Subourbon Mom


10 Commandments of Christmas Shopping at The Mall
December 17, 2019, 5:00 pm
Filed under: shopping | Tags: , , ,
  1. 1362777490homepage_brioI am the mall.  Thou feareth me and loveth me. I am the mall.
  2. Thou shall bring no false values before me, like budgets or credit limits.
  3. Thou shalt not take my name in vain, especially when referring to the unbearably long list of Christmas errands you still have to do because you waited until the last minute. It is not my faulteth you procrastinateth.
  4. Remember Black Friday, and keep it holy.
  5. Honor thy sales and thy markdowns.
  6. Thou shalt not kill…time hanging out in Starbucks or restaurants. Thy shopping list loometh.
  7. Thou shalt not steal thy neighbor’s parking spot when clearly, his indicators blinketh.
  8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against The Mall.  Own up to where you have been; likewise, own up to the time thou killed while chatting with thy neighbor instead of shopping, and the silver thou hast spent.
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy fellow shopper’s loot. They arrivethed first.
  10. Thou shall visit no other retailers but me, especially not Amazon, Wal-mart or Target.


The Buzz About Brookstone’s Catalog

About two days ago I realized I was in deep trouble. I don’t mean trouble like I’m going to jail for hacking into Sony, or for thinking out loud that Odell Beckham isn’t the Second Coming. I’m in trouble because there is no way I’m going to get everything done before December 24th.

This working full-time thing has given me a new respect for the moms and dads that make it all happen–how they manage to decorate their houses so that it looks like Christmas threw up in their house is beyond me. So this year I took to ordering from catalogs. One of the catalogs we received in the mail was from Brookstone. For those of you who haven’t seen the inside of a mall in the last ten years, Brookstone is a mall store that sells quirky, high-tech gifts like wireless gummy bear lights and snorkel masks with waterproof cameras attached.

They also sell personal massagers.

Now y’all, when I think of personal massagers, I think of winning the lottery and having a handsome Swede (a la Alexander Skaarsgaard) rubbing my poor, aching muscles after a long workout at the gym. Brookstone clearly does not share my vision of what a personal massage should be.

Brookstone has been selling these massagers for years. The catalog pictures usually feature a pretty lady in a towel gently running this massager that looks like—well, let’s say like a microphone, over her shoulder or neck. Like I said, not my idea of a personal massage.591867p

The personal massagers in the catalog are also waterproof. My idea of a personal massage is not waterproof—but if I was to have a waterproof personal massager, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking something like that into the shower with me for fear of being electrocuted—unless it was the Swede.

This year, Brookstone has expanded their collection, and it’s really rubbing me the wrong way. In fact, I can’t understand why there hasn’t been more buzz about it. This year, Brookstone is offering several types of personal massagers. In fact, there are too many to talk about here, but if you look online, you will be amazed. Trust me.

The ones in my catalog tended to be in pastel colors, shaped like an egg, and like the others, are waterproof. One of them even has a “porcelain-like finish.” But here’s the interesting part: they can be controlled remotely through an app on your phone, and by more than one person. Now, I’ve been to a lot of orthopedic-related doctors and physical therapists, and I never saw any of them break out one of those babies during an appointment. I’ve certainly never seen a someone remotely activating a shoulder massager for someone else. I’m just sayin’…

Now, I don’t mind that Brookstone is selling these personal massagers—way to go Brookstone, making pleasure available to the masses. What I mind is that they are in stores for people to pick up and fondle, like they do all the other merchandise. There’s already something disturbing about seeing a bunch of people sitting in the massage chairs with their eyes closed, all washed out under the glaring store lights–never mind that 50 other people have sat there before them, greasy hair resting on the same, vibrating pillows. brookstone_shopper_in_massage_chair_in_argentinaI definitely do not want to see these same people handling personal massagers—especially if it’s my Swede.



Revenge is Best Served Wearing Chameleon Glasses

Many of you know I’m not a gadget girl.  I am missing the shopping gene that Daughter #1 has, which enables her to spend hours in a mall, touching everything that is for sale.  However, recently I was in our local REI store, killing time while the family roamed around, and I found something that was so cool, I almost spent the $14 just to wear it once into my classroom:

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That’s not me: it’s my big brother…you can’t say I never made you famous!

How could you not want chameleon-vision glasses? I would LOVE to spend one afternoon driving around in these, watching people’s reactions. Of course, since the glasses enable you to see behind you and to the side, I would be an even better driver than I already am (my insurance agent Stephanie would agree, saying something like you can only go up).

Despite the cool glasses (which I opted not to buy), I’m still not a gadget girl. I don’t need the latest and greatest bells and whistles on everything I own—but I married someone who does.  Most of the time this works to my advantage—my dishwasher is super-quiet and my car has heated seats and intermittent wipers, things I never would have bothered with. The fact of the matter is, it’s a pretty safe bet that if something ever happened to Hubby, I would be living in a shack with nothing but a CD player and a black and white t.v.

