Christmas Shopping with the Debaser
Reasons the Debaser
Might Have to Despise Christmas
- As an atheist, he has a
psychological aversion to Christian holidays: No, not in the
least. Nothing I can't stand more than angry God-punchers who just
finished A Geneology of Morals
and can't wait to tell everyone they know what a complete and utter
tool Jesus was. Honestly, when was the last time anyone really saw
Christmas as a religious holiday, anyway?
- He sees the shallow, consumer-driven
mindset that has ruined the true spirit of the season: Please.
I refuse to believe for even one second that ancient Romans didn't
have huge ass sales on Solstice gifts and Lares
statues at this time of year. When are all the cynics going to admit
that this line is just a cover for:
- As a lonely misanthrope, the sight
of loved ones getting together to celebrate the holiday feeling fills
him with a painful sense of ennui and longing for those close
relationships he has never formed over the course of his life:
Okay, yeah, a little. But no more than on the other 364 1/4 days of
- Christmas Shopping: Now we
hit on the clincher. The reason Christmas grows steadily less fun as
you age is that, as a kid your parents did most of your Christmas
shopping for you while relatives from all over sent you loads of neat
toys. As you grew older you had to start doing your own shopping and
the stuff you wanted became too expensive for every third cousin and
distant family friend to purchase for you. By the time you hit your
twenties, there is absolutely nothing exciting you want that you would
actually think to ask someone else to shell out the cash for, while at
the same time you are still faced with the prospect of finding
something equally uninteresting for everyone who is still shopping for
you. I'm sure as I grow old enough to face dealing with children and
decorating houses, it will only get worse. It is, at that point, you
are faced with either embracing the "it is better to give than receive"
line of forced holiday cheer and learning to bake cookies, or turning
into a bitter, soulless shell of a human being. Guess which option I'm
Options the Debaser Might Have Taken For
- Buying Everything the Day After
Thanksgiving With All the Other Assjacks: Right out, for all
the obvious reasons. If I ever get to the point where I'm willing to
deal with a mob of angry soccer moms in order to save 50% on wool
socks, I am ending this Christmas thing altogether.
- Picking out gifts ahead of time, and
ordering online, thereby sparing yourself the horrible horrible
Christmas shopping experience: The option I should
have gone with. But, once I'd procrastinated too long to receive
shipping on time, I could always:
- Picking out one of the last couple
weekends before Christmas and braving the holiday crowds: The
option I would have taken if I
weren't a complete and utter fucktard.
- Figuring "Eh, I get off work
early on Christmas Eve, I can do it all then. The crowds will have
cleared out completely because all the suckers will have already taken
care of their shopping, but nothing will be sold out because the
economy is so bad right now. Right?!? Right!!": Actually,
aside from the soul-jarring realization that I am a completely
self-absorbed solipsist who has absolutely no insight into the desires
and/or tastes of my associates and now has exactly 3 hours in which to
guess at what they might like for Christmas, this didn't actually go too
Reasons Why the Debaser Can Get Away With
Doing his Christmas Shopping on the 24th
- Coworkers: Screw that, I'm a
- Extended Family: Leaving out
those who live out of state and only exchange cards with me and those
with whom I am not on speaking terms, my extended family consists
essentially of one aunt.
- Immediate Family: Only child,
baby. Just leaves parents to deal with.
- Signifigant Other(s): HA!
- Friends: Sublist time...
Categories Into Which the Debaser's
- Out of State for School/People Met
on the Internet: They'll settle for a Merry Christmas Instant
Message from me and like it.
- People He Doesn't Actually Like:
I think we all accumulate this collection of... well, maybe friends
isn't the proper word, but people you associate with semi-regularly
just because they fall within your social circle. I do not exchange
gifts with these people.
- Alchoholics For Whom he Can Just
Purchase Liquor For at Some Point Around New Years: The nice
thing about this category is that all the people who fall into it,
also have me falling into that same category for them.
Reasons Why the Debaser Normally Only
Enters a Hallmark Store When Shopping For a Mother's Day Card
- Sore Thumb Factor: Nothing
like entering a store full of elderly suburbanites whilst sporting the
long, black "troubled teen model" duster you bought whilst
trying to futily convince people you were tough in high school
(instead coming off like an extra on the set of Highlander: The
Series); and two-weeks worth of "I can't get up early enough to
both shave and make it to work on time, but full beard growing is
beyond the capabilities of my decadent, sickly genes" hobo
stubble to make one feel out of place.
- Smell Factor: That there are
people out there who intentionally fill their houses with the scent of
potpourri is utterly beyond my ability to comprehend.
- Knicknacks: I'm sure it's
entirely a generational thing, but I am at such a complete loss as to
how to deal with these. I mean, there's an entire shelf dedicated to
Harley Davidson stuffed bears and/or ceramic teapots. Anyone who owns
one of these would, unless I'm mistaken, be obligated by the laws of
nature to kick the crap out of themselves.
There're these giant statues of this crotchety old woman who I guess
appears on Hallmark's comedy cards or something, which is pretty much
the equivalent of MacDonalds making a hamburger in the shape of Ronald
Macdonald, I think. There're these painfully
melodramatic looking statues of firemen posing heroically. Okay, I get
it, a year ago this might have been a nice gift for an actual fireman
who had no taste and might put it on his shelf as a reminder that he
too may one day have the opportunity to be crushed under 200,000
pounds of wrecked office space, but hasn't the moment passed by now?
