Subourbon Mom


Y’all, I’ve Become a Christmas Meme
November 16, 2021, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Country Living, Misc. Humor, shopping | Tags: , ,

After watching a Hallmark holiday movie complete with fake snow and a friendly, small town with one bitter man who needs saving, I stealthily crept up into the attic yesterday when Hubby wasn’t home. I was only up there to count how many of those cracker things we have that you put on the table (you know, they look like a wrapped toilet paper tube, and you pull the thingy in the middle and it pops?).  While I was up there I couldn’t help touching all the Christmas boxes, peeking into a few like a chocolate addict who just wants to smell what’s in the bag, but who’s not ready to commit to eating the entire bag until Yellowstone comes on.

It made me happy…and it made me start looking forward to Thanksgiving being over, which is insane because that’s also an awesome holiday for pure gluttony and wallowing in family drama.   

Then I went down an online rabbit hole looking for Bourbon advent calendars (they exist but OMG they’re expensive).  I almost bought more garland, but I realized I have no plan for decorating, and dammit, this year our house is not going to look like I get all my stuff from Goodwill.

Y’all, I’ve become a Christmas meme.   

But I’m not the only one thinking about decorating early. One of my friends decorates her modern-style home with a different theme each year. This year, she was really thinking ahead and decided she would use a lot of amaryllis flowers, and through a delivery fluke ended up with 80 bulbs. For those of you wo aren’t familiar with the amaryllis, they start as a large bulb about 2-5 inches wide. The stalks grow to about 3 feet tall, and they produce one or two beautiful, huge, Easter lily-looking flowers.

SHE HAS 80 OF THEM.

So, she artfully planted them around the house in every container that would work, including a sieve that rests on the sink.  In a few weeks they will be stunning – definitely a statement piece.

Right now, though, they look like containers full of green Shrek penises.  And the best part is that when we do video calls, they are sitting in a pot right next to her. A garden of penises that, once you see it, you can’t unsee it.  I laugh every time I see them because I’m 12 and super immature. 

I don’t have the balls…or bulbs…to make a statement like that.

I did have a Santa face toilet seat cover for a couple of years (thanks Deborah T!) that was a statement piece of sorts, albeit a disturbing one.

Bottom line – I try to remember it’s about who you spend the holidays with, not how the house looks. But if how your house looks brings you happiness, then by all means, do your thing. God bless those of you who can pull it off. I know I will never have an immaculate house with all-white furniture and decorations that will appear on Instagram. I love the tacky, miscellaneous ornaments and decorations we’ve collected over generations, including Hubby’s Romulan bird-of-prey that lights up.  

In light of all this pressure, I think I’ll stick with my theme of “I buy shit I like, fantasize about what it would look like in my fictional home that has no clutter or pets and all white furniture, then take it home and realize I live in a normal house and I’m not a theme person.”



Fuckitol – May Cause Leakage and a Third Eyeball
October 21, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: Misc. Humor, shopping | Tags: , , , , ,

We’ve all heard about how big data algorithms use everything you do to determine what ads you’ll see, from the kind of toothpaste you use to the kind of toothpaste your friends use. The purpose is to drive how you shop, travel and communicate. And yes, I turned off the tracker stuff on my phone.

So, if big data can target so specifically, can someone please explain to me why I have to sit through so many commercials for prescription drugs that don’t apply to me? How have mass communications platforms not embraced these algorithms? I don’t have psoriasis, I don’t have diabetes type 1 or 2, or any kind of cancer (knock on wood).  

But here are my real issues with these commercials:

First, they’re depressing and anxiety-inducing, reminding me of all the shitty diseases that I could get, while also preparing me for an amazing list of side effects that I could get from taking these drugs.  

Second, these are PRESCRIPTION drugs – who is the target audience?  If it is consumers so they can go to their doctor and say, “Hey, ugh, I was watching football last night and saw a commercial for Fuckitol – should I be taking that?” Um…if doctors didn’t originally prescribe these meds, but then are prescribing them because their patients are asking for them,  based on a commercial they saw, that is a very large ethical problem. Patients are now marketing to doctors on behalf of the drug industry. 

fuckitol

Also, if I was a doctor and doctors are in fact the target audience, I’d be pissed, seeing that stuff on my TV at night. There’s nothing I would want less than to come home from treating people and then be bombarded by commercials telling my patients to ask me about a drug I didn’t prescribe for them on purpose because it isn’t the right fit.

