With just a few weeks left until Christmas, my bib overall-wearing buddy is being bullied into getting into the Christmas spirit and leaving his comfort zone, aka the farm, by one little eighty-five-pound elf. The Bean has declared that Saturday will be the day her dad takes her anywhere she wants/needs to go so they can finish their Christmas shopping. To say that Eric is a reluctant and disagreeable participant is an understatement.
First and foremost, Eric hates leaving the farm for any reason. He hates Walmart and all they stand for with their mega stores, slashed pricing, and cheap, foreign-made substandard merchandise. However, he is over the moon that anything and everything he can think of or need will be delivered to his door without ever having to leave the farm. He discovered this service during the pandemic, and his favorite line was, “I was made for social distancing. Walmart supports and encourages me to be a hermit. This rocks!”
Secondly, he hates to shop. Not only does he hate to spend money on things he deems useless, but he also calculates every purchase in hours spent working for said “useless trinkets.” If I have heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times, “I’m so happy I work fourteen-hour days so you can go to T.J. Maxx and buy more useless stuff.” Sigh. By the way, this useless stuff is clothes for our ever-growing bean, shoes, and basic life necessities. If it were up to The Bibbed Wonder, everyone would wear bib overalls and Carhartt t-shirts daily.
Lastly, my little bib overall-wearing buddy suffers from a social disorder. I kid you not. The man has a phobia about crowded places filled with disease-spreading people. The pandemic exacerbated this recognized phobia and has taken it to new heights. My first inkling that his anxiety was genuine occurred when Jordan was an infant. We went to Westmoreland Mall to see Santa and do a bit of Christmas shopping. When he entered the mall, saw the crowd, and knew he had to spend a significant amount of time there, he took our baby and quite literally ran through the crowd of shoppers, vendors offering samples, and loitering teenagers. I could not keep up with him. Finally, I found him in front of Santa’s workshop, looking panicked. He saw the line to see Santa and informed me Jordan would not remember seeing Santa. Furthermore, did we really need to expose our baby girl to some germ-infested maniac playing make-believe with children? It’s a wonder he gets anything for Christmas other than coal. Sigh.
He has been fussing about his outing with The Bean for days. He continuously tried to convince her to do all her shopping online. When that didn’t work, he tried to force her to draw a blueprint of the stores they planned to visit so they could make a plan for the shortest time and quickest exit. The Bean is exasperated with him and tells him he can handle a few hours of shopping one day a year. She also expects to have lunch with him and not at a drive-thru.
He will not win. He knows this but still feels the need to try to convince her otherwise. I patted him on the back this morning and told him just to accept his fate. He will be at her beck and call on Saturday, like it or not. He shook his head and told me he still had a few days to change her mind. He knows as well as I that there is no changing her mind. Once she sets her mind to something, one must accept it and go along for the ride. It’s how it’s always been with her.
When her plans for Saturday are discussed, he just shakes his head in misery, makes a pitiful face, and declares that life with two females is unfair and ridiculous. When I scolded him for his bad attitude and pointed out that he should be grateful she wanted to spend time with him, he informed me she merely needed a warm body with a driver’s license to chauffer her around town. He told me he could pay an Uber driver to do the same thing.
This, dear reader, is a falsehood. She has several willing, able, and happy options for shopping. GramBarb, Jenna, and I would be glad to spend time with her shopping and going to lunch. She wants to go with her dad and probably enjoys that it makes him so uncomfortable. She does enjoy making him miserable. It’s kind of their thing.
Although he puts up a good front, I know he is thrilled to spend the day with her. He has to create a lot of drama and theatrics, or it wouldn’t be as fun. It’s how he rolls. He’s not thrilled about shopping, spending money, or being out in a crowded store, but he is happy to be with her. No matter how much he complains, we all know he will happily drive her anywhere she wants to go as long as she is with him. I love my two goobers.
On this chilly December Thursday, stay safe, be smart, enjoy sharing time with those you love, don’t be a boob, and keep washing your hands.