Filed under: Consumer / Retail, General Peevery, Parenting | Tags: annoying, cereal for dinner, children, christmas, drive me up the wall, elves, grating, nervous breakdown, parenthood, parenting, peeve, pet peeve, pet peeves, pre-teen, sarcastic, shopping, vent
I’ve been trying to wrap up all my Christmas shopping by the end of this week. I plan on spending the time off I have doing fun things around town with the kids, not last-minute running around in crowds. I HATE crowds. LOATHE crowds, actually. I also can’t stand shopping unless it involves margaritas or shoes for me. So, I’ve been doing a lot of lunch-hour power shopping and stopping in to a single store between picking up the kids and heading home. The other day, I needed to run into Macy’s for three very specific things: handbags for Smalls’ teachers. I knew exactly what I wanted. I was a woman with a coupon and a mission.
Peeved: Okay, girls, Mommy has to run into Macy’s real quick and pick up some presents for Smalls’ teachers.
Smalls: Are we getting them Zhu Zhu Pets?
Peeved: No, Smalls, I think they’d like purses better.
Smalls: Oh. Can we stick a Zhu Zhu Pet in the purse?
Peeved: No. Let’s just get them purses and then you can make a nice card for them.
Biggie: Where are we going?
Biggie: Oh, cool. I totally need skinny jeans. Macy’s has the best skinny jeans.
Peeved: We are not shopping for skinny jeans. We are going to get out of the car, go directly to the purses, select three purses, pay for them and leave. Understood?
Biggie: But the skinny jeans are right next to the door closest to the purses. I could just…
Peeved: Here’s the deal. Ready? I just need to grab these things real quick. You all need to behave because Santa is watching and if you don’t behave you’ll get coal in your stocking. Smalls, you’re in the stroller. Biggie, you’re pushing the stroller. You both stay right next to me and offer your opinions if and only when asked. I need you to be my elves tonight. We are not shopping for ourselves, we are shopping for gifts for others. Got it? Elves. Helpers.
A condensed version of the events that took place inside Macy’s on December 13th at approximately 7:03 p.m.: touch, touch, touch, drop, yell, whine, whine, whine, yell, disappear, reappear, yell, skootch, skootch, skootch the stroller, heart attack – where the hell did Smalls go?, yell, cheer/dance, cheer/dance, cheer/dance, yell, stroller derby, near fatal collision with purse rack, yell, don’t touch your sister-stand right there and don’t move-Smalls get your feet off of the stroller wheels, purchase of the closest three purses, step routine, step routine, step routine, yell, time out in the corner, whine, whine, whine, yell, touch, touch, touch…
[In the car on the way home]
Peeved: I don’t want to hear a word – A WORD! – from either one of you. Biggie, that was embarrassing and disrespectful. You are twelve years old and I had to put you in time out in the corner of Macy’s. You should be ashamed of yourself. How hard is it to stick your hands in your pockets and behave yourself for five freaking minutes? I asked you to help me. You did exactly the opposite. You think it’s okay to misbehave now because I’ve already done my shopping for you? Well, you have another thing coming. Santa doesn’t bring trampolines to kids that don’t behave. Get my drift? You need to learn to listen. I told you not to touch anything and I don’t think there was one item in that store that you didn’t leave a fingerprint on.
Smalls: Yeah, and she…
Peeved: I don’t want to hear anything from the Peanut Gallery!
Smalls: Yeah, well I don’t want to hear anything from the Peanut Butter Jelly Gallery!
Peeved: Oh no you don’t. I’m mad at you too. You were not wearing your listening ears. Mommy told you to sit in the stroller and what did you do? You skootched halfway across the store. I look away for one second and you’re over in Petites walking around with the stroller hanging off your butt. When we get home, it’s dinner and bed for you. No show tonight. Biggie, it’s homework and bed for you, too. Give me any lip and I’ll take away your electronics for a week.
Peeved: Here, eat your dinner.
Smalls: That’s not dinner. That’s cereal. I want dinner.
Peeved: Well, we don’t have anything in the house. And, after the way you acted in the store, I’m certainly not going food shopping with you.
