People are very on edge today. More short and ill tempered than usual. I was walking along in Target and had that sense of tension and angst all around me, the feeling that everyone in the store would be happier if everyone else in the store was not there. As I was walking along I had the feeling that if I stopped walking the person behind me would just run into me.
So I stopped in my tracks next to an endcap.
Just as I expected.
So for the rest of the day while I was doing errands I kept doing that. In Target a few more times. In the grocery store. In the parking lot. The parking lot was probably not a good place to do that. Don’t worry, I’ll be OK. I’m tough.
Things were so tense, when I was parking at the shopping mall, I heard someone beep their horn. It was pretty far away, maybe over on the highway, but I’m sure it was a car horn.
People don’t beep their horns much in Minnesota. I’m pretty sure that if you disconnected every single horn in every single car in Minnesota, no one would notice for months. If you did it in Boston, people would notice right away. Some guy would show up at work:
First guy: “Hey, whaddayaknow, my horn broke this morning!”
Second guy: “Hey, mine too!”
Third guy: “What a coincidence, mine too!”
Fourth guy: “… wait a minute. Maybe this is not a coincidence!!!”
But if it happened in Minnesota, first of all, for several weeks no one would notice. Then one person would try to use the horn and it wouldn’t work.
Ollie: “Hey, my horn didn’t work this morning.”
Knute: “You would know! Ollie, you’re a bit hot headed, don’t ya know.”
Then, like five weeks later.
Myrtle: “Hey, Ollie, didn’t your horn break a while back? Where’d ya get it fixed, anyway?”
Ollie: “Ya, sure, but my mechanic couldn’t fix it. Says he’s never done one of those jobs before didn’t want to make it worse.”
Myrtle: “Oh, sure, I thought I could ask you where you got it fixed. Mine’s on the Fritz now too.”
Then, two months later…
Fritz: “Hey, Myrtle, weren’t you looking for a place to get a car horn fixed a few weeks back? Is it broken yet?”
Myrtle: “Yeah, Fritzie, It’s still broken.”
Fritz: “Too bad, I’d like to know where to get mine fixed…”
Ollie: “…. you know, I’m not so sure this is a coincidence….”
You know the tension is due to the holidays, and all that goes with them. I have a friend who lost two grandparents over the last few years at this time of year. Now that I think about it, the two elderly people I grew up with also died just this time of year, but that was a long time ago. Anyway, a lot of people die right about now. Death goes with the holidays. Then there’s the family expectations and tensions and stuff. I’m lucky in that regard. Many years ago, each member of my family moved to a different state, as far away from each other as possible. I’m not sure why. But it certainly did eliminate any possibility of holiday related tension. But for most people, there’s a lot of tension. Then there’s the shopping. That is a whole different kind of pressure. Not the shopping itself. Picking out a few items to give to loved ones, and picking up a dozen fruit caked for everyone else is not hard. But since most other people are doing the same thing, there is chaos. The chaos is a bummer.
Chaos. Tension. Death. A horn blaring.