Tag Archives: shopping

No thank you, I’m just browsing.

I need to get me one of these.

My friends, I did a horrible thing today. At least I think I did. Being someone who works directly with people every day, I respect anyone who deals with customers on a daily basis. I also respect those who work on commission and “have” to “throw” themselves at customers day in and day out. However, sometimes from a customer’s perspective this can be a little….intimidating? Suffocating? Scary? Dare I say annoying?

It was snowing in New Jersey today. (Woohoo Spring!) And not just any snow – that heavy, wet, slushy snow that splashes up on your Betsey Johnson boots and gets ’em all dirty. I got my nails did, and before going home I decided to wander around. This town – right next to mine – is what Joe likes to call “Snootville”. He grew up one town over, and this particular area is historical and rich and the houses are so big they make me sick. So the downtown area has a Starbucks and bakeries and boutiques. We’re attending a wedding this Friday so I found myself inside one of these boutiques, expecting everything to be out of my price range but curious anyway.

Of course, on a snowy Monday afternoon, I was the only customer in the store. I was greeted by a friendly older woman in jeans and a black turtleneck who asked me what she could help me with. I smiled and mumbled something about the wedding and she immediately started pulling dresses from a rack. I was excited by her enthusiasm and invited her eagerness, commenting one each dress as she ripped them from the stand.

Before I knew it I was in a dressing room, curtain drawn, the same woman standing just outside offering to zip me up when I was ready. I barely had the first dress pulled up before she was peeking in the curtain, asking if I was ready. I didn’t feel uncomfortable in the sense that she was trying to peek in on me for any strange reason, but hey lady, I’m not ready yet, and you just don’t bust into someone’s dressing room. Maybe I need to “grow a pair” or speak up, because while I was happy to try things on, I wasn’t planning on necessarily buying anything, and I felt pressured. That’s when I did that horrible something.

After trying on three dresses she (of course) told me I looked wonderful in (she attempted to accessorize me as well), she hung each one up in a row and asked which one I was planning to purchase. Gah, I wanted more time to consider, more time to look in other stories, just more time.

“Would it help if I told you prices?” she asked.

“Sure,” I said.

“Well this one is $118, the purple is $78 and the pink is just $68!”

“Great,” I said.

“So which one are you going with?”

“The black, I think. I’m just going to run a few errands and I’ll be back to buy it!”

Then I ran outta there like a bat out of the depths of a fiery hell. I feel horrible.

I enjoy going to the Starbucks just down the street. What if she sees me? What if she tells all the other shops to keep an eye out for the bitty who said she’d come back for the dress and never did? Snootville is gonna have a vendetta against me. ::gulp::

Have you ever dealt with over-eager customer service and felt pressured, or motivated to get the hell out of there?


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All Cozied Up


 “When we are present in each moment, the past gently rolls up behind us and the future slowly unravels before us.”

– Rev Richard Levy




I come to you from the safe haven of the living room couch, beneath two fuzzy blankets – one adorned in Christmas colors, the other wrapped carefully around my head – a candle scented as “Winter Wonderland” burning bright, stories of local shootings and more job cuts and a mall Santa who got robbed all booming from the television. Joe is sitting on the back porch in frigid weather, smoking cigarettes and chatting with his mother on the phone.

Joe’s parents – who live in sunny Florida – will be arriving this Christmas Eve, and I can hardly wait. Our parents will be meeting for the first time this year (Joe and I have been together for two years), and there is definitely a piece of me that is rather nervous about the four meeting. I mean, I’m sure they’ll get along. I’m sure they’ll adore each other! But put a bottle of booze in front of any member of my family (myself included), and things can get a bit out of hand.

We’ll make the baked macaroni and cheese and hope for the best.

(Love you, mom.)

A job transition is in the works, the Christmas shopping isn’t done, the anxiety and depression continue to undulate with the melodies of my favorite Christmas carols. All I can say is that the genuine laughter is coming back into my voice, the stomach aches are fewer, and normal meals have made their way back into my skimpy diet. Something to celebrate! I look forward to family coming together this holiday. I believe it may be the cure.

While I’ve avoided the subject up until now, I have come to terms with the fact that the sudden onset of this “funk” hindered my ability to completely finish NaNoWriMo. But – I’m trying not to get too worked up about it. For a first attempt, 72 pages added to my novel is still something to celebrate. Over 20,000 words in a matter of 2 1/2 weeks is something to celebrate. There’s always next year, right? Real life put my fiction on pause for a while, but I forgive it. Sometimes, these things can’t be helped.

There’s something about being wrapped up, warm, cozy, slippers on, the Christmas lights all ablaze. Maybe the warmth brings up a subconscious memory of being back in the womb, when the most important decision of our lives was to decide which side of the sack to curl up in. No? Maybe.

I made a yummy dinner of Chicken Parmesan with a tomato & basil topping, paired with a side of red potatoes mixed with onions and peppers. It was pretty delicious. Thank you, Rachael Ray. Simple, quick, inexpensive. Highly suggested.

I’ve been working on gettin’ domesticated.

Hope everyone is in the holiday spirit, and that the Christmas shopping is done (or close to it).

Happy. Holidays.




Filed under Uncategorized, Writing

Have a holly, jolly Christmas

Pretty, isn't she?

