Chad and I went to the holiday sing-along and Texas State Capitol Christmas tree lighting ceremony this evening. A temperature of eighty degrees Fahrenheit made for brisk lemonade sales and sluggish hot cocoa sales. It seemed downright sacrilegious standing in the muggy heat singing downtempo Christmas carols as people milled about restlessly with dogs on leashes, baby strollers and disaffected teenagers in tow. The song leader, a notoriously nonsensical banter-maker, sang with too much gravitas for what should have been a festive occasion, but felt near-mournful.
Immediately upon the lighting of the big, tacky electrified Christmas tree, the crush of humanity started southward. Some people wanted to stop and chat, thus transforming themselves into speed bumps. Otherwise happy and sane parents grew frustrated, using their baby strollers as plows to bump their fellow man out of their way.
After the seventh time the same lady ran into the back of my legs with her stroller, the child in the stroller started kicking me and crying loudly. I apologized to the child, then looked squarely at his mom (Or maybe his grandma? She was way too old to have a baby that young.) firmly announcing, "I am going as fast as I can."
The stroller-plow operator then whined loudly, "I'm not trying to hit you. I promise."
Really? Because you've done it seven times now. I merely thought this, refraining from saying it out loud. My first rule of surviving human interactions: never argue with crazy, because crazy always wins. So I didn't argue with the stroller-plow operator, but did lose her in the crowd.
That's it for me. No more free public holiday events. I'm done.
I learned a valuable lesson about free, public events. If I'm not being paid to be somewhere, and I'm not paying to be there, it probably isn't worth my precious time. I'd rather be home snuggling loved ones or curled up with a book.