Sunday, November 28, 2010

Shopping is a woman thing.  It's a contact sport like football.  Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase.  ~Erma Bombeck

Black Friday! The biggest shopping day of the year.  For me, it started a day early.  Post turkey feast, my daughter and I excused ourselves from the family gathering and scooted over to a store which decided to open its doors early and get a jump on the other retailers in grabbing consumer dollars. I decided the exercise would be excellent in combatting the 10,000 calories I consumed earlier in the day.  Unfortunately, it was all negated by the self- condemnation of partaking in an activity I said I would never, ever, do;  enter a store on a major holiday.  The guilt drove me to an extra piece of pumpkin crunch later that evening. Additionally, the caloric burden of having to eat my words, sent me into shame overload.  For years now, I've spouted my indignation at the retail establishments forcing their employees to work on Holidays for the few extra bucks it would add to their bottom line.   My rants about greed and a departure from family values were endured by my friends and loved ones.   I said, " Hey, nothing was open when I was a kid and we got by.  Holidays were sacred family time."  I should know better than to castigate others.  As we left the store in the pouring rain and drove away, I noted the tiny throng of poncho clad people, huddled under umbrellas outside the Toys R’Us,  due to open in six hours.  I heard the words.  They were emitted by my very own vocal chords....It was like viewing it in in slow motion.  My mind screamed....  Noooooooooo!  Stop! Don't say it!  Too late..... There they were.... those words, right in front of me.  I said, “That’s ridiculous. Nothing could entice me to endure that to save a few dollars. I will never do that. ” Horrified,  as I sputtered and tried desperately to shove them back down my throat, I could see it all so clearly.  I have yet to learn the karmic lesson of,  NEVER SAY NEVER.   Flash forward a few years.  There I am, shivering outside Best Buy on Christmas day....  blizzard conditions:  resorting to setting the post holiday ads on fire for a bit of warmth as I wait for hours for the doors to open so I can purchase the  bargain of the year.   When will I ever learn the lesson of non-judgment?
I do love to shop. I would make an incredible Personal Shopper.   Most of all,  I really enjoy the process of shopping; searching out the perfect gift for special people, something they love or wouldn’t buy for themselves.  A gift befitting their personalities, hobbies, or tastes. I’m not an underwear and socks kind of benefactor, unless of course, that’s your passion.  Often, I spend weeks just looking for the right thing.  So, in preparation for the 2010 gift giving season,  I have been all over the state this past month, experiencing the full spectrum of a variety of stores as well as perusing the Internet for just the right things.  My adventure has uncovered some gifts that have left me scratching my head.  Each to his own, something for everyone..... that’s one of the things that makes human interaction so awesome. In my shopping travelogue here are just a few of the items I have come across. I daresay, you probably will not (note: I did not say never)   find them under my tree. 
  • A chokeable Sarah Palin doll.  She comes complete with accessories;  tiny Pit Bull, lipstick, and rifle (deer head and banana clip for her hair sold separately).  Pull her string and hear the shrill, Pee Wee Hermanesque voice say, “Yip, Yip, Yip, You Betcha, Absolutely,” and best of all, “In what respect, Katie?” Buy her, get Todd free. Todd comes with just one saying, ‘Yes, dear.”  
  • How about Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Fantasy Bra.  3,000 brilliant cut Damiani diamonds, valued at 2 million dollars.   I mean seriously, wouldn’t we be able to feed the  entire population of Somalia with this over the shoulder bolder holder? The only breasts I could ever imagine worthy of this extravagance might be Mother Theresa’s.
  • Bacon of the Month Club... What?  How many pig gourmands could there possibly be out there?   Obviously much more popular in the Western world... certainly a niche market. Buy the two year subscription, receive a free thigh master. 
  • And of course, there’s the timeless classic, The Chia.  I actually received one of these once.  This year’s model, Obama Chia.  Within weeks of watering, just pluck bits of the President’s hair and toss it into your salad.  A real herbal treat and the kind of gift that just keeps on giving because, it keeps on growing! 
  • How about a black Christmas tree? Who puts one of these up? The Munsters maybe?  It looks like something Edward and Bella Cullen would construct  for baby’s first Christmas?  Can you imagine the ornamentation?!!  No angel hair on this tree... maybe a little werewolf hair... He, he, he.
  • I’m always on the look out for unique stocking stuffers, especially for the kids. I found a Rudolph candy dispenser!  Wind him up, he trots around expelling teeny little candies from his............ I decided the kids could live without it. 


  • For the holiday table.... Get a jump start on those  January 1st weight loss resolutions!  Buy a Tofurkey?  Seriously, I saw one at Trader Joe’s.  You know what they say about tofu picking up the flavor of whatever it's cooked with.... As my eyes glistened with the excitement of venturing into new culinary territory, my daughter glared menacingly at me and said, “Don’t even think about it, Mom.”  She is intensely traditional.   She’s in her comfort zone with holiday food and doesn't mind feeling “crapulous” post Christmas dinner.  It's just a necessary result of the celebration and indulgence of the day  for her.  Puffy bellied naps after eating, sprawled in front of the fire, are part of the holiday festivities.  In case you’re wondering, crapulous is indeed a word and seems very fitting for this day of holiday food orgy.  It's a suitable description of the aftershock of our Christmas  dinner and was my e-mailed "word of the day" awhile ago from Merriam Webster’s expand your vocabulary lessons.   It means, sick from excessive indulgence in eating and drinking revelry.  Yes! Yes! Yes! Send the Tofurkey to Big Lots in China. 

    Happy Shopping to all and to all a good buy!