Smalls: I want dinner. [lip quiver] Cereal is not dinner. [start of cry] You need to have something with bread for dinner. [full on crying, now]
Peeved: Fine! I’ll go make something out of nothing.
[in the kitchen]
Smalls: [sobbing in the other room – then… silence]
Peeved: Smalls… what are you doing?
Smalls: [in the most pathetic four-year-old voice you can imagine] Looking at a picture of you [stifled sob] … when you were happy.
Smalls: You’re with daddy… [stifled sob]... and … you’re smiling [full on crying again]
Dear Future Therapist of Biggie & Smalls,
It is all exaggerations and half-truths, I swear.
Filed under: Consumer / Retail, General Peevery | Tags: annoying, black friday, cyber monday, drive me up the wall, grating, nervous breakdown, peeve, pet peeve, pet peeves, sarcastic, shopping, wearing pajamas in public
Have a death wish? Then, may I recommend shopping the Black Friday sales. If the crazy lines and caffeine-hyped soccer moms are not enough to scare you off, then maybe this is: people wear their pajamas. In public. With slippers. I’m not kidding you. I can handle the jerks that try to nudge their way up to the caution tape in front of you just so they can get their hands on the latest, greatest Zhu Zhu. I can even handle the ones that climb pyramids of computer monitors and start tossing them down to their grandmas standing by the carts. I’d go so far as to say I would put up with the velour-jumpsuit clad Mother of the Year nominees who bring their children to sleep in shopping carts at 4:00 in the morning. However, every time I see one of these pj-clad people I just want to lay down on the linoleum and die. All hope for humanity leaves my body.
The worst part? Some of these people aren’t even slobs. They are showered, their hair is done, their make-up is on, they are sipping on $5 Starbucks coffees. Do they think we won’t notice that they FORGOT TO PUT REAL PANTS ON? I know there is a fine line between Ugg boots and bunny slippers, but if your shoes have eyeballs you shouldn’t leave the house in them.
Thank Santa for Cyber Monday! And, if you’re looking for some comfortable bottoms to shop in, I suggest the Hanes over in Aisle 5.
Filed under: Consumer / Retail, General Peevery, Parenting | Tags: annoying, children, department of torture, drive me up the wall, fitting room, george clooney, grating, hurricane, mother, nervous breakdown, parenthood, peeve, perfect storm, pet peeves, sarcastic, shopping, sister, tornado, tsunami, vent
Contrary to popular belief, I do not actually enjoy shopping. Every once in a while, I can appreciate some retail therapy, but there has to be a “perfect storm” of conditions in order for this to happen.
- I have to be alone. Absolutely alone. With nowhere to be at any specific time. And, very poor cell phone reception.
- I cannot be shopping for anything in particular. I am known for creating items that do not exist and then getting peeved when I can’t find them in the stores.
- I have to be shopping for myself.
- Budget? What budget?
- It has to be on a “skinny” day. You know, those magical days when the scale says you lost 2 pounds in your sleep.
- My hair has to look good.
- I have to get an amazing deal on at least one item.
- 7 out of 10 items I try on have to fit.
- I must have a frothy, chocolatey, caffeinated beverage. And, even some biscotti to dip in it.
- I have to purchase at least one pair of shoes.
Rarely, very rarely, does this “perfect storm” occur. The closest I get is DSW shoe warehouse on my lunch hour and that’s only because I’m a DSW rewards member (hello coupons!), my feet don’t Benedict Arnold me like my waistline does, and there’s a fudge shoppe right next door.
This weekend, I needed to get fall clothes for Smalls. Not that it is getting any cooler down here in the South (97 degrees last night at 6pm), but there were some good sales going on and I had some free time. My sister had a 30% off coupon at Kohl’s and convinced me to meet up with her to go shopping for the kids. Hmm… Me, my two kids, her, her daughter… maybe I should just skip it… but, it’s 30% off… and, I could always spend the money I saved on some shoes… okay, what the heck!