Third, these commercials contain a lot of Doctor-Speak and acronyms like “if your PGFD546 Cells are less than 40,” and other phrases that don’t mean anything to me because I haven’t recently been to an oncologist for that very specific, rare throat cancer they’re talking about. I suppose if you are the target audience you know what these mean, but for the rest of us it’s like being left out of a conversation, and now we have to go back to WebMD to do some research and lose an hour that we’ll never get back.    

And finally, who was dumb enough to take a prescription drug they know they are allergic to, so these commercials have to say OUT LOUD, “Do not take Fuckitol if you are allergic to Fuckitol or its ingredients?” These people are the reason we need to stop labeling paint cans with “Do Not Eat.”

Now my fingers are tired, I’m anxious and annoyed.  I’m think I’m going to ask my doctor for that Fuckitol prescription I just saw.



Meerkat Shopping
September 18, 2021, 7:00 am
Filed under: shopping | Tags: , ,

Fall not only brings Pumpkin Spice Everything and Coffee Cooters; it also brings school shopping days. I miss those days of throwing pencils, pens, protractors, markers and binders into the cart like bread and milk when a snowstorm is coming. I also miss those days of trailing along behind Daughters 1 & 2 as they paraded through the mall, frowning and rolling their eyes at everything I pulled off the rack. One thing I learned from those excursions, though, is that there are three kinds of shoppers, and they’re all based on fear.

The Buckshot Shopper.  Daughter #1 spends hours browsing through each and every rack, touching, pinching and holding up every piece of clothing in the store. Buckshot Shoppers must see each opportunity for fashion excellence available and understand what that will look or feel like after purchase. When the time comes to select an item of clothing, there is much agonizing over which to choose: What if I buy the wrong one?  What if I missed something that would have been perfect? What if the other store has a better color?

Combo

Buckshot Shoppers cover all the bases by looking at and touching everything. Although this type of shopping may generally come from a place of FOMO (fear of missing out), there are advantages to being a Buckshot Shopper. These intrepid explorers find new styles they might not see online or by zeroing in on only one particular style or item. They find sales that others don’t see form the front of the store and have time to down their pumpkin spice Starbucks potions in a leisurely manner as they browse.

The Surgical Shopper. Daughter #2 begins her shopping journey knowing what she needs, knows it when she sees it, goes into the store or online to order it, and that’s that. The Surgical Shopper touches as few items as possible, most likely because they are either overwhelmed by the selection available or they lack the confidence to sift through all the options: What if I do all this and I still can’t find anything?  What if I can’t afford the thing I want?

surgical shopping

This fear is often couched as “I don’t have time for this crap,” or “I just know what I like.” There are advantages to being a Surgical Shopper, though. A lot of money is saved when you only buy what you know you need and when you don’t drink as many Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes. The time a Surgical Shopper saves can be spent elsewhere.

Meerkat Shoppers can usually be found lingering outside store windows or even cupping their hands around their eyes as they browse from outside the store. Online they hit the same 5 -10 stores they know and like, but rarely venture outside that comfort zone. They also can be found silently watching other shoppers, judging their choices as they come out of the dressing room, weighing whether this or that would fit or look good on them, without having to touch anything. Meerkat Shoppers don’t require as much tactile feedback as Buckshot Shoppers, but they also don’t want to miss any obvious wins. Nor do they keep their focus as narrow as Surgical Shoppers, so they have a better chance of finding something new and out of their comfort zone.

meerkat

Meerkat Shoppers have a combination of the other Shoppers’ fears. They are afraid of missing out, so they watch Buckshot Shoppers as they go through the process (online, Meerkat Shoppers accomplish this by filtering by “Most Popular”). They lack the confidence of Buckshot Shoppers, and so are more Surgical when they finally do swoop in to make their purchases. On the plus side, Meerkat Shoppers often generate a sense of gratification from not making impulse buys and manage to stay somewhat current.

No matter what type of shopper you are, or what combination of these you might be, don’t shop from a place of fear.  Buy the things that make you happy, that you can afford, and that what won’t get you arrested.  You can always find me for more deep thoughts – I’ll be the one surreptitiously looking in the store window.



Coffee Cooters
September 8, 2021, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Food/Drink, Middle Age, Misc. Humor, shopping | Tags: , , , , , ,

Aaahhh…the end of summer is here. Not that you can tell by the weather, in Virginia, but along with shopping for #2 pencils in the fall comes pumpkin spice everything and what I like to call the Coffee Cooters.

