'Tis the season to be shopping
Growing Up to Be a Kid
It's that time of year again. Sleep has flown out the window, the only steady relationship I am having is with the computer cluster and it's not uncommon for the voices in our heads to be louder than usual — just ask my friend Alyson.
Yes, that's right kids — it's time for the big "F" ... finals. And what better way to prepare for the ensuing finals week than to not prepare? I'm not going to get into a discussion on how I think finals are absolutely ridiculous and how one test or project cannot honestly prove how much a student knows or has learned, I'm just going to say this: When the studying has driven you completely nuts, and you cannot bear to spend another hour in front of the computer, then get out. Get out now. And once you are out, there is only one place to go.
Against my nature as a woman, I hate to shop. Hate it with a passion. But Christmas shopping — that is a different story. That, I love. I think I like Christmas shopping so much because of the challenge and skill involved. It's like a game. For example, take shopping for my father. The man has everything he could possibly want or need, and when he doesn't, he will go out and buy it himself, leaving my sisters and I racking our brains as to what to get him.
Fortunately for us, there seems to be a million and one places to search for the perfect Christmas present for Dad and for others. The mall, boutiques, on-line or if you are a night owl, QVC and the Home Shopping Network are just some of the places where Christmas presents abound. (And if you are really lucky, you can catch a "Tootie" deal on the HSN. "Tootie" even wears a red Santa hat for the season, and doesn't that just make you want to buy a porcelain doll in the next 15 minutes?)
I spend days making lists of presents I want to buy for people, even though in the end these lists are totally useless because I always spot that one other perfect something to add to a gift I've already gone way over budget for. Budget, that is, in the loosest of terms. Notice the word budge in budget. That's what happens when I Christmas shop. My Visa card budges itself right off a very high cliff. So in reality, these lists are just a minor diversion from the final I should be studying for, but it's a hell of a lot easier than trying to make sense out of the different thematic structures in King Lear or whatever my professor was talking about.
Americans have spent approximately $226 million on Christmas shopping already, and that is only in the on-line purchasing category. Let me tell you, that is a lot of Thursday night pitchers at Coach's, including cover. Lots of people are looking to spread a little holiday cheer apparently. I bet a lot of these people are kids like you and me who just want to get away from it all and not have to think about school, papers, projects, work, snow, snow, cold, cold, cold.
Think about this: In just a couple of weeks we'll all be at home, sleeping until noon (and it's ok — you didn't miss a class), playing in the snow and opening presents. And even better than opening the presents, I think, is watching other people open presents you gave them, because you are reminded of where, when and how you bought that present and then the voices in your head were telling you, "Yes! It's a great gift!"
Molly Strzelecki is a senior writing major at Saint Mary's College. She can be e-mailed at strz7359@saintmarys. edu. Her column appears every other Tuesday.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.
All Viewpoint Stories for Tuesday, December 5, 2000