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Parking Violation June 4, 2010

Posted by Kimmothy in Experience, Life, Shopping, Uncategorized, Walmart.

Scene (Exterior): Target parking lot, the Tuesday after Memorial Day, approximately 11:40am. Our heroine (you know…me…) has just parked her husband’s truck and has begun the short journey into the store, happily anticipating the typical anti-Walmart experience: cleanliness, good lighting, and most of all, the friendly employees who don’t act as though serving their customers is akin to severe pain. But then, from near distance in the peaceful quiet morning comes a loud, croak-like voice.

Toad Lady: “Hey! Hey you, girl with the red hair!”

Me: (At first thinking that can’t be me; I just dyed my hair back to brown)(Then slowly realizing, damn she probably does mean me – the dye job did turn out really shitty) Turning around, she sees the source of the voice and asks “Yes?”

TL: “You need to move your truck up some – I can’t fit into this parking spot.” (She is driving a rolling cliche’, an old, beat-up Honda Accord, circa 1990 or maybe older)

Me: (Quickly scans the parking lot and notices many empty parking spaces, in fact a virtual plethura of choices, but okay) “Ma’am, your car can fit; if you want I’ll guide you in and let you know when to stop.”

TL: “No; I think you need to move your truck.”

Me: (Starting to laugh) “Um…no, I don’t think so. Your car can easily fit into the spot or even better, go park somewhere else.”

TL: “Bitch.” (Proceeds then to pull forward slowly until she lightly taps the hitch on the back bumper)

Me: (Laughing even harder) And in a total assholey condescending tone, “See there; you did it!” (Turns back around and walks into store, muttering to myself)

End scene.


– You know when you have someone acts like an asshole to you and you can’t think of any good comebacks until three days later and then hate yourself ? I think this might be the first time I had the balls to pretty much say exactly what I wanted to say in the moment. High five.

– This is exactly the sort of behavior I expect at my friendly neighborhood Walmart; I’ve never had any unpleasantness at Target. Any Target, anywhere. This is why I sometimes choose Target, even though I know I’m going to end up paying a few dollars more for things like dishwashing soap and cotton balls. Because everyone is happy at Target. Usually.

– This is the South; the part of the country with the reputation for the sweet accents and tea and hospitality. This behavior, while completely understandable somewhere say, like, Brooklyn, is unacceptable here. GODDAMMIT, WHAT HAPPENED TO COMMON COURTESY!?!

– I think that might be the second time in my life someone has called me a bitch. Someone who doesn’t know me that is – haha!

– This was meant in no offense to Hondas or their owners; I think they are a fine company who makes nice vehicles and  I’d love to have a CRV. It just so happened this crazy bitch was driving one.

– This whole ugly incident can be traced back to the fact I still don’t have my car fixed. In fact today marks the six week anniversary of the day it caught a ride home on a tow truck. See how everything goes along smoothly for awhile financially and then one leetle bitty thing happens and we get fucked all over again? It’s SO FUNNY!

– The store didn’t have Brian’s brand of deoderant nor the dog food I usually buy that had been on sale. Normally I appreciate a good irony story. Not this time. 


Bye Buy January 21, 2010

Posted by Kimmothy in Books, Home Life, Money, Shopping, Weather.

We had a bout of ridiculously beautiful weather for the last week or so (sunny, highs in the low 60’s) and it went a long way toward boosting my mood and lifting me out of what I’m guessing is a post-holiday funk. Today it’s back to cold and rainy but that’s not supposed to last and I’m okay with those days as well, as long as there aren’t too many of them in a row. As much as I profess to want to move to the Pacific NW someday, I seriously doubt I’d be good with their weather for very long. It’s been difficult to remain at work during the good weather stretch and I’ve tried to get outside and take as many walks during the day as I could get away with, which on some days was a lot.

