Tag Archives: shopping

Don’t Let Me Get Me

The title of this post is from a P!nk song and, though I don’t consider myself a fan of her music, I kind of like imagining that she’d be an alter-ego of mine. She knows how to have fun, especially when it appears the planet has you pegged for a freak. I think I can relate.

I have lived 4 decades in what many would call the hardest First World city in which to “make it.” I have pushed forward, or at least sideways, in my career and if I don’t retire til I’m 80, my 401K savings should buy me a couple of years of modestly comfortable living before I’m dead. I am raising fourth generation New Yorkers. They’re little toughies with hearts of gold. Because they take after me.

So why does the world suddenly think I’m a hazard to myself?

As evidenced in this incident:

1. Found myself with 2 hours to myself after a canceled meeting left me in midtown on a slushy Wednesday. I had been putting off replenishing my bra supply since 2008. Being pregnant, breast-feeding for 4 and a half years straight and then being a full-time working parent, I was making due with a collection of stretched-out-too-tight-threadbare-pinned-together underthings more suitable for Frankenstein’s lady monster than for a career gal with ambition and a 401K. So off to Macy’s I went. I guess I looked like I needed the help because the saleswomen waived the 6-garment limit for the dressing room, and I spent the next 90 minutes wriggling in and out of 50 bras. Hated every second of it, but I was on a mission. Found 4 that fit and weren’t too utilitarian looking (I forget that matters, but it does…to me, anyway), plus a few bonus slips because I’m 41 and a half and something tells me I need those now. Nothing was on sale, and I hesitated for maybe a second. Do I comb the racks for another hour, trying to find marked-down bargains that still lifted and separated me in all the right places? I had, in my hot little hands, all I needed for the next 2-3 years (probably more), barring any dramatic changes to my torso.  It wasn’t cheap. But it was finally done. To the cashier!

I wasn’t even out of the store yet when my bank called me. They noticed “suspicious” activity on my credit card. Apparently buying myself underwear is cause for alarm. That I should use my Mastercard for something other than pull-ups or pre-school or Girl Scout dues or pediatrician co-pays makes banks uncomfortable. Guess what, HSBC? Mama’s got a brand new bag of underwires, and they’re legit!

And now, we file this one under: “Zen and the Art of Winter Coat Maintenance.”

2. The zipper on my GOOD winter coat has been sticking, ever since the snow started this winter. I brought it in to the tailor, who was able to zip it, no problem. I try it, no problem. But the problem is there, I swear! When my coat is on, I can’t get the teeth to align and I notice that the bottom is beginning to fray. “No,” the tailor tells me. “You just need to calm down when you zipper.” Sure, I saved at least $20 by the refusal to repair my perfectly good outerwear. I am unable to zip up my coat because I am hysterical.

So there it is. I can’t be trusted to purchase lingerie or zip up my coat. Guess it’s ace bandages and Snuggies for me.

P!nk, I’m with you.


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Ikea Changes You

With Charlotte dropped off at a 7-hour play date (thank you M’s mom!), Scott and I decided to risk all chance of enjoying a Sunday by taking our 3-year-old to Ikea.
Of COURSE one of the 8 million modular pieces for the chest of drawers was out of stock.
So I bought a ton of collapsible mesh cubes and a kitchen timer that apparently Campbell tossed into that parachute of a shopping bag. (Scott and I to each other: “I thought YOU wanted that.”)
We didn’t need light bulbs this time, which is a good thing because I can’t ever seem to buy the right ones. Can we as a nation campaign for more layman-type terms in lightbulb descriptions? R14 means NOTHING to me.
Anyway, Ikea. It’s inevitable. Keep expectations low and be thankful that your kid will never be the only one causing a scene.


How does Ikea affect YOU?



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So I’ve been letting Charlotte have gum.  Sugarless, of course.  But still.  Gum is not necessary.  It’s not a nutrient.  It’s not medicinal.  It doesn’t enhance your appearance.  So here, kid, have a piece.

I chew gum a lot.  Not so much in the presence of my kids, but when I’m on the go, or am trying to neutralize coffee-breath at the office.  My go-to is Trident original (blue package).  But I’ve been dabbling in some of the “dessert” flavors I’m seeing at the impulse-purchase traps, aka supermarket check-outs.  Does it taste like strawberry shortcake or key lime pie?  No.  But the packaging is awesome!

Charlotte is almost 5.  And she’s wised up to consumerism.  She asks for stuff when we go shopping, any kind of shopping.  She bargains for mid-day ice cream.  She hondles for permission to wear my jewelry.  Everything has its price, as far as she’s concerned.  And I just figured, of all the battles, gum was the one I was willing to lose because I was going to anyway.  I mean, isn’t that a rite of passage in elementary school?

I was around her age when I first had gum.  I remember being handed a half a stick of Juicy Fruit (“Ahh, Juicy Fruit…”) by my mother in the elevator of our old building, from which we moved when I was 5.  Ma always had that or Chiclets in her bag.  Never a fan of Chiclets.  How could you be satisfied by chewing gum for, like 10 seconds before the flavor’s gone?

Of course, now that she just started kindergarten, I had to make a big deal about gum not being allowed in school.  “You mean you have to spit it right out as soon as you go in?  Like, ptooey?”  she demonstrates.  “Yes,” I say.  “But do it in the nearest trash can.  And please tell anyone who asks that it doesn’t have sugar.  Please?”

So now I share my gum with Charlotte.  And she wants to learn how to blow a bubble.  How do you even teach someone that?  “You’ll just have to keep practicing,” I tell her.

(By the way, who else was PSYCHED to see Fruit Stripe make a come back a few years ago??)


What questionable habits have YOU proudly passed along to your kids?


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