Now, up until this point, I have always refered to my sister as AJenda on this blog. However, for this post, I feel the need to reveal her true identity. The real nickname behind the nickname. In my family, I am referred to as “Emma Dilemma,” “Dilemma,” or “that bitch.” My sister has always been referred to as “Hurricane Jen.” She comes on strong, with little or no warning. When you think it’s over, she’s really only half-way done. When she actually is done, you’re standing around looking at the disaster area. She’s also a lot of fun when you’re drinking and the damage is happening to someone else. Stores do not stand a chance against the Hurricane. When she is shopping, she is trying on everything in the store. I have been in dressing rooms with her where they literally are shutting the lights off and locking us in and she’s breaking out the keychain flashlight and trying to see how the last two pairs of jeans look.
Me, I’m more of a tsunami shopper. I’m in and I’m out. Quick, like that. I take what I want and I drag it back out with me. No lolly-gagging, no agonizing over decisions. I want it, I buy it. I don’t want it, I don’t put it in the cart. You can see how it’s probably not a good idea for my sister and I to go shopping together. I’m usually hanging up the clothes after she has tried them on and whining, “can we go now?”
I figured this time though, we were shopping for the kids, it couldn’t be that bad. And, it wouldn’t have been.
Hurricane: [via text message to Peeved]: Headed to Kohl’s right now. Where are you? Brace yourself, hurricane Granny is hot on our trail.
Peeved: [blissfully unaware of text message] Smalls, do you like this shirt?
Smalls: No, too stripey.
Peeved: How about this shirt?
Smalls: No, too spotty.
Peeved: Well, you need to pick some shirts.
Smalls: Well, I don’t like any of these.
Peeved: How about this one?
Peeved: This one?
Smalls: Nope. Look, mommy! Hamster pajamas!
Peeved: You don’t need pajamas.
Smalls: Hamster pajamas!!
Peeved: I’ll only get you the hamster pajamas if you start picking some shirts you like.
Hurricane: [via text message to Peeved]: We’re here… can’t find you… did you seek shelter from the storm?
Peeved: [putting hamster pajamas in cart, still blissfully unaware of text messages] Okay, how about this shirt?
Smalls: Yep. [You guessed it, Smalls is a Lightening Storm shopper.]
Peeved: This one?
Smalls: Too flowery.
Peeved: Oh, how cute! Look at his one.
Peeved: Smalls, we made a deal. No hamster pajamas if you don’t pick some shirts.
Smalls: I did pick a shirt. That one.
Peeved: Well, you need more than one shirt.
Smalls: So, get the same shirt in different colors, then. Aunt Hurricane!!
Peeved: Oh, thank goodness. Can you please suggest shirts to her? I can’t get her to say yes to anything I pick.
Hurricane: Sure, hey – did you get my…
Hurricane: … texts? I tried to warn you.
What’s the mother of all storms, people? You guessed it. Tornado Granny. Tornado Granny is like a hurricane in that she comes on quick without any warning, except the destruction isn’t left spread all over the place, it’s been completely lifted away and relocated. Granny hits the clearance racks like tornados target trailer parks. Everything starts in the cart, but inevitably is put back before she gets to the checkout lane. It’s like a weird form of tactile window shopping. Also like a tornado, Granny disappears just as fast as she appears.
[literally 3 hours into the shopping trip]
Peeved: You got everything?
Hurricane: Yep, I’m good to go.
Peeved: Sweet, let’s get out of here.
Hurricane: Yeah, the game starts soon and I’m starving.
Peeved: I feel like I swallowed a ShamWow! and my feet are about to fall off.
Hurricane: I hear ya. Where’s mom?
Peeved: I don’t know. I thought you knew?
Hurricane: Oh shit, we lost her. Call her.
Biggie: She probably bailed again.
Mini-Hurricane: Yeah, she’s been known to do that!
Peeved: [calling Tornado on her cell phone] Ma, where are you?
Tornado: You know that completely hidden fitting room that you never would have looked for me in? I’m hiding out in there. Don’t tell your sister, she’ll make me put back all my clearance clothes.
Peeved: Found her. Come on, guys.
As predicted, Hurricane tried to talk Tornado out of her white-trash finery, carrying in clothes by the armful. Guess who was left putting them all back on the hangers and saying, “Can we go now?!” The children were taking turns pretending they were sad puppies up for adoption, hiding inside the rack of track pants, and having their mom paged over the PA system.
