Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: Shopping

Shopping…Like Childbirth?

Because apparently if you don’t go out during the crazy for a few years, the mind blurs and the memories fade and you think, “It can’t be that bad!” I hear this phenomena applies to childbirth, so why not post-Thanksgiving shopping?

I didn’t go out on Black Friday. Or Black Thursday. I mean, sure, I’d love a set of $35 king-size, 600-threadcount sheets, but if that’s the only thing that appeals to me, I don’t see getting trampled, shoved or waiting for an hour worth the savings. I did, however, venture out on Saturday, primarily to go to The Olive Tree, to celebrate Small Business Saturday, and then… because it’s been months and months and months…. Joann’s.  My BFF Beth even screeched at me on the phone when I said I was headed there. “Don’t you remember your blog post?! That’s crazy!” Yes, I remembered it… vaguely. But I needed a few crafty things, and Joann’s was the destination, what with three coupons, one for 25% off my entire purchase. WHY NOT?! WHAT COULD GO WRONG?!

Well, I’m surprised I made it into the store, because the fun started in the parking lot. If a car has stopped, with its turn signal on, and is waiting for the oncoming car to pass so they can turn? Should the oncoming car just pull right in, turning in front of them? NOT IN MY WORLD, MOTHERFUCKERS.  So that set the tone.

Once I got in, I knew that there would be no fabric purchasing. Not that I’d planned on it, but fabric purchasing at Joann’s is certainly one of the inner rings of hell. They’ve rearranged to make a central place (outsmarting my old trick of “go to the home dec fabric department!”) but everyone stands around with their tickets and their 8 million fucking bolts of polar fleece, and the clerks announce the numbers…repeatedly, because some people just wander off because the universe, apparently, revolves around them. So no fabric. I needed some ribbon, thread, crafty things, beads, and a glue gun. I impulse-purchased some silicone molds because they’ll be useful for jello shots AND my upcoming cookie exchange, and found myself wandering the bead section for most of my time there. I almost (ALMOST) cut a bitch who thought she’d hang out in the notions aisle (by the thread) (and by the fabric cutting area, already jammed) and TEXT MESSAGE.  BITCH YOU IS IN THE WAY! She was also one of the passengers in the aforementioned car, so residual rage was at work. I ended up helping a lady in jewelry supplies, because she didn’t realize there was more than one aisle (good luck to her and her journey in life), and then I got in line. Fortunately, they were heavily-staffed, and the line moved quickly, so I got out of there with only a fraction of the surly I expected to have by the time I’d paid.

As for The Olive Tree, I would encourage anyone with a foodie in their life to give them a visit – they’re in Hawthorne Plaza (parking there is always entertaining, I got a great spot but when I was leaving, some old man almost took out my back end because even though I was halfway backed out, by god, he had to GIT SOMEWHERE NAO). They’ve got amazing flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars  (I got Rosemary-Lavender Olive Oil and Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar), smoked & flavored salts, lots of other local food purveyors sell their goods (I nabbed a bag of some of THE best toffee I’ve ever had), and they even do bonuses, like if you spend $50, you get to pick from a basket of small-size oils/vinegars to sample. (Persian Lime olive oil!)  We know the owners of the store through the ever-burgeoning foodie/gardener scene here in Kansas City, and they do great corporate gifts, gift boxes for the chef in your life, and are a font of knowledge on using all of their products. I can also safely say that I’ve NEVER wanted to cut a bitch while shopping there, which is like, the greatest ringing endorsement I can give during this crazy holiday season! (Seriously, though, they’re awesome. They need to stick around and be here 10 years from now. Go! Online order if you’re not local!)


Them’s the Pits….

I had a day on Friday where I rolled from one thing to the next: coffee in the a.m. with a salesperson, then the rest of the day unfolded at my feet. Off to Costco, then to Indigo Wild, one of my favorite local businesses, to get some Xmas shopping wrapped up. Their factory has a little storefront and the employees are always cheerful, dogs can be seen roaming around,  and the smells are to die for.  I fell in love with the Mazel Tov soap (a heady mix of almond and orange) but stuck to my list…except for one little “for me” treat. I was looking at their Zum Mist, which comes in 10+ scents, and had a little note that said something about “the perfect mist for rooms, lockers, cars, anyplace that needs a little freshening, even your body.” I think, “Self, that is nifty! Let us select one of these!” I sprayed about four different ones, and settled on Clove-Mint. Nice and spicy, with the uplifting mint notes. Paid for my purchases and headed off to meet friends for lunch.

Now this part is unheard of: I’m more than an hour early. So I decide to hang out in my car, maybe do some knitting. Keep in mind, the weather was unseasonably warm, and the sun beating in on me through the car windows had me feeling a bit steamed. A smidge sweaty. Not so fresh, you might even say. I think to myself, “Hey! I just got that spray!” and I proceed to snake the spray can into a sleeve and give my armpits a refreshing little mist.

Then I decide I should call my insurance company, to make sure that my prescription refills were sent in properly, and handle any problems before the weekend comes and offices are closed.

Suddenly, my armpits begin to burn. As in, BURN. CALAMITY. A NEST OF FIRE ANTS UNDER EACH ARM.  EN FUEGO. CUIDADO. And I’m shouting my choices at the automatic operator, writhing about in my seat, trying to reach behind me to see if I can grapple successfully for some handi-wipes I keep in the car, apparently for emergencies like this one. No luck. So I continue with my phone call, while keeping my arms in the air, trying to prevent skin from touching skin, as that seems to exacerbate the problem. Every so often I do have to clutch them in pain, while the service representative keeps putting me on hold to check things. I think to myself, ok, essential oils, probably best not sprayed directly on skin, and especially skin that doesn’t really see daylight and has only seen  gentle Dove products for the past decade.  It feels like the fire of a thousand suns is pouring out from each armpit, and a gingerly attempt to touch the skin makes me imagine a rash the size of Kentucky. I revert to arms-in-the-air. This phone call with the insurance dude takes 23 minutes. By this point, I am ready to run into traffic and make the pain stop, but it also begins to subside, albeit at a much slower rate than its onset.

By the time everything is wrapped up, and I decide I can go into the restaurant and wait without tying up a table for an obnoxious amount of time, the pain is nearly gone. I was prepared to go to the washroom and have a mini-shower right there in the sink, if it came to that.


My pal Teri did point out that at least it was just my armpits. That not-so-fresh-feeling-let’s-try-this-OMG could have been a helluva lot worse.

My Mind Kind of Exploded…

…when I saw THESE in the latest Sephora catalog:

Now that I know the technology is there, I want all my makeup to be press-on. How handy would that be? And I can see it now – BuildYerFace, where you create a mold of your face, fill in all the spaces with press-on makeup – whether you dump it in, or you lock in the little application papers – and in one fell swoop (with probably a suction-cup sound), you are READY for the DAY, my friends.

Of course, with the pricing, each Day O’ Face would run a gal $40, which isn’t exactly feasible. Those eyeshadow thingies are $5 a pop. As in $2.50 per eye, per eyeshadow. And what’s with the odd-number of applications? You get two sets of two styles, but only one set of the third. That sort of asymmetry makes me crazy. Things like this need to be evenly distributed, or it makes ..yes, my eye twitch.

No worries – I’m not buying them, because I have plenty of old-fashioned apply-it-myself eyeshadows, and $25 for a box of crazy seems a little foolish. And anyway, I’m fantastic enough without Le Tigre! camo eyeshadow (paws at you with claws extended, RAWR!) But part of me still loves them, and as Beth pointed out, it’s only a matter of time before someone does the Lee Press-On Makeup version.

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