Subourbon Mom


You Really Can Get Everything at Walmart!

I don’t know how or why the Jesus Freaks find me, but they do – and it’s usually at Walmart.  Now, before you get all upset, know that I do believe, but I believe in the privacy of my head and heart.

I’ve had two people tell me in the check-out line that it’s their second birthday, as in, they’re Born Again.  (Personally, I don’t think it’s the best metaphor – why would anyone want to leave their warm, dark cocoon where they have been fed and grown with no effort for the cold, bright world where every day can be a struggle?  How about something like “Refried” instead?)

Ummmm…so you’re Born Again. First, you look tall for a two-year-old.  Second, I’ve had 47 birthdays, and I never once told anyone in a check-out line when they happened.  Third, why do you think I need to know you and Jesus are besties when I’m standing here trying to figure out who wore the superman glasses better – George Clooney or Denzel Washington?

But the best encounter happened yesterday.  I was standing in the freezer aisle at Walmart trying not to buy yet another bag of tater tots, when two teenage girls approached me.

“Excuse me, M’am?” they asked.

“Huh?”

“Hi. Um, would you like us to pray for you?”

“What, here?” I asked.

“Yes.  Or is there someone you would like us to pray for?”

Oh my God, this is a blog happening right now.

“My family – they’ve got issues.”

“Okay. Would you mind if we lay hands on you, or is that too weird?”

“That is definitely too weird.”

Then they said a very nice prayer in the middle of the freezer aisle.

So why me? I recently asked my gym trainer if I have a serious RBF (Resting Bitch Face), because whenever I go to other gyms, the trainers never talk to me, while they talk to everyone else who is new. And it’s not because I’m doing things correctly, either.  She said no (probably for self-protection), that mine wasn’t bad. I just always look like I’m concentrating (#thestruggleisreal).

Why do people feel the need to approach me and tell me all about their relationship with God/Jesus?  Do I have a RSMF (Resting Save Me Face)?  You can’t tell me my RSMF is worse than the woman smacking her kid in the child-abuse aisle, or the addict who’s hanging around in the parking lot asking for cash, or the people who live in their camper in the back of the parking lot. I’m pretty sure they might need help from Above a little more than I do.

So please, let me keep my headphones on while I play my soothing spa music and shop.  And while I don’t want it to happen again, it just proves that you really can get everything at Walmart.



The Best Catalog Ever

The holiday season is upon us. Christmas music plays incessantly on local radio stations, pumpkin spice everything has been replaced with cinnamon everything and the marketing onslaught is in full swing.

Now I’m all for marketing – a store’s got to do something to get your attention amid the mind-boggling Elf on a Shelf displays. But come on, Marketers, every day can’t be “The BIGGEST SALE EVER.”  I don’t care how much your store has to sell by the end of the year – no marketing email should ever be labeled URGENT unless Victoria has decided to reveal her secret, or I’m getting something good for free that doesn’t include shipping or some God-awful tote bag I’ll never take in public.

Along with emails, the catalogs are also rolling in faster than sexual harassment accusations in the media.

In two days I got 19 catalogs in the mail. That’s right…19 catalogs. But the number of catalogs isn’t what I’m here to write about. In fact, I love looking through them every morning while I drink my coffee. (Catalogs are window shopping for people who have an aversion to other people.) It’s funny how at this time of year I will actually consider buying weird, only-funny-to-me gifts that I would never spend the money on at any other time. In previous years I’ve ordered squirrel spray, Sasquatch Band-Aids and key chains with made up nicknames on them.

But in this latest batch of shopper’s crack, I found two catalogs whose marketing teams failed (in my humble opinion).

When I saw this cover on a catalog for toy horse models, I couldn’t decide who the target audience was – was it kids who want to be like this model with the BRF, who clearly would rather be anywhere else? Or parents who want to believe their twelve-year-old still plays with model horses instead of obsessively checking the likes on her Finsta? (I have nothing personal against this model – she’s obviously very attractive and was told how to pose and smile.) Perhaps a better image for the cover would have been a younger kid happily playing on the floor on a rainy day with all the crap in the catalog. To the parents it says, “You are buying yourself some peace and quiet.” To the kid, it says, “This will bring you happiness until you can wear them down and they give you your own pony to keep in the garage.”