Two very long hours later, we did finally get out of there. Not before Biggie had an avalanche inspired melt-down because I wouldn’t by her 3-inch hot pink patent leather and zebra striped heels, though. Gosh, I’m the worst mom ever. Didn’t you know?
I finally crawled into the storm shelter of my couch, called the Red Cross for a beer IV and tried to avoid any further disasters. The only Perfect Storm I would be getting would be ordered through Netflix and starring George Clooney. Mmm…. George Clooney. That’d make everything better.
Filed under: Consumer / Retail, General Peevery | Tags: annoying, As seen on TV, booty pop, consumerism, drive me up the wall, facial flex, grating, jesus diorama, marriage blanket, nervous breakdown, peeve, pet peeves, sarcastic, shopping QVC style, vapid society, vent, why do we buy this stupid shit?
The world is full of people selling crap. More inconceivably, the world is full of people willing to buy it. A friend of mine from across the pond sent an email asking if Silly Bandz was really as much of a craze as a BBC article was making it out to be. The answer: yes, my friend, unfortunately it is. There are Silly Bandz, Bandyz, Funny Bandz, Zany Bandz, Googly Bandz, Crazy Bandz, ad nauseam.
Who cares if they are RUBBER BANDS that serve no function? Who cares if they come in shapes that take a zoologist, herpetologist and/or Professor of Hieroglyphics to identify them? Kids love them. Parents spend $2.00 a pop (minimum) for TEN (10) RUBBERBANDS.
The worst part? This isn’t even the stupidest shit people buy. Have you ever woken up with the sudden urge to buy a:
Please click and watch the video – freaking perves.
It’s an epidemic. They have entire stores in our malls devoted to things “As Seen on TV.” Yes, Americans are stupid. If they see it on TV, they want it. If a celebrity wears it, they wear it. If you call it “art” and put a high price tag on it, they’ll have to have it.
This little diorama beauty was going for $65 at the flea market the other day.
Silly? Yes. Funny? Yes. Zany? Yes. Googly? Yes. Crazy? Abso-freaking-lutely!
Now, what kind of junk can I patent and make millions off of? Let’s see, they already have cat scratch emery boards, amazingly absorbent towels (how long does it take for THOSE to dry?), haircutting vacuum accessories, magic gravity balls, smokeless ashtrays… Hey, I got this bridge I’m selling! You interested?
Filed under: Consumer / Retail, General Peevery | Tags: annoying, convenience, dirty car, drive me up the wall, french fries under the seat, grating, how to get a lexus, how to make vinegar, inconvenient, Mr. BJ, Mrs. BJ, nervous breakdown, peeve, pet peeves, sarcastic, someone is happy, too hot outside, vent
Smalls [getting into her car seat]: Mommy, what’s that smell?
Peeved: I don’t know. Maybe you dropped some food in the car again.
Smalls: No, I only have these rice cakes in my cup holder. Is that what smells?
Peeved: Where did you get those from?
Smalls: They gave them to us for snack yesterday.
Peeved: You didn’t have school yesterday. Yesterday was Sunday.
Smalls: Oh. Well, can I eat them?
Now, I didn’t let her eat them, but I was concerned about the smell. It’s not the first time something like this has happened. If you’ve ever had kids you know all kinds of crap gets stuck under the seats. If I could figure out a way to make dissolving french fries, I’d be rolling in it.
Quick — three things you can tell just by looking at the picture above…
If you said 1) I’m just about at the mileage where everything starts to fall off of my car; 2) I live in an area that is hotter than a camel’s cooch; and 3) I haven’t had my car cleaned in at least 6 months; you win the grand prize.
So, there are a great many things that this smell could possibly be. Except, there aren’t really. Because what my car smells like, is, well… fish & chips. It stinks like a pub in my car.
Peeved: Did you give the kids fish & chips to eat in the car?
Mr. Peeved: What? No. Why?
Peeved: Did we have coleslaw at Smalls’ party this weekend that maybe spilled in the car?
Mr. Peeved: What? No. Why?
Peeved: Just checking.
Mr. Peeved: You are so weird.
Peeved: Mmm….hmm… hey, what is vinegar made out of?
