I was in the dollar store. Buying brightly coloured plastic landfill, and crying.
Did everyone else feel like me? I looked around – it was hard to tell as they filled their shopping carts with crap. I held fart putty in one hand while tears streamed down my cheeks. Nothing was funny.
My kids do a Secret Santa thing at their school each year. I hate it, but having aired my opinion to the teachers, I am stuck in a culture of giving landfill and sugar each day leading up to Christmas break. My ideas of giving secret acts of kindness or just one educational thing were noted and forgotten. And now I feel like Scrooge.
So there I was, in the most soulless place in America the day after 20 children were shot dead. To the naked eye, nobody cared. Life appeared to go on- people chatted, carts bumped and anybody could mistake the world for a happy place. Teens in one isle picking up Oreo smelling candles, little kids trying on funny glasses. A mum counting how many candy canes to buy the class, and grandparents dropping bits of tinsel as they walked about.
I wiped my tears, paid my $14 and came home.
And then cried some more.
People seem to do it better than me. Cope. I envy them. I need to figure it out. How do I stop from sobbing while a group of 6yr olds perform carols? What should I watch while on the treadmill- gun control debates or the mindless home renovation show? How do I stop myself from throwing belongings into a bag and buying a ticket back to Australia?
How do people do it- Keep it together, even if only in public? Maybe I should’ve bought myself a plastic smile back at the dollar shop. I wonder how long a $1 smile could last?
I suspect I’ll find my balance soon. We somehow always do after horrific world events. We find the place between passion and letting go. We do, because we must.
But today, I cry.