I tried to post a Christmas wish yesterday. There was a cute little image of a stocking hung by the chimney with care with the CP's name on it. For some reason, it just wouldn't happen. I tried until I had to leave for work where I was treated to the best and the worst of humanity for nine hours. Today all is calm and all is bright after an evening with family and friends We are waiting for the CP to come over, to find out if he got his scooter. Have a wonderful day. Merry Christmas.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Working in retail keeps me in in contact with the younger generation, the backbone of the night and weekend sales force. I swear they are getting younger and younger. And the generation gap is getting wider and wider. Like a few weeks ago when my reference to phone booth stuffing was met with a distinct lack of recognition. The following exchange took place in my store between one such young man, and a woman of my generation. The young man, whom I shall refer to as YM, is intelligent and personable and about 20 years old. I do not know a lot about him as I have only been at this location a few weeks. Judging from his last name, his appearance, and the very slight inflection when he speaks, I am guessing he is the first generation to be born in this country, to an Asian family. He performs many different tasks in the store. On this day he was working customer service. The other person involved is the Bookkeeper. A woman I have known for years, worked with before, and consider a friend. She was the one who relayed the story to me, so the conversation will not be verbatim, but close enough.
Bookkeeper: YM, a lot of people are going to want to buy postage stamps today. I'll give you some nutcracker stamps, and some with The Madonna. YM: What is she doing on a Christmas stamp? Bookkeeper: Who ? YM: Madonna. Bookkeeper: Not Madonna, The Madonna. YM: Whatever. What has she got to do with Christmas? Bookkeeper: YM, The Madonna is another way to refer to the Blessed Mother. YM: (according to the Bookkeeper, he was a little defensive) Well I didn't know. I'm not Christian and I never heard that before. You Catholic people assume everyone knows what you are talking about.
We had a Little chuckle over Madonna/The Madonna after I got into work. Without exaggeration, at least 10 people came to the counter that morning and asked YM for Madonna stamps. And we didn't prompt any of them. Later that day, Bookkeeper was relating the story to another coworker, I'll call Parochial Mom. A young woman approached the counter for service. She was mid- twenties. Very nice, and very well spoken. She offered up that she also had never heard the Blessed Mother referred to as The Madonna. She said she would have assumed the same as YM, that we meant Madonna. She also said that with all the things Madonna has done over the span of her career she would not be at all surprised that she could be on a Christmas stamp.
Just then, Parochial Mom's daughter came in to work to start her shift. She just turned 20. "Daughter", said Parochial Mom "who's the Madonna?". Daughter, feeling somewhat ambushed replied ' Is this a trick question?" "Just answer" said Parochial Mom. "The Madonna" said Daughter, "is the Blessed Mother", proving that all that Catholic school tuition money had not been wasted. "Unless of course you mean, you know, Madonna".
My Christmas Card
The CP is just 11 days shy of being 4. He has blond hair, blue eyes , and the face of an angel. And all he wants Santa to bring him is a new scooter. Does Christmas get any better than that? He told us he was going to write a letter to Santa. To tell him that his Mommy needs a new lens for her camera, his Daddy needs news pots and pans, and, they could use some new dinner dishes. And he wants a new scooter. Nothing else. Just the scooter. His old one broke.
We took him to see The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. He was thrilled when Santa made his entrance. While he was excited to wave to the jolly old elf, he made it very clear that he had no intention of shaking hands with him as some of the children were doing. When the threat of personal contact had passed he asked Sarcasdad and me " is this the real Santa I am seeing on the stage?" When we assured him it was he said "I'm going to ask him to bring me a new scooter for Christmas"
This morning we took the CP to breakfast at our favorite diner. As we were leaving the hostess admonished the CP to be good, because Santa is coming. " I can be good til Santa" he called back over his shoulder. Then he looked up at us . He scrunched his eyes closed and held one little hand inside the other."I can be good til Santa because I really really want him to bring me a new scooter". He put his whole heart into that sentence. Really, it doesn't get much more Christmasy than that.
As he climbed into his seat in the car he told me that he is going to see Santa soon, and that he hopes he is not too scared to ask him about the scooter. Me too. I can see how walking those last few steps to sit on the big man's lap all alone, no matter how much you like him, could be daunting. Apparently the CP has been giving it some thought. Almost 4 and thinking about sitting on Santa's lap and asking for a scooter. That is a Christmas classic.
I had been searching for my Christmas spirit this year. I thought it would show up somewhere amid the wrapping paper and the decorations. It didn't. I found it at the diner.
The CP isn't going to be almost 4 and wishing for Santa to bring him a scooter next year. So just in case I find my spirit lacking next Christmas, I am writing this all down. It is my Christmas card to me. I can keep it, and open it anytime I want to.
I wish I had time to complain. Complaint choirs originated three years as in Findland, and have since spread world wide. It would be cool to find out if ,say ,the Slovenian complaints choir , for instance, sang about the same things the Chicago complaints choir did. I'm pretty sure neither slammed Jersey drivers.
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