Another thing I do to give myself a little lift quite often is buy something. It doesn’t have to be big; it can be as small as a bag of Cracker Jacks or a Cherry Coke. However, we are extremely close to meeting a big financial goal and the closer we get the more excited/anxious I am to pay off the debt. I’ve instituted a self-imposed shopping ban for myself for the next thirty days or so in order to meet the goal as soon as possible. (I’m actually embarrassed to say what the goal is but embarrassment has never stopped me from sharing before, so here it is: we’re finally paying off my ever-aging car, the poor sad Bessie. You may be saying to yourself, But isn’t that an old car, one that should’ve been paid off like two years ago? And my answer to that would be, Don’t ever take finanical advice from me because I’m really, really bad at it.)

Of course normal bills and things like groceries and gas will still be purchased. But once I decided this, which was only three days ago, it has already been dismaying to see how often I get the urge to poop out cash for completely or nearly-completely unnecessary items. Itching to get out of the office? Run to Target during my lunch hour under the guise of “picking up something for the house,” and come home with a new belt or cute new gloves. Standing in line at the grocery check-out? Why not grab the latest issue of Lucky to see what people luckier than me are buying. Feeling that late-afternoon blood sugar drop? Run down the street to the fun convenience store where they know me so well, they let me know when my favorite candy and soda is on sale. Can’t sleep in the middle of the night? Go to Amazon and/or Overstock and take a peek at what books, purses, jewelry, t-shirts, etc. might be on sale. Stop in to say hi to my sister-in-law at her hair salon and go next door to see what new hair product goodies or OPI nail polish might be on clearance.

Oh my God, I suck.

But! That’s all over with for the time being. I may feel the urges still, like any good addict would, but I guess the difference is having the bigger goal within reach. The light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is getting brighter all the time and I’m counting on it to blind me to instant gratification. I’m feeling good and strong.

Even though yesterday I found out the library’s bi-annual book sale is happening this coming Saturday.

God is laughing at me as we speak.

The Politics of Gifting December 11, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Fam Damily, Holidays, Shopping.

The other day Heather Jo and I were discussing gifts as you do, and the topic of re-gifting came up. I know not everyone thinks so but we agreed it’s a good thing. I’m not in the business of trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I am part Jew and if there’s one thing I can’t stand is a mis-appropriated gift. Why should I keep something I (A) Don’t need, (B) Don’t want or (C) Don’t have room for when I can pass it along to someone who (A) Might like it, or (B) Use it for a re-gifting situation of their own. I mean, technically yes – this line of thinking could cause the same fruit cake (do people really still give those?) or bath set to float around the world indefinitely, but is that really so bad? As long as it’s not taking up space in the limited storage spots in my smallish residence, I really don’t care.

I think we started talking about it because I received my first gift in the mail the other day, a set of glasses. There were eight of them, I’m guessing to correspond with the number of reindeer Santa owns, since there was one on each glass. There is nothing bad about these – they came from Pottery Barn. There’s nothing offensive about a drinking glass in general, at least that I know of. But if you could see the cabinet we keep our glasses in, you’d be as confounded as me as to where to put these things. Sure, you could argue, they only really need to be used one month out of the year, so couldn’t you store them in the Christmas bin all year and then make room by clearing out some of those millions of coffee cups for the time being? Yes I guess I could…OR…I could keep them nicely packaged in their fancy Pottery Barn box and re-gift them to someone I know will use them much more than I would. We’re not the Pottery Barn entertaining types. Our house doesn’t match Pottery Barn glasses. But I know a few people whose houses do. Ergo: re-gift and no harm and no foul.

A gift ritual I didn’t grow up with but Brian’s family always does is the large family gift swap. On one hand it’s a good thing because instead of buying for many puzzling, seldom-seen distant relatives, I only have to buy for one. For awhile, one of his girl cousins and I rigged it so we’d get each other every year. That worked out amazingly well, as Ashlyn is in her late 20’s, just like where I still am in most of my tastes. It was easy to pick stuff out for her and also I knew I could count on getting something from the Gap. Unfortunately the family finally figured out what was going on and squashed our brilliant plan. Now the best I can hope to accomplish is pick out an appropriate gift card the recipient will actually use and to receive one in return.

