Monday, December 29, 2014

I'm going, going back, back to...the store

I have a shopping problem. No, it's not that I shop too much. It's that I can't regulate it. I'm like a shopping bulimic. I will go for weeks without getting anything, and then I get hungry for STUFF. So I go out, swipe my debit card at every store in the mall, and temporarily feel very satisfied with myself. It's not until later that I look at all my new stuff and think "Ugh. I did NOT need to buy that."

So, that's where my incessant returning comes into play. Geo has estimated that I return 75 percent of what I buy. Call it shopper's remorse, or hindsight or what have you, but I can't help buying things knowing FULL WELL that I will return them...unused, unworn. I've returned things literally hours after buying them. I don't know why I shop this way, because there is nothing more terrifying to me than the process of returning something.

Now, I worked in retail for a couple years. I KNOW that the "Why are you returning this?" question is complete bull and meaningless. Unless an item is defective, no one cares. But as a consumer, I always feel massive guilt and fear when returning something, and the sudden need to defend myself.

"Why are you returning this?" immediately prompts me to start an elaborate web of lies. I can't just say "Well, I bought it 'cause I liked it, but then I got home and decided I'd rather not have it because it's not all that important to me." And you can't say "Well, it doesn't fit" because the logical solution would be to exchange it for a better size. So instead, I respond with these random, terrible answers like "Well, I accidentally bought two," or "It's so cute, but it doesn't go with anything I have," or (my personal favorite) "I bought it for a gift and then realized I didn't need a gift and I already have it so I don't need it, so I figured I have no choice but to return it." See, that last one covers all my bases.

Usually returning something isn't bad; I have the receipt, the tags, whatever. But I feel incredibly shady when I return several things to the same store. This includes Target, Victoria's Secret, Macy's and Francesca's. These are the places I limit my shopping to in Rochester, because there aren't infinite options of shopping here. So, these are the stores I find myself going back to over and over with my "Buy with the intent of Returning" motive. I can't help it. I want it all and I love shopping and buying at these stores, but when I get home and have 12 cocktail skirts, 16 statement necklaces and 3 different travel mugs, the Return is inevitable.

But I can't help buy feel like I'm always trying to "pull one over" on stores. They don't know my shopping style; all they know is that I am returning $150 worth of white shirts and that is weird. Victoria's Secret is especially suspicious. They make you answer like a billion questions about why you are returning something, which I suppose is good, considering their product. But I ended up keeping one enormous pair of red underwear because I couldn't bring myself to return them after I realized that the salesperson failed to include them in the previous 2 returns I had done at the store. I was scared that they would think I was stealing...or worse; crazy.

So, now I have 3 bags of things I need to return that I purchased in a holiday-shopping-haze. And my palms sweat every time I even think about heading out to the stores. I don't like having to justify myself to some 23-year-old stranger who would rather be Snapchatting her way through a coffee or something. I don't like the fact that I willingly put myself through this gross process at least once a month.

Unfortunately, my frugal ways always win out. I'd rather be sweaty and overly story-telling to some unknown person than let $25 waste away in my closet. I'd rather stress about a return for an hour than keep a third black pair of pants that don't even look good on me. But that doesn't mean I like it.

The easy answer would be to only buy things I love. But I LOVE everything I buy...I just don't love it for very long. It's like if you bought everything you pinned on Pinterest. You'd love it for that minute it took you to look at it, drool and then pin it; but a day or a week later, you're like "meh...I'm actually kind of over it."

Does anyone else shop like this??? Am I alone in my Buying Bulimia??

Thursday, December 18, 2014


I had to go to Target today. It should have been pretty norma; I go to Target almost every day. So my trip should have been same ol same ol, but it wasn't. It wasn't because one woman became the object of my insatiable obsession.

Our fateful relationship began in the parking lot. I cleanly navigated my way around the lot like any red-blooded American should know how to do, when this lady comes blazing through the parking lot right through the middle of 12 aisles and narrowly avoiding 3 or 4 cart corrals.

I was mesmerized immediately. Who was this mysterious she-beast who nearly killed 8 people without even entertaining the thought of slowing down? I knew I had to meet her.

She "parked" next to me, coincidentally. (By "parked" I mean "casually left her minivan in a spot 3 inches away from me.") When she popped out of her car in an adorable outfit and cellphone glued to her ear, I was not surprised. When she pulled her twins out of the backseat, I was very surprised.

I walked into the store with she-beast right on my heels. I pulled out my list and grabbed a cart. She pulled out her lip balm and grabbed one of her children by the hood of her jacket.

I had to get exactly four things: pork chops, toothpaste, eggs and bread. But I spent approx. an hour and a half slyly following she-beast around the store. It was like I was attached to a firecracker doped up on Vicodin. She-beast blazed around Target like no one I've ever seen before. I noted that she bought dog food, eggs, a candle, 3 boxes of corn flakes, diapers and one of those weak a$$ bloody Mary mixes that Minnesota will never figure out how to make.

