One year I was a chaperon for my daughter's school trip to the Liberty Science Center. This wasn't the best fit for me, considering I don't know much about science at all. Or Math, or History or, come to think of it - how the hell did I graduate?! Well whatever...of course I had to have a kid in my group that asked a hundred questions about each exhibit. I got by most of the day by reading the plaques that told the purpose of each display but when there was one station - the sedimentary table (or something) which didn't have a plaque - I made something up when he asked me a question. I mean, how hard this could be? It looked like a wooden table with a bunch of rocks, sand and some water. Well or course whatever I said was incorrect and the little shit just had to call me out on it - he was like "Mrs. M, that's not right" and he proceeded to tell me and the kids in our group the correct thing. At that point he had gotten on my nerves; I cut him off mid-sentence and said briskly "Ok so maybe what I said wasn't right, but I'm not here to answer questions, I'm here to make sure you don't get kidnapped or die on this trip". I should have known this would freak out a kid like this and I honestly didn't mean to scare him but I couldn't handle anymore questions!! Feeling bad I told him to stick with me to head to what I proclaimed was the next exhibit - the gift shop!! And I told him I would welcome any question about shopping - and he could bet his ass I'd be right this time.
Sometimes I go shopping. OK, I go shopping a lot. Too much, if you ask Adam. And even if you don’t ask, he’ll gladly tell you that I am “bankrupting” our family. Seeing that he obviously will never understand my actual need to shop for clothes, shoes, accessories, bags – anything that isn't nailed down in one of my favorite stores - I realized I needed a strategy to deal with his complaining and my charging.
So of course I go right to my girlfriends and ask them what tactics they use. And I am not surprised that I am not alone in this situation and they all have creative ways to trick their husbands into thinking that a shopping spree didn't just take place. Some of my faves….
•Use a red pen and draw a line through whatever price is on the tag and then lower it. Even if you leave the tag on, you can say you bought it for a bargain- then hold up the tag with the red discounted slash and say “see!!!”
•Put the purchased items into grocery store bags as if you just went to the food store and then carry them into the house. You should have a few decoy apples or something to make it look legit. What is supposed to be bread in your bag is really a new blouse! Yay for him not caring about what food you buy!
•Say that you bought something for yourself to make yourself feel better so that you were in a good mood for your family because it’s “that time”. Cry and ramble on about a million other things if that further impresses your PMS craziness and you know it sends him running away from you. Discussion, over.
•Order things to your office or a friend’s house. If you are only using your purse or computer bag to smuggle in the goods, and depending on the size of the order, you may have to make a few trips over a few days to bring your new things into their new home.
•If you must use a credit or debt card while at the store, at least pay half of the total in cash so it doesn't seem so bad, if and when he sees the bill. Be sure to throw away the receipt! Cash and charges are each transaction line items and will add up to the actual sale total. (Why are the stores not helping us here?! Tsk!)
•Cry and say that you need new things to make him look good! It’s not easy being a woman….and eye candy too! Geesh!
•Have a secret area in the garage, foyer, bedroom or wherever you first enter your home so that you can stuff the bags in that hidden area and go and retrieve them while he is busy or sleeping.
•Buy a sexy pair of underwear with your total purchase. Lead his mind in another direction. But – be aware – you will need to seal the deal. Don’t leave him hanging…get it done so you can get to hanging up your stuff!
•When he asks if what you are wearing is new – just say “I’ve had this for years!” Have a function or something in mind where you might have worn the item and say it with conviction. Make him feel bad that he didn’t remember how good you looked when you wore it the first time. SMH.
•Tell him a friend gave it to you because she didn’t like it any more, grew out of it - anything that comes to mind depending on what he knows about your friend and what he believes would be the case.
•Buy a little something for him too so you don’t seem so selfish. Present it to him before you start putting away your new pretty things.
•Tell him your mom or dad bought it for you. If you are a total wise-ass and want to have some fun or just to demonstrate that you two could have bigger problems - tell him that your boyfriend did.
Every year, Ella and Vanessa’s elementary school sets up a holiday shop where the kids can go and buy their very own holiday gifts. This year, as in the past, each of them were sent home with an envelope that allowed me to write the names of the people they should buy for and how much to spend for each respective gift. I filled out all of the information on the card for those of us who are at our house on Christmas morning – Adam, my mom, my dad and our dog. I allotted $10 for each person on the list and put $50 in each of the envelopes for my girls. When Adam saw the envelope and money, he turned to me with surprise. “Are you really sending the kids to school with $50 in cash? Each! For school Christmas shopping? What do you think they are selling?” Of course, I told him that I didn’t want them to not have enough money in case they saw something great. He walked away knowing he'd lose this battle. After shopping at school, the girls came home that afternoon with lots of wrapped gifts and put them under the tree. A few days later, I was picking up the kids from school and saw a fellow mom friend in the hall. I knew she often worked the holiday store. Curious I asked her what other kids would bring in to shop. She told me between $5 and $10. Total. I asked in an embarrassed tone, “so it looks like my kids bring the most?” She simply responded “Every year.” Well, how would I know if no one ever told me and my kids don’t come home with much change? What the hell are the doing with the balance? And OK, so maybe I should have questioned how a pen with a rose on it and a #1 Mom key-chain could cost so much.... but who can honestly shop with only $10 anyway? Even I spend at least $50 in the dollar store!
