My friend Angie dresses her dogs, Gracie and Lucy, in dresses when she wants them to behave. I'm not sure this works or not--the dogs weren't bad, but she credits the dresses. I just think they look hysterical in those goofy dresses. I dunno, I can't imagine dressing Hobbes in a dress to get him to stop tearing up the toilet paper roll for fun.
Gees, I hate the holiday madness that these days have become. Criminy, it's the beginning of December and I'm feeling behind already. Apparently it isn't just me, as I've noticed that a lot of other folks are rushing here and there trying to get things done. Let's go back to Thanksgiving where nobody runs around like fools--I like that much better.
My hellish daily commute has gotten worse with Christmas approaching--if that is possible. I drive one of the busiest North/South streets in the city of Chicago and it is 6 lanes of driving hell every single day. Add in the fact that Cicero Avenue is lined with strip malls, fast food restaurants, buses, Gangsta Mall (not to be confused with Ethnic Mall), and crowded with people who cannot drive. And, oh, did I mention that I have to drive by the airport and under low-flying airplanes that scare the crap out of me? Yeah. It's a dream to drive to and from work each day.
On a typical day, Cicero Avenue is chock full of clunkers that never got turned in for that government program. We've got homeless folks waving "Feed me" signs and old men driving their gals to McDonald's for breakfast--except they can't remember where the entrance is. There is constant construction, buses and taxis that zip around the airport, and folks driving really slow and talking on their phones--a LOT.
There are women applying their make-up in the car because that is just ideal for a good look and car loads of tie-wearing high school boys driving like idiots to get to the Catholic school nearby. There are busy people dodging those that slow down to pull into the Starbucks for Joe and those who are talking on their cell phones to god-knows-who at 7:30 a.m. It's a freak-fest each day, and although most days I can maintain my sanity and my serenity as I careen in and out around the pokey drivers, I've been kinda at my wit's end since Monday. And it's only just begun.
The holiday shoppers and rushers have added a whole new element to this traffic nightmare. Of course there has to be a Walmart in the mix, with beat up old mini-vans pulling out of the parking lot crossing 6 lanes of traffic to get to the Best Buy. There are old dudes/women who are sucking on a cig like it's their last one before they die--enjoying every last ounce of acrid smoke while driving a top speed of 23 mph in a 35. What is the deal with smokers and the gas pedal anyway?
I'm trying to remain calm and breathe deep and all that, but it is trying. My typical 30 minute drive down Hell Road has turned into 45 minutes of Hell Road Squared--there are folks out there driving that shouldn't be allowed out of the nursing home, more or less driving. I swear I'm gonna wear my horn out, or my patience, by December 18.
So, I'm thinking that in all of this, everyone should be given dog dresses to wear. I'm finding that the only way to deal with this commute and the madness that continues inside the stores, is to mentally wear my dog dress. And I'm thinking what a better place the world would be if we all did the same.
I find myself mentally preparing for the crowds, the funky drivers, the slow-poke grannies, and the zippy monster-trucks as I leave each day. I turn on some nice music and tap my inner zen, hoping I just make it to work and home in one piece.
I let the old lady cut in front of me at the Walmart without saying anything and smile at the mom who's kid is losing it in Aisle 7. It is the mental dog dress of being able to let it all roll without getting crabby or taking it out on a cashier who is just as fried as I.
So, let us all wear dog dresses this holiday season. May we remember to keep cool and not get fried by the pressure of the have-tos and the expectations of the media to spend, and spend a lot. May we get through what needs to be done and take the time to actually enjoy the holiday a bit.
And look snappy while we are at it.