About a month ago, Hubby bought a gadget that might cause our entire marriage to implode. Apparently, he has always wanted one of those alarm clocks that shines the time on the wall or ceiling.  Yes, the man who claims to not be able to sleep if I have the bedside light on, or if my book light is too bright, has purchased an alarm clock that projects bright blue numbers a foot high on the wall opposite our bed.  All night long, the room is bathed in a Poltergeist glow, and I keep waking up, expecting to see Drew Barrymore in her white nightie sitting in front of out t.v., saying, “They’re heeeere…”

As a woman in her 40’s who finds herself awake in a puddle of sweat for no good reason, having a giant blue announcement that it’s 3:00 AM is unbelievably annoying.  It’s even more irritating when, as I turn over for the twentieth time and crack open my eyes, it informs me it’s 3:10…3:13…3:42…4:00.

So I’ve decided on my revenge. I’m going to put on those glasses (looking like a Sleazstak from the old Land of the Lost show), and wake Hubby up.  I’m pretty sure they don’t have alarm clocks like that in the hospital. No matter which of us ends up there, I win.

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10 Commandments of Christmas Shopping at The Mall
  1. 1362777490homepage_brioI am the mall.  Thou feareth me and loveth me. I am the mall.
  2. Thou shall bringeth no false values before me, like budgets or credit limits.
  3. Thou shalt not taketh my name in vain, especially when referring to the unbearably long list of Christmas errands you still have to do because you waited until the last minute. It is not my faulteth you procrastinateth.
  4. Remembereth Black Friday, and keep it holy.
  5. Honor thy sales and thy markdowns.
  6. Thou shalt not kill…time hanging out in Starbucks or restaurants. Thy shopping list loometh.
  7. Thou shall visiteth no other retailers but me, especially not Amazon, Wal-mart or Target.
  8. Thou shalt not steal thy neighbor’s parking spot when clearly, his indicators blinketh.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against The Mall.  Owneth up to whereth you have been; likewise, owneth up to the time thou killed whist chatting with thy neighbor instead of shopping, and the silver thou hast spent.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy fellow shopper’s loot. They arrivethed first (see Commandments 3 and 9).


Dress for Success

Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Dress for the job you want.” Well, I am a firm believer in dressing for the help you want when shopping. If you dress like a tired mom in stained sweat pants and unwashed hair, see how many sales people come up and offer to assist you. You’ll be leper in the middle of J.Crew, all alone somewhere in the sale section. However, if you dress in a way that says you’re ready to buy, and that you have the money to do it, things are vastly different.

A few of weeks ago, I dressed for a day of shopping at the mall, in my good skinny jeans and a sweater that covers up those saddlebags that no amount of leg lifts will eliminate. I even had makeup on because, let’s face it— women dress for each other when they shop, not for the men. Sorry guys, but it’s true. At the clubs it’s a different story—we’re all about you (just keep nodding and smiling, ladies—they don’t know!).

The first stop that day was Lowes, a store I feel lost in the minute I step through the doors. The signs are hung too high, and nothing is organized the way I would do it. Who puts storage stuff behind the gardening stuff? It should go somewhere in the house section.

But I digress…so I walked in, feeling like a delicate daffodil among the burly men prowling the aisles. There were a couple of other women there, too, and I’m sure they were doing something admirable, like fixing the drywall in their kids’ playroom. But I was heading to the mall afterward, and had dressed for the Nordstroms dress section, not the Lowes drill press section.

Eventually, I found the enormous storage box I was looking for. A male employee about my age (we’ll just smile and call it 30) said he would carry the box to the checkout counter for me. Flexing his muscles, he marched the box past two lines of at least 6 irritated people, and opened a new register just for me. I could feel resentment drilling into my back from the other customers. I never did get his name to give to the manager, but maybe that was a good thing. I think he might have gotten in trouble.

A week later, I had to go to Lowes again to make a return. Again, I was looking decent—ok, maybe it’s a subconscious thing—I dress well when I know I’m going into the giant man cave. I made my return, and immediately tried to exit through the ENTER door.

I walked into it.

That’s right, I walked into the door at Lowes.

I stood there for a moment until my menopause brain eventually noticed the backwards ENTER letters. To my shame, as I turned to go out the actual EXIT, a male employee came over and said, “Here, ma’am, let me help you.” He pushed open the ENTER door for me, like I was Cleopatra, and I waltzed through as if nothing had happened. Maybe it was pity for my blatantly blonde moment, but I’m telling you, dressing for the service you want really works.

Now, if I had watched someone like me walk into the ENTER door, I would have rolled on the floor laughing.

The only store I have found where this strategy doesn’t work is Wal-Mart. No matter what you look like, what language you speak or what expression you have on your face, the employees always treat you the same—like cattle going through the chute. But in a way, that’s ok. There’s no pressure. I can go in there at 7:30 a.m., wearing my ridiculous sequined Christmas tree shirt that I break out once a year for the program at school, or I can be in a cocktail dress getting a last minute hostess gift (i.e. cheap bottle of wine), and I get the same treatment.

I’m anonymous, and I love it. Wal-Mart may be a lot of things, but it is definitely the great equalizer.

Every woman wants their Pretty Woman moment—they want to walk into a store that previously shunned them, and get fawned over when the sales people realize she’s now the real deal. If you want that moment, I suggest starting off small, like in a Lowes or Home Depot. Dress in your “I’ve-lost-all-hope-stay-at-home-mom clothes one day,” and then in your Spanx, good shirt and jeans, and supportive bra, and see what happens.

And don’t forget to say as you leave, “Big mistake. Huge. I have to go shopping now.”




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