i shop professionally. and so, i am accustomed to moving quickly and carefully, in and out of stores, with large quantities of merchandise.  i try, not so hard, to tolerate the casual shopper.

shopping during the holiday season feels like a particular kind of torture. no space, too many people, the same 12 happy tra-la-la holiday songs overhead, the stink of fake nutmeg.  this week, i really went into the pit of the storm. 3 visits,  2 days to moskatels--the floral, craft, party supply haven in downtown los angeles' flower district. moskatels is michael's on crack. and during the holiday season, all its customers are smoking the sparkly, tinsel-laced, pine-scented variety of crack.

it's a battle zone from the parking lot to the register. i've shopped for work nearly every holiday season, and only braved moskatels a couple times.  this year, i didn't make it out unscathed.  i left the store with 95 glass containers, 30 lbs of white sand, 4 dozen silver cocktail napkins, 3 lbs of confetti, 2 dozen pieces of mercury glass. in addition to my patience, i left behind 2 buttons (shirt and pant), and 1 passenger side car mirror.

let the holiday season begin! tra. la. la.

photo via national geographic

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