Which brings me to another oft debated gift situation – the gift card! I don’t think I realized until just now how much controversy surrounds gift giving. Personally, I’m very easy to please. I get excited when Brian brings me home an interesting rock or bug. He’s benefitted greatly from this over the years, which has frankly made him a little lazy, but whatever; that’s not the point. The point is, I love a damn gift card. Giving and receiving and seriously, how many things in life can you really say that about? Some people see it as lazy or a lack of imagination; I see it as giving someone the gift of choice and freedom. Which is priceless, even though you actually do have to decide a price to put on it.

And getting one myself? It doesn’t matter if it’s clothing, restaurant, grocery, gas card – I welcome them all. All that possibility and potential! All those decisions: do I space it out over a few visits or do I blow the whole thing at once (too easy but I can’t help it: That’s what she said), going so crazy so as to even have to add some of my own money to cover the final bill? (This will happen with a Barnes & Noble card every single time, no exceptions) For some reason, a gift card excites me more than even good old fashioned U.S. currency. I know what it is. With cash, there’s always the temptation to do something fun-opposite, like deposit it in the checking account and pay a bill. You receive a gift card and that choice is completely taken away. And there aren’t many situations for me where all guilt is removed.

That’s not to say I don’t love love LOVE it when I stumble upon the perfect item for someone. I think that’s the ultimate level in present buying, so exciting because it happens so rarely. One of the (many) reasons I’m looking forward to being off of work the week before Christmas is because I’m planning a couple of very low-key shopping trips for myself. I’m envisioning casually strolling around various shopping villages, plazas and maybe even a mall, cup of steaming coffee in my gloved hand while wearing comfortable clothes and footwear and happily throwing change into the Salvation Army Santas’ buckets while regularly checking items off of my list. Coming home and turning on the twinkly little-white-lit ficus tree, listening to Christmas music while I wrap all my gifts and stick those fun To/From labels on them.

I’m pretty sure I have this same plan every year. Sometimes it even works out. If not, I hope everybody likes their gift cards.

Black (Heart) Friday November 28, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Holidays, Shopping, Walmart.

I’m sitting in here enjoying my usual Saturday morning ritual of drinking coffee and perusing the internet, when Brian brings me an article out of today’s paper. On the front page was a story on the ridiculous behavior of people yesterday during the shopping orgies, complete with a big picture of a crowd of people looking pissed off and miserable.

This particular story reported on the crowds outside a Toys-R-Us located in one of the most clusterfucked areas of town. Apparently the first people in line, a couple who obviously cares very very much about their kids (ages 2 and 3) receiving walking toy horses for Christmas, showed up at 6pm Thanksgiving day. They go on to gush how they SAVED $200, begging the questions what was the original price for something like that and also are you out of your shit-kicking minds? Anycrazy, the article goes on to describe the jostling and shoving, yelling and cursing between the people who showed up to stand in line the night before (in 30-something degree weather, just to paint you the entire picture) and the people who showed up at the last minute and tried to push their way to the front of the line.

I’d venture to guess there are articles very similar to this in newspapers all across the country this morning. God help us all.

I’ll admit to participating in a couple of Black Fridays over the years. Some fond memories that stand out:

– In my early 20’s, a friend and I met each other at a coffee shop at 7am and went on our mission together. Three hours later while waiting in a soul-suckingly long check-out line, she broke out her pill bottle and handed me my first-ever Xanax while dry-swallowing one herself.

– In my later 20’s, another friend and I took a break in shopping midway through the day to eat lunch at a fairly upscale restaurant. Our reasoning was she swore a glass of wine was the key to making it a pleasant and productive day, but unfortunately as these things often do, one glass turned into four and no more shopping was accomplished that day.

– A little over ten years ago, I was living here and a good friend lived three hours away in Georgia. We met in the middle to shop together in Charleston and ended up buying one item apiece because we were too busy being excited to spend time together, sightseeing and eating in one of the prettiest cities in the country to think about shopping.

