Subourbon Mom


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.



Waiting Room Wonderland
August 18, 2021, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , ,

I thought you should know that I have a new favorite place to people-watch: the walk-in clinic waiting room.

This is so much better than the airport. People aren’t happy or sad – they’re mostly embarrassed, which is WAY more fun to watch.

When I went in the other day to get my special assistant Prednisone, the waiting room was pretty full, mostly with older people.  While I was waiting to go back into the examination room, I got to listen to everyone who came in have to explain why they were there. I don’t know what HIPPA laws cover, but we could all hear everything.

One poor guy about my age shows up and when the intake nurse asks why he’s there, tries to whisper, “I have blood in my stool.” Apparently, she didn’t hear him because a few seconds later he whispered loudly, “I have blood in my stool!” I had to hide a smile. In my house we openly talk about pee and poop and periods and all kinds of bodily functions, because…we’re gross. This poor man was clearly not used to that at all.  All I wanted to say was “Dude, we all heard it…we all heard it. Just relax.”

An elderly woman came in with her husband and sat in the row of chairs behind me.  I couldn’t see her, but I could hear the anxiety in her voice as she asked her husband or companion a lot of questions. Right before I was called back, I heard her say, “What do you think is happening back there?  I see all these people coming in and no one coming out!” Her companion gently reminded her that there is a pandemic going on and that they are trying to limit contact with patients.

I asked myself, why bother? Based on our proximity in the waiting room, I already knew somebody probably has an ulcer and that the lady three seats over has a UTI.  

The next guy called up was an 80-year-old man, his hand wrapped in a bloody towel.  I turned all the way around, openly gawking.  This was going to be good.

“Why are you here, sir?” the nurse asked.

“Well, see, I was in my garage using the power drill and I slipped.  It went right through my finger. I just need somebody to look and see if there’s any metal in there.”

“Does it hurt?” she asked.

“Yeah, it hurts. It hurts a lot.”

“Sir, do you have a hole in your finger?”

“Yeah, but it’ll be all right. My wife said I had to come in and get somebody to check it.”

This, my friends, is what makes the Silent Generation almost as great as the Greatest Generation. I’m not being sarcastic – the man was working with power tools at 80, drilled a hole into his finger and was only at the doctor’s office, not the emergency room, because his wife made him go.

For a moment, I almost got up and left with my little face cut and my vanity, but vanity won. I stayed and, with great humility, shared space with the Clint Eastwood of my town.

Don’t underestimate the power of people watching. I never thought I’d walk out of the doctor’s office that day feeling humble and grateful for my health. Airports are good, too, because people are often at their extremes. You can’t help but feel better about yourself as you smugly sip your nasty Seattle’s Best Coffee and nibble on that $12 bag of Cheeze-Its. People can be fun – sometimes you just have to stop interacting and watch.



The Sad Teletubby
August 1, 2021, 7:51 pm
Filed under: Exercise, Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , ,

I am a person who is weird about being on time. I get stressed out when I’m not, and other “Laties” stress me out too. So when I was late to my Pilates class, it did not go well. 

A few weeks ago, I knew I was going to be cutting it close to get to the studio on time. I would need to bring regular leggings, a sports bra and a tank top to class, and change when I got there.

I remembered it all, but instead of regular leggings I grabbed my biker short-length leggings, which are pretty much just Spanx without any of the benefits. I bought them because I was anticipating the studio being too hot in July.  I also mistakenly packed a tight, black tank top, not my usual flowy top that hides….a lot.

So there I was, skidding into the gym like I was ten on my dirt bike after landing a perfect jump. I changed my clothes in the mirrorless bathroom and joined the class. However, when I got to my station and looked into the mirror…OH…MY…GOD. 

Black is supposed to be slimming.

Staring back at me was a Teletubby in mourning.

The biker shorts squished all the doughy bits up to my waist and out the bottom to my knees. My body looked like someone had grabbed a tube of Jimmy Dean sausage, cut the ends off and squeezed from the middle.

So, I decided I would ignore it and that was fine, until about half-way through class when I saw it…the camel toe.  Friends, there’s no discreet way to fix that in a room full of people and mirrors. I hopped into the bathroom again and tried to fix it, but I knew it was a lost cause. I have a long torso and the shorts were (apparently) not long enough. It re-appeared and stayed for the rest of class.

What’s the big deal, you ask?  Isn’t it a class full of women?  C’mon, people.  You know we’re all super judgy, even though we say we aren’t. And if it’s just me that’s judgy like that, well, rest assured that Karma’s a real thing and she’s a bitch.

But it didn’t end there.  Being thrifty, I tend to get my workout clothes at discount or “cost-efficient” stores.  I think these shorts came from Old Navy. Anyway, as I was huffing and puffing during the workout, I started to smell something.

How was the scent of chicken nuggets wafting into the Pilates studio? There isn’t a Chick-Fil-A anywhere nearby. 

No…it can’t be…

It was my f#$%ing biker shorts! How could they do that?  I knew it wasn’t me because after class I ran back into the bathroom and did a smell check – it was definitely the shorts. And yes, I washed them before I put them on.

So to recap, because I was late, I looked like a sad, squished sausage and smelled like fast food.

Basically, I was a giant dog treat. 

So that’s why I try to be on time.      



Weed: We’ll Ruin This For You, Too
July 13, 2021, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Parenting | Tags: , , , , , ,

Recently my state made it (sort of) legal to smoke weed.  It’s not my drug of choice for a lot of reasons, but I have enjoyed watching Bougie, middle-aged people decide that it’s now ok to try it, or at least openly talk about trying it.

But I suspect that, like all things that have been cool, this too shall pass. We’ll ruin it for our kids like we do everything else:  Face Book, Tik Tok, using the word “woke….” 

Here’s how it will play out:

 

  1. We talk it to death amongst ourselves, like we’ve discovered some huge secret.
  2.  We start trying to talk to our kids about it, who take pity on us, thinking we’re cute for trying to be hip, and let us know how much we don’t know.  They give us lots of tips, glad they don’t have to hide what they’re doing anymore.sativa

  3. We wait for hours in line outside strip mall weed stores to get the 4 free seeds they’re giving away as a promo, with visions in our heads of growing our own and becoming 21st century weed homesteaders. 
  4. We grow it, dry it, roll it, bake it and whatever else you can possibly do with it. We post our epic fails, techniques and recipes on Tik Tok with the same enthusiasm as we post about Karens and dueting with other people much cooler than we are. 
  5. Older Weedies marvel at the fact that middle-aged, middle class parents are now paying top dollar for the seeds they used to pick out of the crappy weed they could afford back in the day.
  6. Older Weedies have mixed feelings about the new weed on the market. They are wary of the new, more powerful and branded weed, but happy it’s regulated so their grandkids don’t experience the same flashbacks from laced weed they “got that one time from Jimmy.” 

    kurt
  7. Boutique brands have their own lines of weed-related products – Lily Pulitzer wrappers and bags, Toberlone weed-infused dark chocolate, Trader Joe’s weed/pesto ravioli bites. 
  8. Younger Weedies turn away from weed entirely, shitting all over it and the benefits they shouted at us until we made make it legal. Weed has now become uncool. They identify something about the new weed that is the equivalent of side parts and skinny jeans.

    stopped weed
  9. The states once again make money based on the middle class’s desire to be young and cool.

So enjoy it while it lasts, my Bougie friends and Young Weedies. There aren’t many times when our worlds intersect before we part ways again over what is cool and what isn’t.  




%d bloggers like this: