Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fragility and Frigidity

Has anyone else noticed how ornery people are just before Christmas? It is even more blown up in New York, when one cranky person has the domino effect power to rub their mood off onto every person who crosses their path.

It all came to a head for me last night at rush hour when I was on a 1 train so packed with people that a woman actually blocked any more people from boarding. She started pushing everyone back like a lunatic, while people on the platform insisted on trying to make room. It's times like that I was lucky to have a seat, or this shaky domino would have toppled over in a second.

So we're down to the wire, we're all working hard and ready for a break, we have to be emotionally prepared to face our families in a couple days, and there's still a ton of shopping to do. The streets of Manhattan are jam-packed, oh, and there's heaps of snow, making us cold, wet, and late for everything.

I get it. I really do. I have even been known to throw some elbows on the train (which is my own personal indicator for when I know it's time to get out of the city for a couple days). But at the risk of sounding obvious, what about the Christmas spirit? Does everyone get asshole allowance until the streets are properly plowed and all our purchases are made? It seems that everywhere I turn, someone has their own Christmas grumble and list of grievances.

So let's make that our own personal indicators- that when you are pushing on the subway, you should treat yourself to a cab ride or walk a few extra blocks. If you're cold, have a hot chocolate and put on an extra layer. When you are tired of waiting in lines and are snappy at the store clerk about getting too many ones back, then stop shopping. Take a deep breath. Put down the credit card. We have morphed the meaning of this holiday into a warped tribute to consumerism, with lots of competition thrown in.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and can't bring yourself to spread Christmas cheer and kindness, at least try not to knock over the ornery dominoes. Maybe we can't love our fellow men every day, but pushing them off the train is not the answer!

I wish all of you happy holidays and success in tackling those never ending to-do lists. But if you need to set the list down for a minute just to get into a happier mental state, then I beg you. Please listen to your indicators.

No photos for this post, so for a look at better dominoes to knock over, check out this video here.

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