It was 30 minutes later, and I was still staring at the giant wall of lights.
What the heck, Wal Mart? It was still weeks before Christmas. You couldn't have sold out already.
Sighing, I gave in, and approached the register.
The girl working in the Christmas department was around 20 years old. She seemed pretty normal- you know, not drooling or anything. And when I walked up, she smiled in a friendly way.
"How can I help you today?"
"I'm looking for some outdoor Christmas lights. Just the single-strand kind."
She frowned. "I've never heard of those."
"...Um, just a strand of lights? You know, the white ones?"
"Huh. Let's look at our wall."
We walked back over.
"Do you mean icicle lights?"
"No, um, just a single strand. In a straight line."
She stared at me for a second. "Yeah, I've never seen those before."
"Really? Just outdoor ones. That you can use to outline stuff."
"Oh, like rope lights! In that plastic tube stuff!"
"Um, well, similar. Only not in a tube."
"People sometimes put them on their houses? Or on a wreath?"
"Here. See these icicle lights? Imagine that they don't have little icicles coming off them."
"No? Ok, uh, there! Mini lights. On a 50 strand. Imagine lights just like this, only bigger."
"Ohhh! Big lights. Like these giant bulb ones."
"No. Not giant ones."
I looked around helplessly. By now, there was a crowd of people around us, all looking for the same kind of lights. I assume.
One lady jumped in. "You know, like on a Christmas tree? I just need indoor ones for mine."
The girl frowned in confusion. "No, Christmas tree lights are always green."
And then I gave up on humanity.
So if you stop by tonight, look for the house that is all kinds of festive. Lights on the house, the bushes, the trees, the porch. Lighted wreaths in every window. Three lighted deer on the front yard.
And then look next door. Because our house is the one that gave up on Christmas.