The other cover fail was on this American Girl catalog:

Nothing says I’m a stalker like hugging your best friend while also clutching a doll that looks and dresses exactly like her.

But in all of this marketing blitz, I realized there is a catalog I have never received, that I think a lot of people might want to order from as well. It’s filled with all my favorite things that I can’t by in a store, like these:

  • Life do-overs
  • The smell of my mother’s garage
  • Knowing how to speak and understand animals in their language
  • The ability to fly
  • One consequence-free bitch slap on the person of my choice
  • Opportunities to suck words back into my head that should never have escaped
  • Time to spend with those who aren’t here anymore
  • Dog kisses
  • An interview with King Arthur
  • The feeling you get when you snuggle with your kids

 

What would your catalog have in it?

 



Did You Find Your Underwear?

Ummm…yeah…that was a question somebody asked me at work.

Lately I’ve had a few cringe-worthy moments, but the worst was a couple of weeks ago in the cube farm as I tried in vain to figure out why the underwear I had ordered from Amazon was apparently in shipping’s no-man’s land.

Wait, you ask… You ordered your underwear from Amazon?

That’s right bitches, I had to order my undies from Amazon because my regular suppliers apparently don’t carry it anymore.  And no, I wasn’t trying to buy any Victoria’s Secret lacy, scratchy-but-so-sexy-he-likes-it-so-I-guess -I’ll-get floss. I just wanted to get my fave jockey string bikinis, a.k.a. my Granny Panties, and Target, Kohls and Macy’s failed me.  I’m now down to 4 pairs, and each one has bare elastic at the waistband (bad enough that it’s actually irritating my skin). Even Daughter #2 recently threw a pair away while I was at work and sent me this text:

So, I finally gave in and ordered them from Amazon.

At my desk.

At work.

Let me tell you, it’s pretty embarrassing when:

  1.  You’re shopping for underwear at work;
  2.  The underwear you’re shopping for is cotton granny panties; and
  3.  Your co-workers happily stop by to chat and gleefully discover what kind of underwear you wear before you can clear your screen.

But that was just the beginning.  After seeing what was on the screen, co-worker Stacie asked, “Do you think maybe they didn’t send it because you’re not an 80-year-old woman?”

After I finally finished trying to justify why I was ordering underwear at work and why I like my comfy cotton Granny Panties instead of something sexier, I placed the order.  Of course, it has to be delivered to the office because Holly, the most expensive “free” dog in the world, has now destroyed over $700 worth of merchandise delivered to our house, including two prom dresses (see previous blog).

The package was due to arrive at the end of June. By the middle of July, no underwear in sight.

Between UPS, Amazon and Jockey, no one seemed able to find it. I had to figure out how to stalk Jockey (the seller), which required asking my cube neighbor Lacy for help. Then Hubby walked up (he works in the same office – no judging, please), followed by another co-worker Stacie, all of whom were very interested in the status of my underwear order.  So, there we were, all staring at the Amazon page displaying my pink and white Granny Panties as we tried to figure out the best way to find the package and get free stuff from Amazon.

Hubby, God Bless that man, didn’t even bother trying to persuade anyone that I wear other underwear (I do on special occasions).

I finally got my panties in a wad (c’mon, you knew I had to go there) and called Jockey, who of course didn’t have any record of receiving the order from Amazon.  So, I called Amazon.  All I can say is thank God it was a girl who answered.  Humiliation is having to clarify what the order was for to someone who clearly had never worn Granny Panties in her whole 20-year-old life; and then have her exclaim, “Oh, well at least the vendor was Jockey and not some random dude.”   Yeah sweetie – that’s where I’d choose to order my underwear from – some “random dude” on the internet.

In the end, I re-ordered, and after 4 weeks, I finally got my undies delivered (right to my desk).  Note the appalled look on the screen saver guy.

Undies1

Helpful Hints in Case This Happens to You:

  1. Don’t Google women’s underwear and think you’re going to not have creepy stuff come up on your screen
  2. Don’t get a dog that eats packages
  3. Don’t Google “missing underwear” – you’ll lose hours of your life reading weird articles
  4. Don’t click on random blog sites when Googling slang for underwear for your blog
  5. Don’t order your underwear at work (it’s frowned upon) – your IT guy might have something cheeky to say to you.

