic days of the holiday season. Winter is a wonderful time, the chill in the air keeps us all indoors crowded together more than any other part of the year. Add in the shopping and we are closer together than I personally am at all comfortable with; so we need to go over a
few basic concepts that hold our fragile society together.

Odor. If you use one of those metro-hip body sprays, that's great, always glad to see people making the effort to smell better. However, the key word there is 'spray'; not 'body'. It's for after you shower, not instead of. It's not a body-odor cloaking device, it's not shower-in-a-can, and it certainly isn't personal-cloud-of-flowery-funk. If people know you are there before you open the door, it's too much. tagspray.jpgIf you are spraying long enough that visibility drops - you are spraying too much. And, perhaps the easiest to understand, if bees are roused out of hibernation to follow you around - it's just too much.

Sickness. All that togetherness allows the germies to hop easily from person to person, so it's more than likely you'll catch a cold or two. Facial tissues are a great, handy tool, thebigsneeze.jpgbut they have a lot in common with that other very common type of tissue: I don't want to watch you use them. I'm not asking that you find a stall every time you need to sop up your nostril drool; just please at least turn away from me. And if you have to honk and squeeze and then dig around I think finding some alone time is the least the rest of us can ask of you. We'll return the favor, promise.

Shopping. I fully understand the cleverness of splitting up and going to different stores; comparison shopping via cellphone, I've considered it on occasion myself. One thing to keep in mind, (and this goes for the rest of the year as well), I don't really give a shit what you have to say to your caller. I'm far beyond the point of being annoyed when people take calls in line at the register and go on and on about their personal business, I find it rather amusing most of the time that people are so oblivious of their own assitude.

But there are two things you can do to appease me and the few other people on the
planet that still have a modicum of class. First, use your indoor voice, anything you say is only becomingshimshop.jpg mock-fodder for those around you. Second, don't make eye contact and pretend that you are so put upon by the caller and/or your hectic life; you had the option of not taking the call. I'm not going to play along and eyeroll with you, you are the one carrying a self-imposed leash around, I'll only be eyerolling at you with other people.

No cuts, ever. If you want to save a place while another part of your party is still shopping, more power to you, but if he/she/it isn't back in time I'll be sure to point the way to the end of the line. And if your companion does make it back before your turn with the register jockey, there are limits, just so you know. I don't know an actual number, it's an unwritten, etiquette-type deal. Let's say 5 other things. Definitely no second shopping cart, that is beyond obnoxious. It's only common courtesy, but sometimes you gotta remind people.

This has been a holiday public service announcement from Richard , who implores you not to be "that guy."

Guest Author archives


During my days of retail work, there was little I hated more than someone talking on their cell phone while I was trying to check them out. If you want to use your cell phone in the store, I don't care that much, as long as you're not being obnoxious about it. In fact, it gives me an excuse not to ask you if you need any help. But get off the goddamn thing when you're checking out.

Seriously, it's incredibly rude. It makes the cashier's job considerably harder. Oh, and you're risking an extra item or two getting added to your receipt. Perhaps an accidental double ring. I never did it, but it was oh-so-tempting.


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