Last year, Adam wanted me to go with him at twelve o’clock on Thanksgiving night to partake in the Black Friday Midnight madness. I honestly couldn’t imagine doing this after sitting by the fire, drinking wine and pigging out on food all day but he was determined to get me to come with him. We left my cousin’s home after family dinner and dropped our kids off at my parent’s house. Being still buzzed, I chatted his ear off the entire ride about everything and nothing. I then stumbled up the stairs, twirled around in my holiday dress and fell onto the bed only to be woken up about two hours later by Adam gently shaking my shoulder. After being pulled from the small food/wine coma I was in, I lifted my head - totally sloth like and disheveled. Adam asked me if I was ready to go. I smiled at him and he jumped back – not only were my teeth practically stained gray from the red wine, my lips were also sucked dry from alcohol dehydration and now bleeding. Yeesh. I would make a fine shopping accomplice. Maybe I’d get good deals out of pity. Wellllll, we would never know….I woke up the next morning still in my party dress, with blood caked to my pillow and red wine soaked lips. OK, so full price holiday shopping from Amazon it is! At least I can drink my wine and shop online – a purple and snarly smile would make no difference at all.
Adam and I are very outgoing people. We could make friends practically anywhere, anytime. So it is not a surprise that after a few beers, we were extra friendly with a new bartender at our local watering hole. After a night of what we think is bonding with her (you know, getting drunk - professing love, finding strange things in common and making future plans for a vacation together that we know we'll never take), we were happy to see her working when we showed up at the bar again the next weekend. Adam pointed over to her and said “I remember her – we did shots together last time.” I smiled saying, “I remember her too. I bought shoes with her!” Which meant that after many drinks, I leaned over the bar, all sloppy and slurry, and asked her opinion about a cool pair of heels from an online shoe boutique. Of course I then proceeded to buy the pair in three colors while in a drunken stupor. Adam just looked at me and said – “you are the only person I know who buys shoes online in a bar, and with the bartender no less.” I opted not to bring up that while I was at the dentist last week, I had the dental assistant help me pick out a few sweaters from Kohl’s online as we waited for the Novocain to take effect.
I bought the cutest dress from Costco recently. When I wore it, I go so many compliments. I thought back to while checking out and I had this lovely article of clothing on the conveyor belt between raw chicken breasts and frozen shrimp. Costco certainly offers a one-stop shopping convenience, but isn't it just a little weird to have to worry that nasty chicken juices would get on my new clothing? Ew, gag, gross. I am certain that I would never have this problem at Macy's!
My mom was looking through my closet for something to borrow for an upcoming party. After remarking that she thinks I dress like a slut, she came upon two of the exact same dresses. She found it hard to understand that I loved the dress so much, I bought it in two different sizes – one for a “fat day” and one for “someday” when I lose weight. (Which is totally aspirational at this point since I cant stop eating at summer BBQs and drinking wine. Bring on the “fat day” wear!)
I ordered a shirt online from a place in China. The site didn't have a size drop down and instead it asked for my measurements. I entered them. I got the shirt. It had seven "X's" before the “L". Only because it was so cute (and I waited almost two months for it!), I pushed aside the thought that if I ever went to China, I would be like Godzilla and just cut that size label out immediately.
Me and the girls pull into the driveway after a day of an unplanned shopping spree. We have many bags with newly purchased goods – clothes, jewelry, shoes....Ella sees Adam's car in driveway and says "uh-oh, dad's home...we should hide these bags in the garage!" Well done my girl, well done.
I have an online shopping addiction. Every day there is a package at my front door. When Adam started to get on my case, not understanding that sometimes it was so much easier to order tampons or mascara to the house versus taking the kids to the store, I started getting my deliveries to work. I loved it when my female colleagues would gather around to watch me open up my packages because I was squealing over something good like clothes or shoes or a new bag. One day when there was a stack five boxes high, someone new to working with me remarked that it felt like Christmas. A co-worker friend retorted that everyday of my life was like Christmas. Happy Everyday!
Collection of comic strips that illustrate the madness of my life - career, marriage, motherhood...me!
Click on any of the categories above or the "previous" link at the end of the page to see some moments that have stripped me of my sanity.