Blog: Well, What Can You Do? V2

(originally written 12/12/11)

Taking Josie’s photo atop the lap of Jolly ol’ Saint Nick has become an annual tradition, one I intend to carry out every Christmas as long as she permits it. Or until she turns 33 and it starts gettin’ creepy, whichever happens first. 

 

Her first one, in 2009, exactly one family stood in line ahead of us. We waited two minutes.

 

The next one, in 2010, we faced a long line, but it was moving, which is all anyone wants. Kids were, as Gary Radnich demands, getting in and getting out.

But I’m not here to talk about the past.

I’m here to talk December 11, 2011.

 

On that day, Josie and I waited in line behind about 10 parent/kid combos—some with one kid, some with up to three—for her Santa picture. For the most part, though, the line moved…

 

…until we got to “Caitlin”.

 

Nothing against anyone actually named Caitlin—NOTHING—I just wanted to use the most generic suburban name I could think of to describe this chick. She just oozed lattes and organic foods and power walking and Oprah and yoga and every other common suburban stereotype. I could tell just from looking at this woman, pretty as she was, that I’d be sick of her perfection in under 30 seconds. But I digress.

 

Caitlin is accompanied by three kids, and she wants each one to be photographed with Santa separately. So far, no issue. Totally acceptable.

 

Next, she decides she wants to be in a photo with the kids. I SUPPOSE this is acceptable. Just make it quick, lady. Josie is getting antsy.

 

Acceptability ended here. This is where I had to fight the strong urge to give Caitlin an inspired tongue-lashing in front of kids at Christmastime. 

 

Caitlin changes positions with the kids three times. Caitlin wants a pic of her with each kid, meaning three more poses. Not only has Josie totally lost her composure, even Caitlin’s own kid has had enough of Santa and starts crying. But she’s not done.

 

Inexplicably, Caitlin—who has now taken up over five full minutes all by herself and ground the line to a total, whine-inducing halt—is next allowed to pose for a photo with the woman/kids behind her in line, whom it turns out she’s friends with. OMG.

 

I didn’t want to be the asshole who can’t even control his temper at Christmas, but I couldn’t hold in my displeasure any longer.  “Can we get this line moving, please?”  I implore to no one in particular, making sure I’m just loud enough to be heard yet not cause a scene. Caitlin, satisfied with her short film, finally gathers her clan and hurries out—failing  to apologize for taking three times as long as anyone else, not even making eye contact to any of us still stuck in line.

 

Time to start fueling up the rocketship…