Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Premiere


Ahhh...the Christmas season. Supposedly filled with festive, good-spirited cheer, I'm sorry to say that holiday shopping really brings out the beast in some people. Today I made my yearly trek to the Houston Ballet's Nutcracker Market, an shopping event held every year here in the Bayou City. It starts Thursday and ends Sunday, but my MIL INSISTS that we all get there when it opens on Thursday morning at ten. We, being my mom, my MIL, and me.

Traffic is a mess, parking is way out, lines are L-O-N-G, and these women are push-y! You would seriously not believe. It's like a cattle drive: ladies weighed down with purses and purchases, going with the flow or fighting up-river. Women in kitten heels and leather pants and feathered sweaters and anything else you can imagine, all crammed into a convention center type space (not the enormous George R. Brown Convention Center that hosts the annual quilt show, but still). Women wander around with no sense of direction, no concept of where their belongings begin and end, sipping bloody marys and sampling the rather stunning array of holiday food items laid out for a taste. In the background are rotating children's choirs and the raucous, boistrous cacophony of women's voices.

Just writing about it gives me the heebee-jeebees. It's really rather amazing that I make the trek back every year--it's so not me. But I do. And every year I find that special something that I would never have found anywhere else.

But I'm not crazy. If the line's too long, I pass it up. If the price isn't right, I keep on walking. But some of these ladies will stand in a thirty minute line for restaurant spaghetti sauce or Houston-famous tamales. Not me. I've been going to this event for fifteen years--I no longer have stars in my eyes. Now I just want to get in and get out. The pushy crowds have ruined for me. But still, I go.

And tonight, I suffer. Like an idiot, I wore boots, parked off-site, hoofed it in, through the market, and then back. Aaaiii, it hurts...

9 comments:

Eileen said...

We have a similar market here in Vancouver. Every year I think "no not this year- I will resist" and then I go. It is like a right of passage.

Lucy said...

My mother and her best friend went every year when she was alive. She also was there at the opening day each year. :-)

I've never been, even though I have relatives who have a booth there, every year.

Sarakastic said...

So what was the purchase this year? This is exactly why I hate the fact that one of the two radio stations in my town starts playing all Christmas music all of the time...the day after Halloween. I love Christmas, just the season shouldn't last so long.

Beck said...

I do every bit of my shopping online, but then I don't live near any tempting markets at all...

Trish Ryan said...

You are so brave. I'm not sure where I got my aversion to crowds, but I have to MAKE myself go to events if I think there might be more than 12 other people there fighting over parking. And yet, once I go, I'm always glad I did. Thanks for reminding me now that the crazy Christmas season is heating up!

~Virginia~ said...

I apologize on behalf of all Houstonians! :) I usually stay far away from these types of things...I don't even like malls! :)

Vicki said...

I love those types of things. At least I love them until I get there and then I remember how it was the year before. You know, when I said I wasn't doing it again.

It's the same with Black Friday. Every year I say I'm not getting up at 4:30 AM to get ready to fight the crowds and yet every year I do it again. I always end up with presents that I love.

You're so right on the crowds. People shoving and not being very polite or even in a holiday spirt. More like the Grinch who decides it's time to shop.

Even though my daughter and snl are here I didn't want to miss your blog. :D

susanhatler said...

It's weird what brings out the Pushy Button in people, isn't it? Christmas shopping. Driving. Disneyland. That's why I did my shopping online this year. It's just so much safer ;-)

Alyssa Goodnight said...

I think the purchase this year was a fuzzy, slightly scruffy little chick ornament wearing a top hat. I just had to have him.

Thanks for taking the time to visit, Vicki--you're way better than me! ;)