Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Art Of Christmas Shopping Procrastination: Don’t Think About It And It’ll Go Away!

So what did you do over the weekend? Perhaps you, like millions of others, did some Christmas shopping? What did “I” (and family) do you might ask? Well, surely not Christmas shop. We did what the French do best - just ignored it and did something fun (minus the cigarettes). We went to San Diego. There sure is nothing like 78-degree, cloudless, sunny weather that gets you into the “Christmas Spirit” (I even had Hot Chocolate with marshmallows- you can’t get more “Christmas” than that!) Although I can’t honestly say the weather was that good all the time; it did get down to 50-degrees at night (Brrrrr! – practically snow weather.)

We haven’t been down to San Diego in about 4 years, and we heard about this event they have called “Christmas at the Prado” (which was renamed “December Nights”) up at their Balboa Park area. We had a good time, Balboa Park is an absolutely amazing place – it looks like a piece of Spain landed in the area. Ornate Moorish/Spanish Renaissance architecture with towers, manicured gardens, great city views, and enough museums to make any 16-month old scream from boredom. Add Christmas lights and about 4 million people there that night (well, not 4, maybe ‘3.4’) and you have quite a bash.

The best part was walking past the (lonely) Atheist Coalition booth that had a bunch of creeping looking, sour-faced hippies working it and then about 100 feet up the way was some crazy over-the-top Jesus freaks wearing t-shirts and holding signs like “Repent!” When I passed the dude with the sign, I told him that he should talk to the dudes down at the booth - they needed Jesus (I would have liked to have seen that conversation...)

One thing I really like about San Diego which is much different than L.A. -- the people -- they're much friendly there. Total strangers will just chat with you as if they’ve known you for a while. You don’t get that in L.A. unless you know them somehow (or you just had a fender-bender or sell crack).
Or it could be the fact that if you have a kid (or a dog) people deem you as “approachable”.

What about all of you? Does having a young kid (or dog) make it easier for strangers to talk with you?

18 comments:

MamaLee said...

I'm sure that I attract other mommies, with that PLEASE HELP ME I'M GOING INSANE look to me. LOL Actually, my hubby finds that he gets hit on A LOT when he is out alone with the kids. It must be that "OO, he has good sperm" thing. STORE IS CLOSED LADY! lol

I actually think it's cute that women find his "daddyhood" attractive. I am sometimes there when that connection happens! Kids. Dogs. It's all the same when it comes to bonding with others.

Joke said...

Yes. Yes, it does. This is why I have had to confine my outings to the Internet.

-J.

dadinprogress said...

It's much easier to strike up conversation with other people through the kids. common ground.

San Diego is cool. You should have stopped in Carlsbad on your way home to see LEGOLAND. Fun stuff and they have a lot of Christmas stuff now -- a big LEGO tree and what not.

InterstellarLass said...

I think maybe I have a friendly face. One that says "I give a crap" when really I don't.

I've never been to San Diego. The one time I went to California I went to San Francisco. I would have liked to see more.

radioactive girl said...

I think I am someone people feel ok with talking to no matter what. My husband used to swear I somehow encouraged it, but then once he was with me and I was minding my own business and people kept talking to me. After that he now swears it is pheremones or something that make people want to talk to me. I even had a woman tell me her entire story while I was waiting to talk to the doctor about my cancer stuff. I was clearly not sending off "talk to me" signals at that time! But most of the time it's cool. I have gotten to meet lot's of cool people because of this.

Sarah O. said...

1. Guys with cute dogs are serious chick bait.

2. Lots of new parents (especially moms) look at you as though you're some sort of pervert if you so much as smile at their tiny offspring. I do not understand that at all. I LOVED it when people admired my kids. And I still get a sour feeling when I think of the woman who told me that my 9 month old daughter was too fat.

My daughter turns 15 next week. She's 5' 8" and wears a size 4. So THERE, awful woman. Harumph!

Sarah O. said...

By the way, ctd, your daughter is adorable!

kittenpie said...

Ha - every day is hot chocolate day around here. I have a small addict on my hands. One day she'll start spewing obscenities in public and blame it on the cocoa.

junebee said...

Don't have a dog. And I try to appear as unapproachable as possible. My kids are minor celebrities around here so the regulars on the walking path always stop to talk to them. Many of the regulars are Hispanic and knew my nanny, who was also Hispanic.
One asked me if I was the mum or the new nanny...!

BTW I have not started one stitch of Christmas shopping. Not one. Tomorrow I will hit the Internet. Hard. While the kids are taking their naps.

Mrs. Chicky said...

Yes, I'm much easier to approach now that I have a kid and dog(s), but better still I feel more comfortable approaching people because I have a kid and dog(s). It's like having an invisible shield... except their kinda visible.

Lisa said...

I'm a people magnet! Total strangers are ALWAYS talking to me. And not just "hi, how's your day?" but full conversations as if we're long lost best friends or something. It's crazy!!

Mel said...

Dude. I would say that having a kid did make me approachable for a little while, but then I started getting all weird and paranoid about my kid getting snatched (my firstborn was about the same age as a local kid that was snatched from her mother's arms at a busy intersection; thus endeth the Trusting Mel Era.). At which point I developed the Piercing Stare of Doom, which promptly discouraged any and all comers from trying to chuck my daughter under the chin, etc. I think they knew I was fully prepared to bite the offending hand right off.
Nuts much?

CrankMama said...

that sun and that beach look SO fabulous! we're soggy and wet and cold here in WA.. recovering from our snow storm. we spent the weekend NOT having fun. note to self: be more like Tony.

creative-type dad said...

CrankMama - Pick up a bucket of chicken and you could...

Mel - that's scary! If somebody tried that with me. I would be doing some serious karate (and I don't even know karate)

Sarah O. - no way! some stranger said that? If somebody told that to me I would have brushed it off and said something like "we're trying to fatten her up, so we can eat her."
I really want somebody to tell that to me now - so I can use that line.

radioactive girl - you could probably sell used cars if people want to talk to you...(just an idea. could be very profitable)

Jenifer said...

I never have to worry about strangers talking to my family when we go out. My husband could make friends with a rock...he talks to everyone. Then we temporarily have new friends until they start getting that "Doesn't he ever shut up" glazed look on their faces and I think...."Yup, he's lost another one."

Rick Andreoli said...

We San Diegans are a friendly people. We also have major wildlife events, like when Shamu goes crazy!

creative-type dad said...

Yes, I must count Shamu in the non-friendly list...

Anonymous said...

The best part was walking past the (lonely) Atheist Coalition booth that had a bunch of creeping looking, sour-faced hippies working it and then about 100 feet up the way was some crazy over-the-top Jesus freaks wearing t-shirts and holding signs like “Repent!” When I passed the dude with the sign, I told him that he should talk to the dudes down at the booth - they needed Jesus (I would have liked to have seen that conversation...)

I'd love to see you in an online conversation that involves proper grammar and less overzealous use of italics, but I'm not holding my breath.

Merry Christmas to all... including self-important, vanilla-flavored morons.