Mr. Peeved: I don’t know. It’s just vinegar. Why don’t you Google it?
“Vinegar can be made from any fruit, or from any material containing sugar.”
Hmm… fruit is out. Gummy bears? Cheerios? How could there possibly have been enough sugar in my car to ferment into… uh oh… new low. Can’t even blame it on the kids. Remember when I told you all last weekend my friend had her baby? Well, I may have left out the part about her living 20 miles past anywhere I want to be. And, the part about me trying to find the interstate by following iPhone GPS directions. And, the part about how my console was so full of empty coffee cups that I couldn’t fit the giant soda that I got at the pizza place. And, how the giant soda took a bit of a tumble while I was navigating a particularly hairy turn. So, THAT‘s how you make vinegar.
Mr. Peeved is apparently not completely facetious when he calls my car litter “science experiments.”
Not only is the state I live in hotter than a desert mammal’s nether-regions in the summer, they believe in torturing their residents by making them pay their car taxes each year on their birthdays. They also won’t let you pay your taxes until you’ve passed an emissions test. If you don’t pay by your birthday, you owe a late fee. If you don’t pay by the end of the month of your birthday, you get pulled over and have some huge ticket fines and a day in court to deal with. So, I’m already in for the late fee, but I find a local establishment that will do an oil change, an emissions test and a detail car wash all at once. Convenient, right?
Nothing is ever convenient. Convenience is an illusion. A disappearing showgirl. A pink elephant. An “easy” baby.
After “pre-cleaning” the car, I head over the car wash place, put in my order, eat lunch, finish a book, check Twitter, check Facebook, play solitaire, play code cracker, pace the place… good gravy people, how long does this take? Well, apparently it takes 3 freaking hours. Yes, my luck holds true, and I wind up getting the detailer with OCD. He was literally still wiping the car as I was driving out of the place. For real? It is probably going to rain tonight anyway. I already gave you your tip. Now get the hell out of my way before I run over your toes.
Once I had cooled down a little, I did appreciate the great job he did. The car was shining like it did the day I drove it off the lot. Except that day it didn’t have a missing hubcap, a headlight out, a scratch down the side and the bumper pulled off a bit on the other side. Figures the payments are up in April. Maybe I’ll get a new car.
Probably not a Lexus.
Filed under: Consumer / Retail, General Peevery | Tags: annoying, bitter coffee, coffee, drive me up the wall, drive thru coffee shop, dunkin donuts, elin nordegren, for the price of a cup of coffee, frappe, grating, have it your way, macchiato, make it your damn self, mcdonalds, nervous breakdown, peeve, pet peeves, sally struthers, san francisco coffee, sarcastic, starbucks, starsucks, vent, wake up wednesday, who carries cash
Wednesday is my favorite day of the week. Why? Because it is “Wake Up Wednesday” at Smalls’ daycare. Which means, there is freshly brewed coffee, (with real creamer!) set out for the parents – FOR FREE. Isn’t that a nice, lovely gesture? They even have the insulated cups with the hot bands and the lids. And, stirrers, which may or may not have been taste-tested and kid-approved.
Now, I can get coffee at my workplace and usually do, but, there is something about having nice, hot coffee in my belly before I hit the elevator and head on up to the office. I could stop at one of those coffee shops I pass on my commute, but that would mean finding a parking spot, getting out of the car with Smalls, waiting in line listening to Smalls tell me how she “needs” a muffin that is bigger than my head, and making my own coffee.
Yes, you heard right. Making my own coffee. See, that is what the world (okay, I’m being melodramatic – the US) has come to. You pay upwards of $2.00 a cup for plain old coffee and then you get the “privilege” of making it, too. Now, if you’re lucky, you’re at a Starbucks where they will actually pour the coffee in the cup for you and leave you to do all the fixins. If you want coffee that’s not as bitter as Elin Nordegren and head over to a San Francisco Coffee, you are on your own. That is, unless you are part of the bourgeoisie that spends upwards of $4.00 a cup for some frappetastic concoction. No, at San Francisco Coffee, drip-drinkers are like gum on the bottom of the latte-drinkers’ shoes. They get handed a cup, whipped and sent off to pour their own cup.