 

 

 



Costco Sells Caskets & Urns

I recently received a text from my friend Kristin late one night that just said Costco sells caskets and urns. Naturally, I had to go look it up, and sure enough they do.

 

costco-funeral

So does Walmart…and Amazon.

Did I miss something? When did the big box stores get involved in the big box business? (Apparently, this business is actually referred to as “Death Care,” the death-sensitive phrase I learned while Googling.) In addition to the assortment of caskets and urns available, Costco also posted a must-read FAQ that informed me about all kinds of death-care rules I knew nothing about. For example, not all states will let you order a casket from somewhere other than a funeral home. Of those that do, you are required to be present when it’s delivered.

coffin1Of course, I toyed with the idea of ordering one the next time Hubby makes me furious and just leaving it on the front porch with Universal Casket Company (Costco’s supplier) emblazoned on the box as a hint/threat. But now that we live in the country, only the coyotes and screech owls would see it, so I’ll just have to go back to regular yelling.

I couldn’t believe how expensive these caskets were, and mind you, these were from Costco and Walmart, so I’m sure they had a tiny markup compared to the markup funeral homes add. So, in search of other options, I Googled alternative ways to be buried.

Wow.

There are more ways to be buried than there are ways to have a baby – and that’s after watching every episode of A Baby Story. Actually, many burial methods are eerily similar to methods of having a baby – standing up; in water; natural (read “green”); and, cut open and filled with chemicals. I guess you really do come full circle, like they say.

I have a weird fear of being cremated. I can’t rationalize it, but the idea of it freaks me out. I much prefer Monty Python’s “Nibble, Nibble, Nibble to Crackle, Crackle, Crackle.”

I’ve also always assumed I would be buried in a plot of land overlooking something meaningful and gorgeous, like Robert Redford’s character in Out of Africa. Since we are running out of planet space and it’s uber-expensive, I started looking for alternative burial options. A few stuck with me, if only because they fell into the OH HELL NO I’M NOT DOING THAT category.resomation

Resomation – in which the remains are dissolved in an alkaline solution, leaving a white powder not unlike ashes from cremation. Or a giant pile of coke.

Freeze Drying – I believe this method is still in development, but the process is similar to resomation, except they use liquid nitrogen. After being exposed to the nitrogen, the remains become super brittle and are shaken into a powder.  I imagine this to be much like the old rock tumblers we used to use to polish rocks. Afterward, fillings and other non-biodegradable parts are sifted out…in keeping with the rock analogy, kind of like panning for gold. No thanks.

ryan-lochteCryogenics – in which the body is frozen until scientists can figure out how to transcend death in the future and bring you back to life. Jurassic Park ring a bell anyone? That went well. What if you are respected now but turn out to be the biggest douche bag in the future (think Walt Disney)? Or worse, what if Ryan Lochte opts for cryogenics and he’s our representative from the 21st century?

My personal favorite is becoming part of an artificial reef. These reefs are being created off-shore using a mixture of cremation remains and whatever else they make artificial reefs with. These eco-friendly reefs are part of the green death care movement, and are increasing fish habitats and scuba diving opportunities, all while resembling the lost city of Atlantis. I like the idea of building something good for the environment out of peoples’ remains. But why stop there? Why not just start making an entire new planet – WAIT!!!! We could call it the Death Star!!

death-star

Too far?

But seriously, for a subject that is so personal and impactful to so many people, both the living and the dead, I find it offensive that we can now buy burial items online the same way we can buy clothes or get a pizza delivery. I understand why people will shop at the box stores for these things – the same reason we buy our food and eBooks there. Prices for caskets and funeral services are ridiculous. In my opinion, there should be limits placed on the costs of caskets, urns, shrouds, and burial options. Alternative burial options should be allowed to be explored and utilized. But the big box stores should stay out of an industry that requires sensitivity and dignity. There are entire industries welcoming the box stores with open arms, but the death care industry shouldn’t be one of them – no bones about it.

 



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.




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