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Meet Me At Emotional Baggage Claim

Lisa and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, have teamed up to bring their hilarious and witty perspective on the everyday life as mother and daughter in their weekly essays which you can find in their latest collection, Have a Nice Guilt Trip. With stories that will have you laughing out loud one minute and tearing up the next, Lisa and Francesca connect with readers on a deeply emotional level because of the honesty they bring to their stories and by the time you turn the last page you will feel like you just found two new best girlfriends. Earlier collections include Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space, and Best Friends, Occasional Enemies.

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Chick Wit: Ho Ho Ho
Lisa Scottoline | December 21, 2014

What gets you in the mood?

I'm not talking about that mood, I'm talking about a holiday mood.

For the record, what gets me in that mood is Bradley Cooper, but I have a feeling I'm not getting him for Christmas.

Ho-ho-horny.

But to stay on point, the holidays are upon us, and we're all performing the 300 tasks required thereby, primarily shopping.  So this year, to make my life easier, I had the great idea to do all my shopping online.

But, like many of my allegedly great ideas, it had a downside.

What happened was that my tour for my last book just ended, leaving me no time to go shopping, so I'd thought all-online was the way to go.  And I've just been online-shopping for two hours, on the computer at my desk, where I sit every day, tapping on the keyboard, seeing no other human beings.

If you don't count a dog in a sweater.

Yes, my dogs wear sweaters this time of year, not only because I'm too cheap to turn up the heat, but also because they look completely adorable. 

Plus I like dressing them in their sweaters because it makes me feel like I have children I don't have to send to college.

So to me, dogs in sweaters count as human beings.

Anyway, as regards online shopping, I got almost all of it done.  I think I got pretty good deals, too, because it was so easy to switch around to the different websites and compare.  

There was no rush for a parking space.

There were no long lines to wait in.

There was no begging a salesperson for a cardboard box.

There were no other shoppers, harried and exhausted, walking in circles around the mall, going through the same thing I was.

But now, two hours later, the disadvantage is completely obvious.

I'm not in a holiday mood.

There is no holiday mood, anywhere in sight. 

Why?

There was no rush for a parking space.

There were no long lines to wait in.

There was no begging a salesperson for a cardboard box.

There were no other shoppers, harried and exhausted, walking in circles around the mall, going through the same thing I was.

In short, I saved myself the time and the trouble, but the time and the trouble were exactly what put me in a holiday mood.

It turns out that a stress-free holiday is no holiday at all.

Maybe I have to hate the holiday to love the holiday?

It got me thinking about online shopping in general, and lately I've been thinking about that a lot, especially having been on book tour.  It comes as no surprise to anyone that there are fewer bookstores in the world.  Plenty of wonderful independent bookstores have closed, and even a big chain bookstore like Borders is now a thing of the past. 

What worries me is that bookstores could become a thing of the past.

And if bookstores become a thing of the past, then it's only a matter of time until reading becomes a thing of the past.

And if that happens, I think we are worse for that, as a society.

It may be obvious as an abstract matter, but I realized that many other types of stores could go belly-up, if I keep shopping on my butt.

So I taught myself a lesson:

Vote with my feet.

If I want to live in a community that has bookstores and all other kinds of stores, as well as local people happily employed in those stores, I have to go out and buy stuff.

I'm putting on my coat and going shopping.

I look forward to the cranky shoppers, the waiting in lines, and the fighting over the parking space.

And I'm wishing you and yours a happily stressful holiday.


© Lisa Scottoline 2014

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