DATE: 12/26/2003 04:35:00 PM
Here It Is
Here it is, folks, Dec. 26th. Oh, holy shit. Dec. 26th--have I noted this before?--is my current top contender for Worst Day of the Year (Jan. 2 is also up there--we'll jump off that bridge when we come to it, though). Dec. 26 is the day the orgy of eating that was the holidays comes back to haunt you. The day you truly can set aside to reflect not on peace on earth and goodwill to men, but how much you ACTUALLY spent on that imported coffeemaker for Aunt Fran, and whether or not the take from returning the hideous scarf she bought you will balance it out. Or maybe she actually made the horrid thing and so there's no cash in it at all. The day you cringe remembering what you bought for your Great Aunt Tilly, in a last-minute episode of Panic Shopping.
Dec. 26th is the day everyone--EVERYONE--flocks to the stores for their post-holiday returns. Or flocks to stores to spend their holiday gift certificates. Or flocks to stores because they're incredible procrastinators or cheap bastards and want to score some cheap gift items. What this means is that if you're just trying to go out and do a post-holiday errand, like, say, visiting your grandfather in the hospital or stopping to get gas and cigarettes on Dec. 26th, you know the flow of traffic will be all but nonexistent. Why are human beings so predictable? you will wonder, passing slowly by drooping lawn displays of the Manger Scene that have yet to be taken in, crawling past the Dollar Store advertising a holiday clearance on shit everyone has managed to suddenly remember--now that the magical consumerist spell of the holidays is over--they don't need. Why doesn't even one person seem to think to themselves, "You know, this year, the spending of my holiday gift certificate to Linens 'N' Things can wait until Dec. 27th"?
And fucking forget about going to see a movie. Guess what, asshole, everyone else has the same idea. There will be no tickets left. For anything. You'll just end up going to Blockbuster anyway, so just cut your losses. Remember that it's still Dec. 26th and no one is unique.
Dec. 26th is the day you spend cleaning out your room, producing bags upon bags of paper for recycling and miscellaneous trash but STILL don't have any new space freed up for all the stuff you got on Christmas. Dec. 26th is the day you eat holiday leftovers cold out of the refrigerator. Dec. 26th is the day you realize that you spent $500 on Christmas gifts for everyone but never balanced your checkbook. Dec 26th is too soon to get excited about New Years' and too late to retain the greedy glow of Christmas.
Dec. 26th, that godforsaken void on the calendar. It can't be over soon enough.