Stolen Day

December 20, 2009

in random

I feel that we have got an extra day out of this insane holiday season…

The original plan was for me to be away for 3 days this past week on a business trip. I would come back late on Friday night and start cleaning, doing laundry, packing, addressing holiday cards, and finishing up holiday shopping ALL on Saturday, and then we would fly out to my in-law’s this morning.

Thank goodness for the snow storm in the DC area. Reportedly the highest amount of snowfall that DC has seen in at least seven years:  at Dulles airport snow accumulation reached 16 inches on Saturday, and 13.3 inches was reported at Reagan. Instead of agonizing over the prospect of waiting in the airport for indefinite time today, we had decided to change our flight to Monday morning. As soon as we made that decision, I felt physically the lessening of the winding inside my head and my body. A collective sigh of relief felt in every corner of the house.

I worked through my check list at a leisurely pace yesterday:

Laundry detergent and gift cards at Costco. Check.

Gift cards & holiday cards for Catechists and gym coaches. Check. (And I assume it is safe to wish the Catechists a Merry Christmas without the possibility of offending them?)

Hold the Mail request at the Post Office. Check.

Newspaper hold. Check.

Neighborhood watch request at the police station. Check.

Kids’ haircut. Check.

Lip wax. Ooops. I forgot. I guess I will just have hairy lips with face powder dangling off the end of my upper lip throughout the holiday.

Laundry and the dreaded folding part. Started and ongoing. (“Predecessor task” in MS Project lingo)

The chaos of packing. Started and ongoing. (“Successor task” in MS Project lingo)

Addressing holiday cards, figuring out whether the cryptic emails from my friend with no mentioning of her husband means she is now divorced, deciding whether to say anything or what to say on the cards to distant cousins who are now divorced, coming up with proper words for our Jewish friends now that we have missed the entire 8-day window of Chanukah to show that we did not forget about Chanukah and we are not sending them the holiday cards now out of our callous Christian (+ 1 pagan) hearts (Thank goodness we can still wish them a “Happy New Year!”), stuffing, licking, stamping. Check. (With NO paper cuts to fingers or tongues. Success!)

In the evening we behaved as if it were any other Saturday evening: my husband went to the movie with my 11 year-old (AVATAR, in 3D); I took Mr. Monk, my 7-year-old, to the mall because he wanted Auntie Anne’s pretzels.

What? Was I crazy to hit the mall on the Saturday before Christmas? Yeah, I thought so as soon as I turned into the mall drive and saw all the cars, moving, squeezing, waiting, and parked.

Here’s a tip for you out there from a Mall Veteran. One word. SEARS. Go to Sears and I guarantee there is a spot for you. Probably not too close if it is the last weekend before C-day. BUT still closer than what you could find at the other parts of the mall. Trust me.

So here is the GOLDEN parking space Mr. Monk spotted. Good job, my lad! I was so excited I wanted to call everybody I know.

I never want to leave this spot again!

Seriously, this was no small feat. I did not want to leave that spot when we were done at the mall. I wanted to stay there, to stake my claim, to “Put a flag on it.”

In addition to getting the best parking space I have ever gotten on a crazy day like this, my stolen day ended up on a high note also because a light bulb went up after I’d had two drinks at the stupid Rain Forest Cafe (aka the worst tourist trap because it is located inside a goddamn MALL! Why is there a tourist trap inside a mall?), ok, a fuzzy light bulb nonetheless, and a thought bubble formed:

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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: Jackal & Hyde Style
January 4, 2010 at 11:46 pm


Unknown Mami December 20, 2009 at 1:48 pm

The drinks before the mall is brilliant. I can’t drive right now because of my eye issues and I asked my BIL if he would chauffeur me around tomorrow. Perhaps I’ll have a couple of stiff drinks before I go. I’ll toast to you.
.-= Unknown Mami´s last blog…Sundays In My City =-.

Absence Alternatives December 20, 2009 at 2:55 pm

I am sorry that your eye is still bothering you. Remember: eye drops every hour! Forget shopping: just ask him to drive you around while you sip Champaign. That would be a nice holiday tradition! 😉

magda December 20, 2009 at 3:12 pm

i second lin’s suggestion(s). have a couple for me as well please.
lin, i find that i can accomplish soooooo many more things on a stolen hour or day. yet with an hour or day before me, i am able to fritter it top pieces on nothing at all. why i wonder is there the tremendous inspiration to do what i have avoided for too many un-stolen days and hours? it is crazy that in the stolen time i can get allof the urgent matters addressed like they are nothing and then feel so incredibly confident and able, i tackle the tasks that would just make life better but nobody dies if they remain neglected. congrats on the relief and achievements delivered by your stolen day.
.-= magda´s last blog…A Real Timesaver =-.

Absence Alternatives December 22, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Thank you. I did get a sense of accomplishment out of finishing up all these mundane things. I hope you are doing well in this crazy week.

A Vapid Blonde December 21, 2009 at 6:46 am

Its Monday morning and I am not even half done with my Christmas shopping. I am going to be intentionally late for work so I can try and get some things done in town. I should take your advice…luckily I am the boss of like two people so I don’t think they will question it when I show up at noon…a little boozy! Safe travels!
.-= A Vapid Blonde´s last blog…Cue The Charlie Brown Christmas Music. =-.

Absence Alternatives December 22, 2009 at 4:11 pm

You can always say, “You are not the boss of me!” You have no idea how much I want to say that at work…

A Vapid Blonde December 22, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Actually, When I say it…they laugh. It is an ucomfortable laugh…yet they laugh. Even though they know at any moment I could bring down the hammer! People are stubborn!
.-= A Vapid Blonde´s last blog…HO HO HO…Secret Santa Can Suck It! =-.