If I lived in suburbia, I could go through a drive-thru coffee shop. Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds – all make your coffee for you if you get it at the drive-thru. It’s not really a hard concept. Delis across New York do this all day long (at half the price, I dare add). Regular = 2 creams, 1 sugar. Light & Sweet = 3 creams, 2 sugars. Dark, No Sugar = 1 cream, no sugar. This is not rocket science, but apparently it is too hard to master when you have recipes the like of non-fat, triple whip, venti, caramel macchiatos running around in your head.
There was a genius coffee shop on my commute route that set up a coffee stand (not unlike lemonade stands of yesteryear) in an abandoned parking lot. $2.00 a cup. Cash. Well, who the heck carries cash anymore? I can tell you the day after I remembered to stash $10 in my car console and was driving into work… they were gone. Never to appear again. Seriously?
Remember those commercials where an obese Sally Struthers would hold a starving child and cry, telling us that for the price of a cup of coffee we could feed a village for a week? Well, for the price of a cup of coffee I can buy myself one of these:
Because if the “Have it Your Way” mentality is going to mean “Make it Your Damn Self” then I might as well do just that.
Filed under: Consumer / Retail, General Peevery, Media, Parenting | Tags: annoying, brainwashed, consumerism, drive me up the wall, father's day, fishing gear for women, gender, gender segregation, golf clubs for women, grating, grilling set for women, mother's day, nervous breakdown, peeve, pet peeves, sarcastic, spongebob lollipop, toys r us, vent, zhu zhu ninja, zhu zhu pets, zhu zhu stroller
The other night, I was taking Smalls into Toys -R -Us to get another Department of Torture Electronic Mini-Operative Zhu Zhu Pet. Yes, I know they drive me insane, but what drives me more insane is the whining Smalls was doing before I bribed her to stop with another Zhu Zhu Pet. So, off to the toy store because somehow a child who can “forget” she needs to throw her dirty clothes in the hamper within two seconds of mommy telling her to, can remember an arbitrary promise/bribe that was made weeks ago.
After stopping to pick up some flip flops, a SpongeBob lollipop and a lightsaber, I decided to just ask an associate where the little electric rodents were located.
Me: Excuse me, Sir. Where are the Zhu Zhu Pets? (Because I’m running out of hands and I’m gonna be flat broke by the time I get past the checkout if you leave me to my own devices.)
ToyGuy: They are right over here. Wait, do you want the girl ones or the boy ones?
Me: No, they’re just hamsters. I mean, they’re not made for boys or girls.
ToyGuy: The regular ones and the babies are in the girl section, the ones in the boy section are like ninjas and stunt hamsters.
Really? The toy company obviously never met Smalls. Because, let me tell you, she has a mean drop-kick!
This whole gender segregation is totally out of hand. If you look at a sales ad for Toys – R – Us, everything associated with “domesticity” is being modeled by girls. Babies, Barbies, animals, kitchens… You will never see a boy modeling a kitchen – a grill, maybe, but not a kitchen. You will also never see a boy with a babydoll. Just like you will never see a girl playing with a car or a dinosaur. Even Legos, which should be unisex and universal have segregated the toys to market pink house and horse sets to girls and blue house and helicopter (?) sets to boys.
This gender segregation continues even as we get older. Mother’s Day rolls around and what are the ads for? With the exception of jewelry, most of the wares they are pushing consist of things for the house. Get Mom a photo apron or a set of coasters. Buy her a new vacuum, a photo frame, a coffee mug or a cookbook. And, what to get Dad this year for Father’s Day? Hmm… grilling tools, a brew-your-own beer kit, fishing gear, golf clubs, power tools… Actually, they do make power tools for Mom too… and golf clubs… and fishing gear…
Just search for “XYZ for women” – I’ll bet you a beer (YES, WOMEN DRINK BEER), it will come up pink. It’s enough to make a girl nauseated.
Happy Father’s Day to all of you Dad’s out there. Hope you get a hand painted masterpiece or a nice picture of you with your kids (the kind of stuff you should be getting on this occasion). Although, I may just get this for my hubby… what do you think?