14 December 2014

Bah Humbug - A Lesson

As one who grew up outside the four small walls of the confessional, the Den has become, in many ways, the venue in which I air my myriad foibles, as well as the occasional sin. I'll leave it to you to debate whether those are ones of commission or omission, but that's not the point. I've been pretty up front, embarrassingly so at times, about those times in life when I've committed a faux pas or found myself in a situation where I learned a lesson. For those of you who have kept up on the shenanigans here in the Den, I can only hope for one thing - learn from my mistakes.

I had another one of those moments yesterday.

It's no secret that the trappings of the Christmas season and I have an antagonistic relationship at best. I mean when "Die Hard" is your favorite Christmas movie because of lines like this, "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho," you know that the 24/7 screeching of a passel of washed up divas about a little drummer boy is going to drive you to acts of violence. So with that in mind, yesterday morning, after just a few hours sleep (BTW - I am officially too old to stay out past midnight at parties - getting home at 130AM does nothing for my cheery outlook on life), I embarked on my one errand of the day - a trip to the ATM to deposit a check.

I get to the bank and as a big fan of the drive up ATM, I made my way there. With just one car ahead of me, things were looking good. And then they weren't. I get to the machine only to discover that it can do every single transaction known to man, except, wait for it, take a check deposit. Yep, that function was 'temporarily unavailable.' Seriously. If there was ever a #firstworldproblem, this was it. There was no way I was going into the bank itself, as it appeared to be packed. So, knowing there was another branch of said bank a few miles down the road, I made my way there. Once again, I was planning on using the drive up ATM but when I got to that branch, there were no fewer than eight cars in that lane, so I spun my environmentally offensive Yukon around so I could go into the lobby, where I know they have three, count them, three ATM's. Here's what I found - a line for one ATM because A) ATM #1 only dispensed cash and 2) ATM #3 was completely out of service. C'mon, stupid ATM! You had one, just one, job to do! Now the line for tellers had upwards of a dozen people in it, so I indignantly took my place in line for the ATM and saw that the lady at the ATM was, based on the number of checks she had piled up, processing a year's worth of payroll via the machine. It was at this point that I muttered, "Lady, you can't be serious." Except I didn't mutter it. I pretty much yelled it because the lady at the ATM and the lady in front of me both spun around which looks of mortification (ATM lady) and shock (lady in front of me). ATM lady began to apologize and the other lady, very sweetly, which was more than I deserved, offered me her place in line. I refused and said I was just frustrated by technology, not them, and did my best to make a joke of it. The check lady scurried away and then the lady in front of me wrapped up her transaction in no time flat and as she walked away, she said to me, "Don't worry, Christmas is almost  here. Have a happy holiday."

Sufficiently chastened, I made my deposit, went back to my truck, and thought for a moment. That lady was right. Christmas is almost here and I do have reason, lots of them really, to be happy. My girl will be home with us. We'll get to 'see' The Missionary Formerly Known As The Boy via Skype. We will celebrate Christ's birth and all that it means to us. Time for me to bid farewell to the 'bah humbug.'

Now this is not to say I'm suddenly going to have "It's A Wonderful Life" on an endless viewing loop or that I'm going to play Mariah Scarey's Christmas CD drivel 24/7. I'm not. Some things cannot, nor should they, change. But I'm going to be better about remembering the real reason for this holiday season and why that's a powerful reason to keep it happy instead of humbug.

Like I said, learn from my mistakes. You're welcome.

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