Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Retail Therapy

A few years ago I started what I now call my retail therapy, now I know many people have their own version where you go shopping and it makes you feel better….mine is different. Anyone that has ever worked retail during the holidays will understand what I’m talking about and feel my pain, working retail this time of year is brutal. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the energy, the music, (although Randy has some new very country Christmas CDs…those make me want to poke my eyes out) the lights, the whole deal but people can be a touch edgy this time of year. I understand it, I really do but please understand that there is a lot of stuff going on, we have tons to do and we are making every effort to make sure all your gifts and packages get to the right person in time for the holiday….so when you call asking for tracking numbers for the gifts you ordered online at like midnight….we are going to have to call you back on that. Oh and the person that called and wants prices for mini bottles for an event in March….with 8 days before Christmas is there any way I can get back to you in a week and a half? Seriously.

We hit the floor every morning and are asses and elbows all day, we eat when/if we can and only go to the potty when we cannot hold it any longer….I really do love this but it can be very trying and exhausting, I’ve been waking every morning with a sore throat….a sign that lets me know I had been snoring, that or trying to suck the cottage cheese off my ceiling. So a few years ago I decided to purchase a bottle of bubbles every night for the whole month of December, indulgent? Maybe but it gets me through and each day I know that if I bust my ass there will be a glass of deliciousness waiting for me…therapy. Amazingly the whole staff has adopted this form of “medicine” so it has now become something we all share…dammit less for me! Saturday night I was working the late shift, (we are open 9-9 right now) with Merritt and Amy and if anyone is on board with the bubbles as a treat it is those two.

Saturday was only our second 9-9 day so there were very few people coming through the door, matter of fact almost no one came in after 7pm so we restocked, loaded up the tissue paper rack, refilled the bags under the counter and took out the trash…7:15, crud. We fiddled with the Christmas music, killed the, Just Tie A Ribbon In Your Hair wailing country Christmas song and found my more R&B or as Randy says, “urban” CD…okay there is a really stupid rap song on it and that is why he probably “forgot” to load it with the other holiday selections but the rest of the CD is super fun….and high energy, I mean Bing Crosby and Elvis singing White Christmas tends to make us sleepy. I found my favorite track, Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses, Bah Humbug! No that’s too strong cause it is my favorite holiday before I knew what was happening Merritt and I were making “saucy girl” faces and dancing behind the counter.

We listened to a few others from the CD like Mariah Carey’s, All I want For Christmas Is You, (as heard in one of my all time favorite holiday movies, Love Actually) dancing, laughing and cleaning up around the store and we even got a visit from the ghost of Christmas Future. This foursome came in, older couples…both guys gray and balding a bit with big round bellies, (I love the belly) and one of them, the quiet one had a big stain on his tummy….they had come from enjoying a dinner out together and this one had a tasty morsel embedded on his shirt as a reminder. One gentleman made his way right to the counter and started talking to us, telling us jokes and regaling with stories of wines past, his wife a very conservative looking woman, smartly dressed in a nice pumpkin colored suit perused the food items and was quiet. The other couple, (stained shirt guy) and his wife walked around for a bit but then she approached the counter. She had dark eyeliner, not too much but some, a comfy looking charcoal outfit on and a wicked pair of red and black shoes that looked liked she could go bowling in them….I dug her from the get! She asked a few questions, I showed her a few things and before I knew it she was spinning around on those funky shoes and dancing to the “urban” holiday music we had on.

Before too long we could assess that they had been drinking a tad. The ladies were off in the tasting room turned basket area dancing away while the one guy kept chatting us up….the other gentleman ended up joining the ladies and he too was dancing, stain on his shirt and all…the scene was surreal, a trio of dancing 60 somethings and one chatty, funny guy….that’s when it hit me…I looked over at Amy and asked….”this remind you of anyone?!”. We had a brief stare at one another and then back at the group and that when she said what I had been thinking, “Shit this is the ghost of Christmas future visit”. Amy’s hubby is totally the affable funny guy, my hubby is the stain on the shirt dancing with the ladies guy, I’m the eyeliner, bowling shoes lady and Amy is the not so conservative, conservative one…seriously one of the strangest Wine Country moments ever. Once they left I knew it was time to start with the therapy…we bought a bottle of NV Godme Blanc de Noir, ($55.99) and clinked our glasses….well, we may know what the future holds but at least I will still have funky shoes and we will still be eating, drinking and dancing!

The Godme was freaking spectacular, so serious but still loveable. Packed with graham cracker, tart green apple and buttery crust….the wine stained the palate, kept giving more even after it had been whisked down the gullet. Took us some time to get through that bottle like I said it was pretty serious, kept changing and is not a wine to just slam back, the three of us stood behind the counter sipping away, (and noting that the one thing the foursome was missing was a Merritt) and commenting on the girth of the wine. Once we made it through that bottle there was still about 40 minutes left of our shift….okay Camille Saves it is!

I’ve always loved the Camille Saves for its almost slutty, “it’s all out there” fruit but I have to say it took a minute for our palates to adjust after the much more intellectual Godme….fear not, a few sips in and I was loving my saucy little wine! Where the Godme was like a sexy librarian, you know hair in a bun, wide framed glasses but with a full pouty mouth, the Saves was a short skirt and fishnets….grrrr. Plump in the mouth and full of baked red apples, holiday spice and buttered toast, who needs to think when your palate is being seduced…well not me for one. We closed the store at 9pm, punched out and drained the Camille Saves.

As hardcore as retail can be during the holidays just a few sips of super fine Champagne and all is right in the world….God, is it really that simple? Can all of our woes be assuaged with a glass of Champagne…a simple indulgence or pleasure? Is it merely the act of allowing ourselves that, “I’m not going to think of all I have to do later” moment…an exhale, a “Damn this feels good” that makes that heavy load feel a touch lighter? Somehow when you think of it that way Champagne seems kind of cheap. I’m not sure where we all got this, “No I can’t it’s a work night” or “No I shouldn’t” bullshit…don’t care to know and I have one question for you….do you want to wake up at 70 and realize that your whole life has been a Wednesday?

Me either….

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