Look! There’s three presents under there! (I won’t bother posting a “before” picture. And by “before” I mean what the cute little tree looked like when I was finished decorating it. Of course Christmas Master Joseph took over and did a bit of tweaking. The lights now blink and she doesn’t look so sad.) I woke up this morning and dove under the bed to unearth the gifts I’ve bought for Joe, so far.

Those three little things are all I’ve bought so far. For anyone. And as far as I know, he has yet to buy anything, either.

I know a few people who begin shopping in October, and once Thanksgiving has come and gone, they have their feet up on a Saturday afternoon instead of throwing ‘bows in Sears to get to the last set of novelty boxers. Ugh.

But me? I like to torture myself by figuring things out last minute, scrambling and stressing over what to get, second-guessing my purchases, draining my bank account all at once, beating up an old lady for the last roll of wrapping paper. Happy Holidays, everyone!

But it’s all worth it in the end, isn’t it? When you wake up Christmas morning and leap down the stairs (at least I do), excited to give (and receive…duh!). Joe enjoys torturing me Christmas morning, just as my parents always did. He has to stretch and yawn and slowly throw both legs over the side of the bed. Then he has to use the bathroom, put on a pot of coffee, creep on Facebook and thank each and every person who wished him a Merry Christmas, tune into the Yule Log (one of my favorite parts of this day), complete with cheery Holiday music.

And then! Then, if I’m lucky, we can begin opening presents.

When it comes to this holiday of holidays, I haven’t changed much in the last 23 years.

I’ve been immersing myself into the spirit of the season, trying to reel myself completely in from this depression. A comforting email from Joe’s mother (a huge thank you to Phylis), as well as the continued support of others have helped. A lot. The moments of complete clarity – where I can be my former self, where I can see and feel everything as it truly still is – are getting longer.

A girlfriend of mine told me, “You’re just in a dark place right now. But your mind and your heart are stronger than that. You will come back from it.”

Well, at the moment, the dark place isn’t so dark. I can almost see in front of me. That may be the help of the Christmas lights; there’s definitely some light flooding in.


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Furious Friday

Main Entry: black

Part of Speech: adjective

Definition: angry

Synonyms: enraged, fierce, furious, hostile, menacing, resentful, sour, sullen, threatening

Antonyms: happy

So, BLACK Friday is properly named then, isn’t it? I made the mistake of heading out to the store today; not for a $200 flat screen, or a gift set of boxers with a reduced price. All I needed were some simple toiletries. (Joe will make fun of me for using this word, since I hate when he uses it. It feels so outdated to me, but it worked best here. Joe also said “stocking feet” once. Ugh.)

But why did I go to Kmart? Why didn’t I just go to Walgreen’s, or Rite Aid, or CVS, or some drug store that would probably still be overrun with morons looking for a deal on shampoo, but that would probably prove to be just a tiny bit easier to deal with than the madness I dealt with this morning?

So there I was, standing in line with my tiny items, while the woman in front of me argued with the cashier about the price of her new pillows versus the price advertised in the circular, while a woman across from her argued with her cashier about a clearance item not being included in the “buy one get one half off” deal. I’m even pretty sure that the cashier was trying to explain to her that the ugly shoes she was trying to buy would be cheaper because of their reduced price. But, sadly she was stricken with stupid shopper syndrome, and was convinced the Kmart employee was trying to get one over on her.

Someone said to me the other day, that even if an item is cheaper when bought alone, he would probably still get caught up in the “get two of these for this price!” “deal”, just because the word “deal” sucks us in, without always thinking it through.

“Wawa Sizzlers could be $2 a piece, but a sign saying I can get 2 Sizzlers for $5 would probably still make me think, yes! What a great deal!


And so I finally made my way through the line, my transaction taking half the time of the woman’s in front of me, with maybe 4 more items than I had.

I managed to make it towards the exit without throwing any elbows, but had to steer around the idiots checking their receipts for “errors” in the middle of the exit lane.

Then I made mistake numero dos.

I’ve been dying to pick up the new Tori Amos album, “Night of Hunters”, because myself and a friend of mine are going to see her next week.

Kmart didn’t have it – of course – or else I didn’t have the time/patience to find it because I was being herded along by the gentle pushing of carts and small children.

So where did I decide to go? Best Buy. Why? Why would I go to Electronics Heaven on this particular day?

Surprisingly enough I found a parking spot, far, far away from everyone else. (We have a new vehicle. Shiny and new and scratch free. The first shiny and new vehicle I’ve ever been lucky enough to own. If a soccer mom bangs up my new SUV with the door of her silver minivan because her hands are too full of Kids Bop CD’s…I won’t be smiling. (I don’t mean to stereotype here. Her minivan could be white, or even blue. ;))

I got in and out unscathed, hopped back into the truck, and got the hell out of there. The most traffic I experienced was while I was still in the parking lot.

Now here I am, home, safe, listening to good music and avoiding the dumb lines and any possibility of being trampled to death.

Sure, I like when expensive things are cheap. But do I like camping outside of a Target in 30 degree weather an hour after filling my belly with wine and turkey? Do I enjoy arguing with a complete stranger over who was in line first for the Xbox?

These things just aren’t worth it to me. Today sucks.

End of rant.


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