Sunday, November 21, 2010

The closer she comes, the scarier she looks

When I was growing up, lo those many years ago, there was a popular commercial for Clairol hair color. In this commercial, a beautiful woman and a handsome man ran towards each other through a field of flowers, with smiling joyous faces, arms outstretched, shiny hair streaming in the breeze (well, hers was, anyway). The tag line was, "The closer she comes, the better she looks," which implied that Clairol hair color was so convincingly real, its user's hair would actually look even better on closer inspection.

Later, someone did a spoof of the commercial in which the man and woman ran right past each other into someone else's arms, and I had a lot of fun re-enacting that scene with a coworker named Joe Riley when we caught sight of each other in the hallway one of those spontaneously silly things that makes my life worth living. I'm not sure that our business associates thought it was funny as we did, but as Joe would've said, "To hell with you if you can't take a joke."

But anyway, back to the actual subject of this post. The closer the holidays come, the scarier they look. When I looked up my JC Penney work schedule for the next 2 weeks (including a 3:45 am to 1:00 pm shift on Black Friday), my heart sank. I should be grateful for all the extra work hours (and resulting pay), especially when so many people are desperate for a job, but all I could think of was the break room tables loaded with baskets of potato chips & candy bars, with pans of brownies and plates of cookies... I remembered being desperate last year for fuel, any kind of fuel, and comfort, especially in the form of junk food...

I considered printing up my plan for how to handle the holidays this year and taping it to the inside of my locker door, but since my locker is on the bottom row, I'd have to hunker down to read it, thereby sticking my butt (smaller, but not tiny) into the narrow path between the lockers and the kitchenette, which is also the vital and well-traveled pathway to the vending machines and employee rest room.

So instead, I'm going to make multiple copies of the plan on index cards and tuck them into my purse, in my car, in my netbook case, on my bathroom mirror. After all, I'm 57 years old, with short term memory deficiencies. The other day at JCP I was helping 2 customers in the shoe department. I got out to the stockroom, climbed a 10 foot ladder, reached for a box of shoes, and suddenly thought, " this the one who wants a size 8 pump in black, or the one who wants a size 9-1/2 boot in brown?"

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