– Two years ago I didn’t own a digital camera and really, really wanted one. I hadn’t attempted a Black Friday since the last incident mentioned above, so I laughingly told Brian I wasn’t setting the alarm, but if I woke up on my own before 5 a.m. when the sale started at the Walmart across the street, I’d go. I woke up and I swear the clock said 4:59. I put a jacket on over my pajamas, went out into the cold dark morning and upon arrival noted with relief the parking lot didn’t look very full at all. I made a beeline to the electronics department and quickly discovered that all the cars that were in the parking lot, held people who were all also in the electronics department. But the camera I wanted was still in stock by the time I reached the front of the line, and I quickly paid for it and a memory card (also on sale) and was back home taking my first picture (of the dog of course) before 6:00.

Here’s the thing. I don’t have a lot of disposable income and appreciate a good bargain as much as the next Jew person. I understand parents who want to make their kids’ visions of sugarplums and Xboxes come true – my parents did it for us every year, regardless of what the cashflow was at the time. But my hands break out in splotchy hives on a normal day in a Walmart check-out line. The older I get, the less patience I have for crowds, and by less patient I mean slightly homocidal with a side of claustrophobic anxiety attack. Whether I ever become a parent or not, I can’t imagine anything, ANYTHING, that would have the ability to make me wait freezing in a line overnight and perhaps get into a fistfight to save some money on something the child would cease to appreciate after a couple of months (like say, an electronic horse for a 3-year-old?). And as far as gifts for an adult? If I can’t find it on with a fair amount of ease while out on a low-pressure shopping day or on Amazon, Overstock, Ebay or Etsy, you probably ain’t getting it.

Online shopping, people. The internet and also about 360 other days of the year, give or take a few holidays, where stores aren’t teeming with stressed out, psychotic consumers. Look into it.

Reboot November 12, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Shopping, Work.

This week has been kind of an asshole. It has had its moments; I’m just glad it’s almost over. There’s still Friday the 13th to get through tomorrow, but that’s actually always been a lucky day for me. And the good luck even came a little early this time.

I’ve kept pretty quiet at work, which has always been fairly easy. Until recently. Now that I have my two friendly office neighbors, it’s much harder to get away with keeping to myself. I would’ve loved to have worked with my door shut on several occasions this week, but then they’d give me a hard time and have hurt feelings. Why do I care about the feelings of people I barely know? I wish I knew. But I do, so I left my door open and suffered through their jovial interactions and exhausted myself with the effort of faking happy.  

I already described some of the annoying qualities of K, but this week J actually got to me more. She’s a social worker, so of course is very, well, social, and somehow manages to keep the conversation going almost non-stop pretty much All. Day. Long. It doesn’t even really matter if anyone answers her back – she’s one of those who can keep a running dialogue going with herself like a champ. But today was when I realized she posseses a quality I despise in people.  

She’s a one-upper.

It doesn’t matter the topic. You’re sitting there having a perfectly pleasant conversation, maybe sharing something about yourself. Oh yes, she’s done that. She knows exactly what you’re talking about, because the same thing happened to her, only it was a few years before it happened to you. A cool restaurant you like? Oh yes, she’s been there. And personally knows the owner. Or, she knows an even better restaurant, one you should go to this weekend, it’s so great.

She came breezing in after lunch today, excitedly telling us about the best  salon she just discovered. They’re inexpensive, quick, friendly and the location is the most convenient ever. Her nails did look very nice. She told me to go; they weren’t busy today at all. I started to politely protest, saying I do my own nails and that I don’t really like acrylics, but no. I have to try this place. If I don’t want acrylics, I should just get a regular manicure because it would be the best ever. When I declined, she actually told me the next time I wanted to get my hair cut, I should go there. If I had any balls I would’ve asked her if she owned stock in the place, but instead I just told her my sister-in-law works at a salon and cuts my hair for free, TOP THAT, YOU FREAK.

Even with the blustery rainy weather, I knew I had to get out of there. I practically ran out the door, not even sure where I was headed. But an idea quickly formed and I ended up at my favorite consignment shop. 