If you dare to venture out and hop into the drive-through line at Starbucks on a weekday morning, you will start seeing this seasonal creature, the Coffee Cooter. The first week of school is the optimal time for viewing them in their natural habitat.

Coffee Cooters usually travel in packs of three or four, but occasionally will be seen with only one other (see the Gotta Go Girl below). They arrive in some version of an SUV, parking at a slight angle due to the high rate of speed at which they slide into the space.  These beasts of prey will spend at least 5 minutes texting inside the car before exiting to begin foraging.

As a pack, there are two hierarchy layers:

  1. The Hunters.  The Hunters are dressed somewhere between going to a club and what their school has decided is acceptable. Often, this means dresses and skirts that barely cover their cooters, hence the name. As they walk, every few steps they must tug on said dress/skirt to ensure it is in fact covering what it is designed to (often it isn’t). Their drink selections vary between the excessively sweet but substituted with non-dairy, soy everything, and what they have decided is a sophisticated order – the Vente Americano. Occasionally they may order the Spotted Unicorn or Oak Tree Tea Leaf with Habenero Spice Extract special that they saw on TikTok. Their prey, in this case the baristas, flinch and jockey for position away from the counter upon their arrival.   
  2. The Gotta Go Girl. The Gotta Go Girls generally dress more conservatively, indicating the seriousness with which they take their responsibility. Just like in a club, the Gotta Go Girl is the pack member who remains vigilant of the time and on the lookout for inappropriate actions taken by the rest of the pack or by their prey. In the morning coffee run, the Gotta Go Girl frequently checks her watch and can sometimes be seen actively pushing the others into the car upon exiting the building. The Gotta Go Girl orders a simple latte because she doesn’t actually like how bitter coffee really is and won’t undermine her authority by showing weakness to the rest of the pack.

If you spot these creatures, do not approach them, or you will be disemboweled by their looks of pity or irritation. As they leave the hunting grounds, give them a wide birth – they are known for their speed and lack of attention to the surrounding area. And finally, trust that these creatures will soon fade into the autumn woodwork again as the money they made over the summer disappears and the weather limitstheir display of plumage.



Dungeons, Dragons and D*!dos, Oh My!

If people judged me by the catalogs I receive, they would probably say I am a woman somewhere between the age of 12 and 75, I prefer being athletic outside (true), I occasionally have an interest in high-end hunting attire (nope), and I may have a fetish for dressing like I play Dungeons and Dragons (also no).

It’s the last catalog topic that I find the most fun.  The Pyramid Collection catalog,  which I receive because I somehow got on a list, is a clothing catalog for wanna-be wiccans, female Renaissance Faire attendees, and those on the fantasy side of Goth (not the EMO, skeletal, dyed black hair and white-face makeup Goths). It bills itself as “Myth, Magick, Fantasy & Romance.”   All true, if your idea of romance is to meet fellow wiccans wearing flowing blouses with  lacy sleeves (think Seinfeld’s “Puffy Shirt”),

puffy

you want to meet prince charming after a joust at your local Medieval Times,

Ren Dress

or your idea of fantasy is to meet a fellow enthusiast at ComiCon while waiting to do a meet-and-greet with the cast of Outlander or Game of Thrones.

Dress 1

But the most interesting thing about this catalog is that right in the middle, where the staples are and where it falls open is a double-page spread of a variety of sex toys for women.  So, in addition to buying the many fantasy-related accoutrements, you can also purchase some toys to help you relieve the loneliness that apparently is assumed will follow the initial purchase. It’s genius, really – cater to women’s fantasies, then cater to them not panning out – all in one catalog.

Perhaps other catalogs should follow suit, in their own way:  Athleta and LuLu Lemon could also put a spread in their catalogs that include the inevitable cheese boards, pizzas and wine that somehow seem to follow those departed New Year’s resolutions.

W CatalogMen’s catalogs could offer sleek suits and upscale weekend wear, but also include a spread with wings, onion rings and a selection of porn (not that I condone porn in any way) when the suits don’t hide the douchey-ness beneath, and they once again are seated with their buddies on a Friday night at BW3s instead of out on a date.

I just can’t believe this marketing trend hasn’t caught on before – addressing the “Who I Want to Be” part of the customer, as well as the “Ok, This is Who I Am” portion, all in one place.

Land’s End is gonna have to step up their game.

 

 

 




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