Annie realizes while she and her boyfriend, Adam, are Christmas shopping that lately she doesn’t enjoy his company very much unless they are both drinking. They have spent the evening driving each other crazy in department stores, blaming each other for not knowing what to buy or how much to spend, for the unending carols leaking out of every intercom. But now they are in a bar, a neutral public space, where they can drink whiskey sours and make friends with the waitress and treat each other, as they were taught, the way they would like to be treated.
“The whole reason Christmas exists is to remind me, personally, of how many problems and how little money I have,” says Adam. “It’s really quite unfair.”
“I read somewhere it has something to do with Jesus.”
Adam frowns, pretending to think. “No. No, I don’t think that’s right.”