On my ongoing mental wishlist there’s been a pair of perfect boots I’ve been dreaming about for a long time. Preferably black and knee-high and hopefully leather. Preferably and hopefully very affordable. Also I’ve bought and sold a lot of clothes in this place because the owner is this tough, kind of scary girl who is always hungover and bitchy and full of awesome gossip, mostly about herself. I love her a little bit and knew her surly attitude would be the perfect remedy to all the exhausting perkiness I’d been dealing with.

I was catching up with her, when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted them. If I was starring in my own cheesy chick flick, a dramatic ray of light would’ve burst forth through the clouds and the ceiling of the store and onto the shelf where these boots sat, along with the comedic chorus of angel music.

I didn’t let myself get excited at first, because come on. This stuff doesn’t happen to me. It’s a consignment shop – what are the odds they were my size? And then I saw – size 9. Well, there it was. I wear anything from a 6 to a 7 1/2 in shoes, depending on the brand. But then I rememered something about going up in size when it comes to boots, especially ones that cover the calf. Could it really be?

Yes, it could. I slipped that beautiful buttery badass thing on and suddenly all was right with the world. I stood up and looked at my leg in the mirror, already picturing the outfit I’d build around it. The owner came up behind me and said, “They were made just for you, girl.” I hesitantly turned the other one over, scared to see the price. Eighteen dollars. She saw me do it, and before I could shout out with joy, said, “For you, ten bucks.”

Whomever said shopping is an empty way to fill an void and that material possessions can’t bring true happiness is a moron. Or at least not female. No, my new boots aren’t going to actually solve any problems, mine or others’. But damn if I could wipe the stupid grin off my face all the way back to work.

Until I told the girls what happened.

“Oh wow, that reminds me of this awesome shoe store I go to whenever we’re up in Virginia…”

Long-winded August 10, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Books, Clothes, Home Life, Lists, Reading, Sports, Weather, Whatever.

I have this beastly work project looming over my head, so of course I’ve spent the first hour here at work doing nothing about it. I never used to think of myself as a procrastinator, but damn. I’m blaming it on the fact I barely spent any time online over the weekend, getting it out of my system now and will be a good little worker bee the rest of the day. Yeah.

It actually was a lot better than I expected, the not having a computer thing. Maybe it was just a coincidence (but I doubt it), but since Brian didn’t have the option of playing poker, we got out of the house a whole lot more than we normally do.

Friday night we went on a Barnes & Noble date, something we haven’t done in months. I warned him, “Please let’s not do the usual and spend fifty dollars. We’re saving for a new computer; we can’t spend a bunch of money on books.” He reminded me his dad just sent him a check for exactly fifty dollars for his birthday, but agreed. He was smiling though, so I didn’t believe him. Personally, it’s hard for me to pay full price for books anymore, what with all the cheaper options out there.

It’s true there are certain writers where, when they release something new I’m at the store that day, my twenty-five bucks happily in hand. Augusten Burroughs. Stephen King. Haven Kimmel. But I’ve even re-evaluated that, because MAN did I just get burned. If you were a fan of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood like I was, DO NOT rush to buy Rebecca Wells’ new one. You’re probably thinking, duh, but I’m not as smart as you and was very excited when I bought The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder to take with me on vacay.

Drivel! Utter crap! Horribly predictable plot, ridiculous cheesy dialogue, one-dimensional characters I didn’t give a fart about – were it not for certain similarites like the Louisiana setting, some cajun wording and a strong mother-daughter theme, I’d have never thought the same person could write these two books. I didn’t mean to write a book review, but I will be scarred for a long time from this. Like I said, it’s changed my whole book buying philosophy and tomorrow when Pat Conroy’s South of Broad is released, his first novel in fourteen years, I won’t be flying out to get it. Sad.

Anyway. The total Barnes & Noble bill? $49.15. I was waiting for it and he didn’t disappoint: “See, we didn’t spend fifty dollars!” Okay. Both my books were bargain priced and came to eleven bucks. But if he wanted to justify it by saying it was birthday money, fine.

