Some of you chicks have probably already finished your holiday shopping and, while I'm impressed by your efficiency, I'm resentful. Because the rest of us are about to become part of a teeming hoard of stressed-out, deal-seeking, time-crunched shoppers.
To make the experience more pleasant for all of us, I ask everyone to adhere to my Holiday Shopping Code of Conduct.
1. Give each other space. The stores are crowded, but we still need our personal space. The ideal distance to maintain is a full arm's length, but at the very least do not touch, poke, or rub against another person with your body or belongings. It's upsetting.
2. Practice good line etiquette. No matter how merry, please refrain from whistling, talking loudly on your phone, or flossing your teeth (yes, I've actually seen this.) And move along with the line! Nothing is more frustrating than a shopper who doesn't notice when it's time to step up.
3. Stay home if you're sick. If you are hacking, sneezing, coughing or contagious, do us all a favor and shop online. We can't afford to get sick and besides, your body noises and mucus gross us out.
4. Wear actual clothes. Let's all agree that pjs are not acceptable attire in public - even on black Friday. C'mon, how hard is it to put on some pants? And while you're at it, put on deodorant too.
1. Let us pay the way we want. I know it's your job to ask me for my email and phone number and to join your frequent shopper program and open a credit card and donate to your charity. But if I choose not to participate, don't roll your eyes and snap huffily, "Well, fine, if you don't want to save 15%!" Call me crazy, but I just want to use my Visa.
2. Say "You're welcome." One of my pet peeves is the expression "no problem" as a response to my sincere thank you. It better not be a problem; I gave you a bunch of money! Instead of reassuring me that I didn't inconvenience you, why not say "glad to help" or "my pleasure" or simply, "enjoy"?
3. Give thoughtful freebies. Everyone loves bonuses and samples, but the treat I'm most grateful for is a little bottle of chilled water that I can take a swig from, then slip into my purse. This is so nice! We shoppers work up a powerful thirst.
Spread the cheer. If you have a chance to help another shopper out, do it. Share a tip or a coupon, hold the door for a mom struggling with a stroller, put items back neatly where you found them. And above all, use good manners. Everyone's nerves are frayed this time of year and a smile or kind word can go a long way toward making the season bright.
If you have any suggestions for a better holiday shopping experience, let me hear from you.
Otherwise, I'll see you at the mall!