Chaos Attraction

The Sport Of Post-Holiday Shopping

2003-12-28, 11:12 p.m.

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(Posted early because I don't think I'll get on the computer again before I leave here and won't get home till late.)

So, the last few days we've spent doing post-Christmas bargain discount shopping. It's a fine holiday sport, if one has holiday money/any money left to spend on it. Whee!

Friday was Official Take-Back-Whatever-Didn't-Fit Day in Tracy. Mom was feeling some kind of major guilt for not getting Dad and me more presents (note: she is a shopaholic), so we both got some clothes after all the exchanging was done. I got some skirts and a dress-type outfit, and a holiday sweater with reindeer on it for next year. After hitting the outlets, we went to the mall, where we spent an interminable length of time in the men's department.

I have two major pet peeves when it comes to shopping, and I ran into both of them this night:

(a) Salespeople who very clearly have NOTHING ELSE TO DO and are DYING TO HELP YOU. These are the people who ask you the second you walk into the store if you need help, and kinda subtly hang around you stalking you as you shop. I don't like to engage salespeople in assisting me unless I know that I am definitely going to buy something from them, so it drives me batshit to be asked if I need help when I haven't even seen what the hell I might get yet. Sometimes this will drive me out of a store entirely.

(b) Shopping for men's clothing. Honestly, men's clothing is either (a) boring, or (b) ugly. They deliberately dress to blend in with every other guy. I find being a girl frustrating, but at least I can wear a color that isn't tan or dark colors or that absolutely vomitous gray-green-yellow shade known as puke green. Apparently puke green is super-popular among those with penii.

Shopping for furniture and even Tupperware is usually more interesting than your average men's department, and my feelings about the men's department usually are why I'm totally cool with guys finding something else to do while I shop for clothes. I don't know how I manage to find the occasional guy who actually WANTS to hang around while I buy clothes, incidentally.

I was going out of my gourd waiting around while Mom and Dad compared boring sweaters to boring sweaters, and every time I wandered across the aisle to the jewelry I got yelled at to come back and help. If I hadn't been compelled to be there I would have fled. Eventually they let me go, and I spent a happy hour or two spending the Barnes and Noble gift certificate I'd gotten. Tons of books. Whee!

On Friday, we went to the movies (more on that later), and then I hit the nearest closing Zany Brainy. Such a shame they're going out of business, I loved that store. There were certain things there I'd been eyeing for a long time, but didn't get because it seemed too expensive. Well, this time I had myself some fun with their 40% off, and got several bead sets, some rocks for wrapping, and uh... this. Yes, I know it's SILLY as all hell, and I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but I always wondered what ello was and now I can find out! I'd never seen them offered anywhere else, so... whee!

Mom wanted to go buy Dad MORE stuff in the mall, so I took off for an hour and found a bunch of cheap calendars in the calendar store. One on rainbows, one on Las Vegas (hell, I'm going to cut them all up anyway, eh?) and one on Michael Whelan for Dave. Then the parents went off to use up their loads of Mrs. Fields cookie gift certificates (which is what they got from the PITAS last year!), and then there was a tedious argument where Dad insisted that he'd seen one of the counter girls sneezing and she didn't wash her hands afterwards and he didn't want to get any cookies now. Well, they had gloves on, and there weren't any sinks there, I said. Mom said that didn't make a difference and there should be a sink there somewhere. I said uh, it's a kiosk, I don't think so, and they're too busy for anyone to run out and wash their hands, and besides, Mrs. Fields' cookies always taste kinda crappy to me, so does it really matter if we don't get any? They ended up getting some. Whatever...

After that we hit Costco because of another gift takeback, plus I wanted to see if any Joss Whedon DVD's were around on sale. (In Barnes and Noble they were running $50 for Firefly and $60 for Buffy/Angel. Crazy!) We did find Season 5 on sale there, so Mom agreed to get me that one in exchange for the takeback gift. (I had been kinda disappointed I got no Buffy stuff this year, but am way too polite to say it to her, so this made up for it :) Sadly, it turns out Costco does not carry Firefly, waaaah!, but Mom could probably order season 4 for me.

Another odd thing: I was waiting and waiting and waiting for the parents to get done in the books sections and wandered off with the big cart towards the computer stuff section. Incidentally, I swear to God I drive a shopping cart like I'm in a sensory deprivation tank- I have no idea where I'm going, how to judge my distance with a cart attached, or how not to hit people, places and things with the giant cart o' doom. Anyway, I'm bored and flipping through the boxes when I find one lone, very battered copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements.

I haven't had a graphics program since I lost the big computer, nor have I had the resources to buy another one, they all cost a fuckload. And really, I do need one so at the very least I can edit my damn photos for the webpages. I checked out this copy. No price on it whatsoever, and the box had been opened, but the contents seemed to be intact. Mom came up on me and asked what this was, and I explained. She said, "Why don't you ask someone for help?" That was superproductive- "I have no idea, man, it's the last one. Go bring it up to the front counter and ask them how much." Frankly, I wanted to know BEFORE we were ready to buy, thanks.

I knew it had to cost a fuckload, since it was Adobe and I don't think I've seen any graphics programs below $150 in any stores in the last year. I told Mom not to worry about it, I was just curious how much it would cost here. She stuck it in the cart anyway and asked me how much I'd be willing to pay. "Nothing it would reasonably cost..."

When we got to the front, the verdict was $80. I immediately said, "Forget it." She bought it anyway. (Though this may be because it had a $30 rebate.)

She asked me later tonight how much money she owed me for Christmas presents (beaded necklaces and the pants she had me buy because she couldn't figure out how to make an order online), and I said "After buying me that? All is forgiven! No worries!"

I am quite impressed with my mom at times.

More later...

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