We were seriously considering making the computer purchase and by Saturday morning had plans to go shopping for it. This past weekend was our state’s sales tax free weekend and we figured what better time to do it. Except for the fact it’s going to put a little dent in our monthly budget. We talked about it for awhile and decided though it is doable without having to resort to eating beans and rice the rest of the month, we decided to wait a little bit. I’m not sure if we’re getting wiser, more careful or what, but I was fine with the decision. In fact, when he suggested we go that evening and watch the football team practice – it’s free and open to the public – I started thinking maybe I’ll keep coming up with excuses not to get the new computer for awhile.

I’m sure they plan the practices for 7:30 p.m. to cut down on heat exhaustion-related incidents for the players because by the time we got there the sun was setting and there was a downright pleasant breeze. It wasn’t exactly a taste of Fall, but there were enough elements around – the color of the sky, the field’s lights, the uniformed players – to make me a little giddy, knowing my favorite season isn’t that far away. I am obsessed with the weather anyway, but at this time of year it gets ridiculous. To the point I wrote my favorite local weatherman (“meteorologist”) a fan email the other day – and was surprised and elated when he wrote a nice letter back to me. Yes. I am queen of the dorks.

So while I’m usually lamenting the weather this time of year, I’ve decided to take a different approach and find things to be thankful for instead – maybe it’ll make the next month go by easier, who knows. Either way, here goes:


1. The parking lot at work only has about four shaded spots and I’m able to get one of them almost every day.

2. Even though it’s going to be 99 (in the shade?) today, two years ago this week we had over ten days in a row when the high’s were over a hundred, one day even reaching 107. Death Valley called that day and said it wanted its weather back.

3. Despite the high’s, in the early mornings and after the sun sets it’s still managing to be low 70’s and the humidity levels have been lower so there are still times it’s nice being outside.

4. There are many things wrong with my car Ol’ Bessie, but her A/C still kicks it old school and runs like a champ. (*KNOCKS WOOD*)

5. Popsicles. I’ve found this new slow melting kind (“Popsicle” brand in your grocer’s freezer) that are awesome.

6. It’s much easier to meet my daily requirement of water intake in weather like this.

7. It’s sort of an unwritten agreement that the dress code at work gets slightly more relaxed. Today for instance, I’m wearing a Target tee, denim skirt and what are essentially glorified flip flops and that’s just dandy. I can remember back in the day when no matter how freaking hot it was I’d be wearing a button down shirt or dress with panty hose. I’m so glad those evil days are gone.

Wow. It’s amazing how much I can ramble on when I’m putting off doing work.

I’ll stop now.

After All, Athletes Are Celebrities Too August 4, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Celebrities, Marriage, Sports, The Man.

This is neither new nor groundbreaking and it’s been going on for most of my life. Well since tweendom at the very least.

I care too much about celebrities.

I know I’m not alone in this because if I were, things like US Weekly, Entertainment Tonight and half the Internet wouldn’t exist. Not that that makes me feel much better, but it always helps a little when you know you’re not alone in your psychosis. Ask anyone in AA; they’ll tell you the same thing.

I feel it’s a fairly unharmful obsession hobby.  Besides an unmailed fan letter to Stephen King in 1985 and getting the balls to stand up and ask Kevin Smith a question at one of his Q & A’s last year, I’ve never attempted to go out of my way to make contact with anyone famous. I’ve stalked, sure, but only in my mind. Well, there was the time Sister and I spent hundreds of dollars on self-addressed stamped envelopes trying to win an All Access Trip to Toyko with Bon Jovi before reading the fine print and finding out Florida residents were not allowed to enter the fucking contest – I’ll see you in Hell, MTV, but even that wasn’t a total waste, as both of us got passports out of the deal and how useful is that? Ah, the early 90’s.

Apparently though, just because I feel this is an innocent pasttime, not everyone around me has always felt the same way. My first serious boyfriend, a tall, skinny, funny-looking-but-nevertheless-cocky dweebhole named George had big problems with my strong feelings toward Michael Jackson and Prince. So much so that I was finally forced to take down my hundreds of pictures and posters that covered my bedroom walls because I was sick of hearing about it all the time. I eventually wised up though and instead of having fights over Eddie Murphy as well, I simply told him my curfew was 1 a.m. on Friday nights and 11:30 p.m. on Saturday nights so I could be home in time to watch SNL every week. My brilliance is really underestimated sometimes.

