Friday, November 11, 2011

Man vs. Machine: The Holiday Edition

I'm a merchandising temp at a department store, ensuring you all have access to jeans bedazzled with rhinestones, tops featuring cats in Santa hats and other holiday apparel necessities.  And, on November 1, the machine at my job started playing Christmas music.

Now, keep in mind, everything negative at this retail establishment is actually good fortune waiting to be revealed.  For example:  According to some numbers gathered and crunched by off-site, mother-ship management, we are an "Opportunity Store".  In layman's terms, that means we are a "No Place To Go but Up Store."

Accordingly, I see my work soundtrack as an opportunity to slurp from the goblet of holiday cheer, and drink that music machine under the table.

Not that I see Christmas music as a negative, but it seems most people hate, hate, hate-y, hate, hate it.  Or claim to.  As often as possible.  Customers and employees alike started complaining about the music before it even started.  Anticipatory kvetching.  Not me.  I love the holidays:  the music, the decorations, the lights, the movies, the cocktails, the city sidewalks...  busy sidewalks...  dressed in holiday style.

To me, it's like everything else, there are pros and cons, good and bad, on the whole, though, I am thumbs-up on it all.  I love it when I am fortunate enough to get a fully festive year.  And I also love it when everything about the season - the love, the sharing, the reunion, the belonging - is absent from my life, and the whole institution seems established only to mock me at every turn.  Because, even then, especially then, I find comfort thinking about all of the people whose turn it is to live in a Marshmallow World that year.

I tend to think that life is like a big, complex, large-scale game of musical chairs.  If you're standing, you'll get another chance at a chair soon.  If you've got a chair, you'll lose it soon enough, so enjoy it while it lasts.  It's totally random and unfair, but it can be fun.  Can be.

Sure, it would be ideal to not start with Christmas right after Halloween.  The classy thing would be to wait until Thanksgiving is done, but there just aren't any good Thanksgiving songs.  What's a store with a healthy profit motive to do?  And that's the thing, as much as folks hate that the season kicks into gear right after Halloween, it works or the stores wouldn't do it.  Perhaps y'all doth detest too much.

No matter.  My ears are deaf to your objections.  I am engaged in battle.  And that machine doesn't know what it's up against.

You might be wondering, in this battle between the music playing machine and Amanda, what will victory look like?  Like me, of course.

Don't forget:  November 25 is Buy Nothing Day - enjoy!