The entire time she was shopping, lady was on her phone with someone who I can only guess is a glutton for punishment. Her twins wriggled and cried and screamed and grabbed at everything within reach while girlfriend blathered on FOR 20 MINUTES about why she chose brown boots over black boots. She didn't even flinch when boy twin kicked a thing of milk out of their cart. She just kept moving and kept being worried about what she will wear with her new blue dress.

After I caught she-beast's eye for the third time, I was like "Crap, visiting hours at the zoo are over." I was made and so I decided to abandon my spy mission and head to the check out.

What luck! Super mom was right in front of me! She had finally put her phone away and now had ample time to yell non-stop at her kids. "Maddie! Stop looking at Ethan!" "Ethan, stop trying to grab my phone!" "If I wanted you to have sugar, I would have gotten you sugar! Gimme those fruit snacks!"

I locked eyes with the little girl sitting next to her brother and gave her this look like "You poor thing; I see you. I know you are probably awesome and going to grow up some day to write a college essay about how you managed to survive despite being raised by a she-beast."

The little girl reached her chubby arm out to me and I swear to God, she flicked me off.

Well, okay then. Eff you, tiny baby.

When I got to my car, I saw she-beast SCREAMING at her kids for ruining her shopping trip. I was devastated. She was literally scolding toddlers for not "respecting her time." She was also still cradling a phone between ear and shoulder.

That's when I realized that I LOVE judging parents. I am not one, so I have that blissful ignorance that allows me to really stick my judgey meter in and set it to "HA!"

Yeah, that's probably mean, but whatever.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Is it just me or...?

Does it bother anyone else that people always stop and then TURN OFF their cars in movies and TV shows? Like, they'll be dropping someone off at home or stopping to talk to a neighbor or I don't know, trying to get a hooker (I've been watching A LOT OF "Law and Order SVU" these days) and they ALWAYS turn their car All. The. Way. Off.

A character will have no intention of getting out of the car or spending any meaningful amount of time stopped on the side of the road, but yet....there is always the detail that they have to turn the ignition and restart the car whenever they end up leaving. Just leave the car on, ya stupid idiots!

You may not think this is a big deal or all that annoying, but trust me. Now you will start noticing that people on TV and in movies are completely incapable of just putting the car in park and leaving it at that. And it will probably drive you insane like it has for me.

That's all for today.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Playing dirty

Personal hygiene is a dirty, dirty game people. I came to this Earth-shattering realization, like so many geniuses before me, in the shower. I was on step 1 of the grueling 12-step process that many women trudge through during every shower when something caught my eye.

Geo has ONE bottle of soap in the shower. One bottle. And on this bottle is a promise that the soap will do two things:

  1. Get off the dirt
  2. Leave hair manageable
That's it. One bottle, for his entire being. And it just cleans without also burning the hair off your body. Oh, and it smells pretty good, too. 

It was at this point that I looked at the tower of products I use. Shampoo, conditioner, face wash, shaving cream, several different body washes that attempt to manage whatever manic state my skin is in, products to treat pimples, products to prevent wrinkles, weekly deep conditioning treatment, not to mention all the tools that are required to apply said products.

And every product I have makes these incredibly amazing promises to do miraculous and necessary things. My shampoo ALONE claims to fix 10 - TEN! - things that are evidently wrong with my hair. Then everything else is supposed to smooth, lengthen, strengthen, soften, firm, volumize, minimize, color, protect, refreshen, reverse, enhance, nourish, and replenish every pore and hair on me.

No wonder women have so many hang-ups. 

Now, I realize everyone buys different products. I know this. But for the sake of my argument, I'm assuming that all men are exactly like my husband and all women are exactly like me. It makes it easier for me to prove my point.

So are women really that disgusting and haggard? Are we really in need of so 

In the interest of looking on the bright side, I tried to rationalize the gender war being waged in my shower. I said to Geo "Maybe this is why I expect so much from people and have trouble managing expectations. Why I'm not okay with the bare minimum. Maybe you can blame the personal hygiene industry for my neverending search for the perfect pair of boots or my confusion about why you can't take the Christmas tree out on the way to the gym. Hell, my shampoo can multi-task, why can't you?"

He didn't like that argument. Probably because it made complete sense.

At any rate, I have decided that men can't give women crap about being "high maintenance" or taking too long to get ready anymore. It's inevitable. It's literally required by the instructions on every product we own: "Do this, and then do it again, but gently and in small circles. Leave in for 64 days before rinsing and then following up with this OTHER product that has 18 additional steps. Finally, send us the receipts for the child you raised during this process for a chance to win a sample of a clarifying mask!!"

Anyway, for all the promises made on these products, I'm still not even sure anything is getting the dirt off of me.