Saturday, December 10, 2011


The time of year has once again brought its own set of personal annoyances to be dealt with.  Apparently it's not enough for me to have to deal with the normal perils and pitfalls Christmas shopping in crowded malls and big box stores; fighting the maddening herds of ill-behaved shoppers, dealing with the constant disappointment out-of-stock merchandise, and contemplating the mounting debt caused by my purchases like everyone else.  I am additionally beset with trials and tribulations that I have neither sought, nor encouraged.

For some strange reason, children that I don't know and have never in my life met seem to believe that they recognize me.  Often racing up to greet me and grabbing me tightly by the leg (making it damned hard to get some of the stains out, I might add), they seem convinced that we have in fact known each other for years and have been communicating on a regular basis.  Try as I might to convince these smiling little faces that I have never before had the pleasure of their acquaintance, they not only refuse to be persuaded and persist in believing that I'm wrong, but seem amused at my repeated contentions of ignorance over recognition of their identity.  Insistent on convincing me of their good behavior and wanting to know if I received their latest personal missive, they refuse to let go in spite of any and all protestations on my part.

Don't get me wrong, there are children in this world that I'm rather attached to (my offspring); though I suppose that at their respective ages, they are no longer considered children by anyone but their mother and me.  I am also rather taken (and I believe appropriately so) with their offspring, who are in fact still children.  Most of the rest I am able to deal with well enough, so long as they realize that unlike their parents, I am not there for their constant and immediate gratification.  In light of some of the recent accusations, trials, and convictions regarding the clerics of the Catholic Church and some sports coaches around the country however, you might well understand the panic that I feel when confronted by such diminutive displays of affection by strange children in places public or private.  

Interestingly enough, the parents of these little carpet crawlers (a term that I use with the utmost affection), seem mostly unconcerned by these astonishing displays of attachment to what they must realize is a complete stranger; while likewise appearing to be either unable or unwilling to persuade their offspring of this case of mis-identification.  In fact, they seem patently amused at the spectacle and merely smile at my continued protestations of innocence.

While age continues to diminish a memory that was never the best to begin with, I continue to believe that I am correct in believing that these are cases of mistaken identity and not the early onset of senility (though there is ample evidence to the contrary).  I have to say however, that these diminutive displays of unwarranted and undeserved devotion continue to be disconcerting to say the least.  Not that I have anything against displays of affection where I'm concerned you understand; but if I'm to suffer such demonstrations of undying devotion from strangers, I would prefer to have some choice in the demographic involved (Victoria's Secret Supermodels comes to mind as an example, and single women within my own age group would likewise be acceptable)

Fortunately, we are now about half way through the four week period of juvenile madness during which these bizarre occurrences seem to be most prevalent, one that begins in late November and ends late in December.  I grow increasingly anxious for the abatement of whatever conditions seem to cause this temporary madness though, and I long for the day when I will once again be allowed to return to my normal and perhaps preferred state of public anonymity.  Meanwhile like it or not, I get recognized ...

(A tip of the hat by the way, to this old Stephen Bishop tune from the days of my youth; which helped to put a hook on some random thoughts trying to become a blog post.)


Roland Hansen said...

Amigo Tim,
Santa Claus has nothing on y0u. In fact, you have him beat, hand over foot, facial hair or not.
Now, Hanukkah Harry, that's another matter entirely!

Timothy W Higgins said...

OMG Roland, you mean this whole thing might just be confusion with Santa Claus? What a relief! ;-)

Still ... I had better stay away from shopping malls for the next couple of weeks ...

As for Hanukkah Harry, I'm pretty sure that anyone would fall short by comparison.