Does it make me a bad mom if: I’m muttering “Thank God we only have 9 more years of this Santa sh*t” as we leave Bass Pro Shop without a picture with Santa.
Let me start off by saying I completely blame Bass Pro Shop for this ordeal. I will never – and I mean never EVER – go to Bass Pro Shop again. I don’t care that they’ve somehow managed to get the Santa Claus to come down from the North Pole.
We walk in, and I feel completely out of place. This is worse than being dragged to The Home DePot!
For 1: I almost barf while showing the Chiquita the enormous fish tank. Those big nasty fish swimming around the tank are completely disgusting. Torturing me would be throwing me into that tank. I would literally have a heart attack.
I have a huge fear of fish – dead or alive. I know it’s weird, and I have no idea where this came from. I actually have nightmares about flying piranhas chasing me and backing me into a corner and then I wake up in a cold sweat. It’s frightening. A couple times I’ve even woken up crying.
For 2: My husband insisted we go look at the firearms located on the 2nd level. “Look,” he says, “There’s even a pink one!”
As if that’s a selling point on how I can somehow “fit in” at Bass Pro Shop. Sorry, honey, it’s never gonna happen.
I said, “There’s a reason they don’t let people like me own firearms,” which in hindsight is quite hilarious because on our drive home 3 short hours later, I remember thinking that if I had a pink firearm I would have blown his brains out.
So it all started with me promising the Chiquita that we would go see Santa that Saturday. Now I see why parents don’t promise things to their children. You just never know what might happen.
What’s weird is the Chiquita is 17 months old but she already knows who Santa is. I don’t think she understands the concept of Santa bringing presents, but I’ve already started telling her she better behave or Santa won’t come. That always stops her dead in her tracks. The Santa threat is pretty powerful, and I’m sort of sad I won’t be able to use it anymore in 3 days. I’ll have to go back to telling her I’m going to sell her to the gypsies, I guess.
Anyways, two and a half hours later we are driving to Bass Pro Shop, which is about 20 minutes from our house. My friend called my cell to tell me that she was there with her three kiddos and it was a madhouse. She wanted to prepare me. She knows I hate crowds and ugly people.
She explained they were passing out “time tickets” because of the amount of people, so you go there, get your time, and then come back to get your picture with Santa.
Fair enough – I’m a reasonable person. We get our time and leave to do some Christmas shopping. We arrive back at 3:40 pm to get in line for our 4 pm picture. (They told us we could start lining up at 3:45 pm).
We can tell we’re starting to lose the Chiquita, but we’re desperately trying to push through. This kid will see Santa today because I promised!
The line is extremely long. I look at my watch – 3:45 pm. What is going on? How could so many people be in line already?
“Are you here for the 4 pm time?” I ask the woman in front of me.
My patience is starting to wear very thin…
A Bass Pro Shop employee spots my time ticket (apparently they are different colors) and says, “You’re here for the 4 pm picture?”
“Yes,” I respond.
“Ohh…you’re supposed to be in this line over here,” she tells us. She points to another, not as long, but still long enough, line.
Wtf is this? Are you joking me?
I look at the associate, take a deep breath and move over to the 4 pm line.
My husband and I are standing in the 4 pm line, Chiquita is starting to whine (poor kid is a trooper; she hadn’t had a diaper change since like noon), 3 kids about take me out running through the crowd (umm…where are your parents…oh probably in line), and I realize after standing there for 15 minutes – with the 3:30 line barely moving – that between my anxiety and my bad temper I need to get the f*ck out of here. Right now.
I say to my husband, “This is ridiculous! We’re leaving. I’m not standing in this f*cking line one second longer.”
And I don’t think I was quiet about it. Or nice about it. I continue on, “These people are dumb to wait in this long line” as I grab the Chiquita and drag her out of there.
I realize this is not setting a great example for my daughter (nor was it being very nice in general), but, you do realize I would have been standing in that line for at least 90 minutes right? So why didn’t you [Bass Pro Shop] give me a time ticket for a picture at 5:30 pm?
Here’s my beef – If you’re going to hand out time tickets for people to come back for a specific picture time you need to better anticipate the amount of time per family to take a photo plus any breaks for Santa. Instead of handing out, say, 100 tickets maybe you only hand out 50. It’s common sense, really. You have people dealing with very small children who have very small attention spans!
And I’m not implying that I should have gotten my picture taken at 4:01 pm, but let’s be somewhat close to the time you gave me, like within 20 minutes!
Maybe this is just another silly Jlee rant; as even my mom looked at me like I am a complete spaz when I tried to explain the day to her. But, sorry I’m not sorry if I’m the only one who thinks waiting 90+ minutes for a picture with Santa – when my child may or may not be crying – is ridiculous. And sorry I’m not sorry that I feel management should have better managed people’s expectations.
I know some people had very good experiences at Bass Pro Shop, and to that, I say how wonderful for you. But, for me, I will never go there again. Not that I shop there anyways.
And we ended up getting a nice enough free picture with Santa the next day and with no wait in our neighborhood. It’s not like the Chiquita knows the difference or really gave a sh*t so as far as I’m concerned that’s #winning. 🙂