Diane December 21, 2009 at 6:48 am

Reading this has inspired me to enjoy all those little tasks that have to be done before Thursday. Laughing at the reference to being able to say Merry Christmas to the catechist without a second thought. (Been there!) And you’re right about the parking at Sears. Sears is an enigma. We have a mall here that I call the Snotty Mall, because it’s full of stores like Lily Pulitzer, Coach, Tommy Bahama, Saks, etc. Not a JCPenney or a “regular person’s store” in sight. Except for one end – Sears. The mall has been trying to get rid of Sears for ever, saying it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the mall. Sears says, “We’re not going anywhere. We do a good business here.” Sure they do – it’s the only place where normal people can afford! I’m not a big fan of Sears in general, but I often park there and go into the mall through Sears on busy days, because for whatever reason, the Sears end of the mall always has more parking available.

Absence Alternatives December 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm

When you mention Lily Pulitzer, I know it is indeed high end! I didn’t even know they have retail stores. There is a “snotty” mall (which I have been only once) in the CHI burbs that has a Louis Vuitton store inside… I’m glad you have been inspired. Now please send me some of those inspirations so I can get off the couch and go wrap the 1000+ presents waiting to be wrapped… sigh.

mrsblogalot December 21, 2009 at 6:54 am

Drinks first.

Shopping just got a little better.

I might have to do drinks after also…..I REALLY hate shopping

.-= mrsblogalot´s last blog…Bangkah Zoomas! =-.

Absence Alternatives December 22, 2009 at 4:17 pm

I do all my shoppings online (when I can), I even shop for shoes online (free return rocks!) I am never going to the mall without drinking first again. XXXXXXXOOOOOOOO

Robin December 21, 2009 at 7:55 am

I’m so glad we avoided this big storm for the most part, which is rare.
.-= Robin´s last blog…Dis-Like =-.

Absence Alternatives December 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Tru dat. I was happy that I was able to get out of BOS last Friday. Moreover, Chicago is often the target also. Now that I am here in the DC area, the amount of snow is really not that bad. I guess Maryland is technically below the M-D line so it is the South… LOL. No wonder they can’t deal with the snow.

TheKitchenWitch December 21, 2009 at 10:14 am

Aha! The secret to everything is in that tweet! Love it!
.-= TheKitchenWitch´s last blog…White Trash Motherlode:Fruitcake is whack =-.

Absence Alternatives December 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Once in a while, I get a brilliant idea like that. 😉

Elly Lou December 21, 2009 at 11:51 am

Congrats on the successful mailing! I ended up with a paper cut on my tongue. Suck-age.
.-= Elly Lou´s last blog…Snow. Boo. Hiss. =-.

Absence Alternatives December 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Ouch. I am wincing now. That is actually one of my husband’s biggest fears. Did you ever see the movie “Swimming with Sharks” with Kevin Spacey? The paper cut torture scene. Yikes.

Jane December 21, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Congrats on the extra day! What a great early Christmas present! And I loved the line “Laundry and the dreaded folding part. Started and ongoing. (“Predecessor task” in MS Project lingo)” Isn’t that the truth? Oh how I dread the folding. And the fact that it is ongoing and ongoing and ongoing makes me just want to quit doing laundry and just buy more clothes. (where or where is my winning ticket for the lottery?)
.-= Jane´s last blog…Won’t You Be My Neighbor – Part II =-.

Absence Alternatives December 22, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Thanks! Exactly. I just buy them more underwear to reduce the frequency of absolutely necessary laundry. My kids have learned to go straight to the dryer. 😉

Miss B December 21, 2009 at 7:48 pm

How do you feel about giving your home address to total strangers? Because I think you should email it to me, so I can send you some holiday cheer (of the non-illegal, non-exploding variety, I assure you).

Also, where is my snow, Universe???

Absence Alternatives December 22, 2009 at 4:28 pm

You want snow?! Come to Chicago! :-) But if you want to stay put in NYC (? somehow I thought that’s where you are) I would totally understand. I love NYC.

Falling December 22, 2009 at 12:38 am

Not only did I get to titter at your tweet, I also got to check my going-out-of-town-to-do-list against yours. Laundry, mail, packing–check, check, check.

Holiday cards? Yeeaah. Not so much. I’m sure that now that we have a baby, the Holiday Card Police (HoCaPo) are coming after us. Heck, maybe we’ll get our act together for Arbor Day.
.-= Falling´s last blog…For People Without Kids, There’s a Joke at the End =-.

Absence Alternatives December 22, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Good job!! Have a nice flight home for Christmas!!

LOL @ HoCaPo. Well, many have turned into a HoCaHo as soon as children arrived into their lives. I suspect that I may become one of those, sending out pictures of my kids as holiday cards in lieu of the “real” cards. (And I do feel guilty for not buying the UNICEF cards!)

SkippyMom December 28, 2009 at 6:49 pm

I thought Pooldad and I were the only ones who had a few drinks before shopping! It is the best advice in the world.

Since my diagnosis we shop online for Christmas, but it is a lot of fun because we can drink mimosas while we do it and Target doesn’t piss us off quite as much as usual. :)

Nice parking space btw. :)
.-= SkippyMom´s last blog…Damn, I Don’t Think I Should’ve Done THAT… =-.

Absence Alternatives December 28, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Hi, thank you for visiting and commenting! I am like this weird shop owner at some deserted town I am so happy to see people. But I am not going to turn out to be some serial killer so don’t worry! Mimosa sounds good about now…

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