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Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Well, it’s less than a week away—that post-Holiday period that my wife refers to as “having nothing to look forward to.” Sure, immediately after your New Year’s celebration hangover wears off, so does that spirit of rebirth and rejuvenation. And then what? The doldrums.

I’m really trying to fill up my reservoir of optimism, but I’m getting a shitty break. Christmas was great and all . . . as great as it could be having to drive all over our non-winteresque Southern craphole visiting family on Christmas Day. The cheer was real my friends, but so was the fatigue.

Anyway, over a dozen CDs, a few DVDs, tons of candy, and a personalized Columbus Crew soccer jersey later, and I’m squirreling away those good feelings. Spending gift certificates and Christmas money on some new Mossimo gear at Chez Target. Having a wonderful eighth anniversary dinner with my wife and some blackened mahi mahi (actually, one of those was the dinner). And then I went to lunch today.

First it was a stop at the bank, going to the drive-thru to deposit some checks. It was one of those one-teller / multiple-lane situations. I pulled up just as a car was pulling out and pulled into the vacated lane. There was a car in the next lane, so I figured I was next. Which was correct. Although I didn’t realize that the guy in the next lane was opening a new bank account. In a foreign country. From his car. Seriously, I had to start reading the latest issue of The Big Takeover, getting well into that cover story about Death Cab for Cutie, all the while thinking, Man, Jack Rabid loves to go off on his little tangents but, y’know, he really knows his shit, and for the LOVE OF GOD, WHAT IS THIS GUY DOING? The window teller must have called for backup because, eventually, as Nick Harmer and Chris Walla were waxing philosophical about recording in the-middle-of-nowhere Massachusetts, there was a “Thank you,” and the cash / receipt vessel came back with my stub. And I was off to leftover crab dip.

Or my stop at Best Buy, standing in a shorter line. Why is this line shorter? I thought to myself. Ah, the sign that read, "Debit and Credit Cards Only." The lost-looking older woman in front of me was clutching a $20 bill and some interactive Bible thing. As the girl at the register was finishing up with guy-of-unclear-ethnicity-buying-rap-CDs-with-a-gift-card, she made an announcement, perhaps having seen the $20 bill in the hopeful woman’s hand, that “This line is for credit and debit card purchases only.” The woman heard this, but still put her technologically advanced religious item on the counter.

“I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’m not accepting cash at this register.”

“Where can I go?”

“To any of these other registers,” the girl indicated, waving her arm towards the half-dozen lines, each a half-dozen people long.

I felt a little bad. Poor woman. Could’ve saved herself a lot of heartache by, y’know, READING THE FUCKING SIGN!*

I hate people. A lot of the time. Because if they aren’t pissing you off, they’re making you feel sorry for them. Which, if they’re not pear-shaped with their muffin-tops hanging over their waistlines, or squeezing their ass-cheeks out of their cut-offs, it’s just not fun.

I'm working extra-hard on that optimism. Can't you tell?**

* I get the distinct feeling that the woman had no idea what a debit card is. Maybe not even a credit card. She was confused.

** I handled this a lot better than Michelle would have. Seriously. That teller at the bank would've been counting exit wounds for the guy in the next car, not tens and twenties. Or whatever-the-fuck she was doing for him. Christ.