Finally I settle on the fact that my aunt is a cat person.
Fortunately, there's no lack of feline-themed merchandise here, it's
just a matter of picking one out. There are these little cat statues
made of some unidentifiable rubber-like material that look
surprisingly realistic but which I can't imagine ever going with
anyone's decor. If I found one which looked like one of my aunt's
cats, that might work on some level, but I have absolutely no
recollection of what my aunt's current set of cats looks like, so I
move on. I pass up a set of hideous-looking yellow porcelain dishes
which all feature this mutant cat with a look of homicidal amusement
on its face. After a couple more futile circuits of the store, I
settle on a flower pot that looks nice in a "your mom's
house" kind of way and book on outta there.
Things That Annoyed the Debaser While
Shopping at Kohls
- That One Smashing Pumpkins Christmas
Song: Growing up in and around Chicago in the nineties pretty
much necessitated you be a Pumpkins fan and, as someone who on top of
it actually really and truly adores a number of their songs, hearing
all the stories of what a complete assjack Billy Corgan is really only
fills me with a sense of pride for the band and the city. But, no
matter how prominently Muzzle
might fit into the soundtrack of my life, it's shit like this and
every single song they ever let James Iha sing that makes it really
hard to argue with everyone who would paint the band's artistic output
as one big sappy sack of pretentious melodrama.
- Sweaters: So I manage to
avert my eyes from all the "festive" sweaters that no one in
their right mind would ever wear during any of the year's other eleven
months and find something that looks fairly respectable on the mannequin.
Of course, the only sizes left at this point are suited only to those
with severe birth defects. Finally, I find something acceptable that
hasn't sold only because up to now (when Kohls is having it's Last
of a Thousand Slightly Before Christmas Sales
Sale) it was a bit pricey. Now it's marked down so far I almost
feel guilty about not buying more, but then I remember I was
unemployed up until two months ago and very likely will be again come
February and go with it.
- Checkout: Okay, so the whole
point of this Bank One "The One" card I have is that it's
supposed to act exactly like a credit card. And, when I first got it,
it did. But now more and more stores are making me run it through this
quasi ATM thing and input my pin number, and then asking for a
signature on top of that. What gives?
Things the Debaser's Mother Has Asked Him
Over the Past Two Months That he Thought of While Trying to Figure Out
What to Get Her
- "So, has the mortgage company
said anything more about taking you on full time?":
Considering they never said anything at all about it in the first
place, probably not, ma.
- "How come you aren't
dating?": Because I go to bars specifically to drink.
Sure, maybe if I started chatting people up instead of quickly getting
blitzed with my little social circle and then wandering aimless around
the city until we run into another bar where we repeat the process, I
might meet someone and then not be quite so inclined to spend my
Friday and Saturday nights destroying memories; but let's not start
questioning my way of life at this juncture.
- "Hey, you're young and you
listen to music! Who sings that song that's on the radio all the time
that goes 'Your Body is a Wonderland'? I like that song!":
I really have no clue at all, as I have not listened to a minute
broadcast radio in almost three years and have listened to little
other than the same damn Breeders' CD for the past three months. If
you want to know who sings The She
I can help you out, but... hey, wait, didn't I just hear that song on
a commercial somewhere? Yeah, that guy who sang that song about
running around his high school screaming or something. Album title was
like Room For Squares or
something like that.
What the Debaser Might Do If Faced With
Wanting to Purchase a CD For His Mother While Not Knowing the Name of the
- Actually ask
someone: Not likely. Even if I was desperate enough to
resort to speaking with actual strangers, it's awkward enough going up
to a cash register of a store I don't normally shop at, armed with a
post-alt soft rock album for which I have absolutely no desire and
with which am in fact slightly embarrassed to be associated; much less
announcing my interest to jailbait trying to discern whether or not I
am in fact shoving a copy of We
Didn't Get Back Up Again: Chumbawumba's Greatest Hit into the
giant pockets of my coat.
- Wander the Rock/R&B aimlessly,
hoping to recognize the album from the extremely hazy recollection of
the album's appearance he's retained from the commercial: Now
your rocking, Debaser style!
And, what do you know, it didn't even take a half-hour this time.
People Who Have Albums For Sale at Best
Buy Who Absolutely Shouldn't
- Kelly Osbourne: Only in
America can the twin talents of "having fucked up famous
parents" and "swearing a lot on TV" catapult you to
- Jennifer Love Hewitt: Until
she and Sarah Michelle Ghellar do a remake of T.A.T.U.'s All
The Things She Said video, color me completely uninterested.
- Andy Dick: The fuck? I think
my brain just melted.
- Milla Jovovich: I didn't
actually see this at the Best Buy, I actually saw this once on that
show Carson Daly has at like 1:00 AM on NBC. She pimped Resident
Evil and sung this laughably horrible song about a dead dog. I
went in horny and came out utterly depressed. On the other hand, if
she died her hair orange again and shouted "Big badda boom!"
upon orgasm, I'd still be all over that action.
That's it. I'm done. No big finish. You go away now.
author: the Debaser fights crime in not quite Chicago, Illinois.
So all you little kids in your Roosevelt Colvin jerseys who think that
fleecing old ladies out of their social security checks is a fine way to
spend a Friday night have another thing coming, you dirty little