Brian deals with it really well most of the time. There have been plenty of times when he might be staying up late, sees something about Kid Rock on the channel guide and tapes it for me. Or listens patiently and shares his opinion when I excitedly tell him some dirty gossip about someone famous. He’s really pretty good about it all. Except sometimes. We were having a sort-of-but-not-really argument a few weeks ago when he exclaimed that he wasn’t interested in hearing whatever I was telling him right at that moment. I snippily answered back with, “Well I don’t always care to talk about POLITICS, but I know you care about THAT, so I DO.” And like the always-has-an-answer-for-everything fucker he is, he said, “Well POLITICS, unlike CELEBRITIES, directly affect our lives!” I hate when he does that. And by “that” I mean “is right about something we’re arguing about.”

But. Leave it to Sister to give me the comeback I needed a few weeks too late. We were taking a walk around the hotel the other night, discussing all aspects of life and whatnot. She shares my deep celebrity love and we were talking about it and how our husbands are cool for the most part except when they aren’t. Then she said it. “They can’t really say that much to us about it though, when all this is is our sports!”

Holy hell, did she hit the nail on the head with that one. It’s so true.  They get insane over football, basketball, whateverball and we (for the most part) enthusiastically support them. This is just like that except replace athlete recruiting, scores, stats, plays, records, and weekend-long, non-stop obnoxious announcers (I’m looking at you, Lee Corso) screaming in our living rooms with celebrity overdoses, marriages, divorces, pregnancies and bad plastic surgery.

I can’t believe I’ve never thought of the comparison before. Sister always has been smarter than me, after all.

But I’m SO prepared the next time he has a smartass comment. Because there will be a next time, oh yes there will be. Given that the college football season kicks off (Ha – I bet nobody’s ever used that one before) in a little less than a month, I’m sure the opportunity will present itself soon. Oh, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy some of it too – we live in a big college town smack in the middle of the Southeastern Conference and I work at the same place the Gamecocks call home. I get it and I like it. And I’m very happy for Brian, who every year at this time loses his mind (present year included) and can’t even talk about it without doing a little dance and excitedly pummeling the arm rests of the couch. 

That’s all well and good. But the next time I read him something from Perez, he better at least FAKE some interest and recognize that he likes things as trivial as I do and sometimes life doesn’t always have to be all serious. Is all I’m sayin’.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go pick up this month’s issue of Vanity Fair – Heath Ledger is on the cover.

Customer Service, Where “Service” is Optional July 13, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Experience, Life, Products, Shopping, The Man, Whatever.

Believe it or not, this post has nothing to do with my Walmart. Shocking, I know. But a couple of things happened to me in the last few days I can’t let pass without mention.

Thing the First:

I recently paid for a month of tanning. I’ve found this makes the whole diet/exercise thing much more bearable, as everybody knows tan fat looks MUCH better than white fat. It was my gift to myself for losing the first ten pounds, even though I’ve only lost seven. Believe me, it makes sense in my head. Anyhoo, the tanning salon. I figured there’d be a place close by that gave a discount to students and I was right. What’s that you say, I’m not currently a student? Well that’s technically true, although I am a student of life, but it doesn’t matter because you’d be surprised how often a college employee ID fools people. I’ve worked at a few colleges and this trick almost never fails; the secret is in the small print, always.

The place is in a clean, non-ghetto shopping plaza located conveniently between work and home. I quickly fell into a schedule like I normally do when tanning – stopping in after work on the weekdays and going in as early as possible on Saturday, to avoid the baking-myself-in-the-heat-of-the-day syndrome. I always know to start out slowly – usually eight minutes, increasing by two minutes a day every day until I hit twenty. That may not seem relevant now, but just wait. I got up Saturday morning and headed to the place around 10:00. I was feeling very congratulatory toward myself, getting both the exercise and tanning out of the way before noon. At the front desk, the over-tanned, highlighted and pierced teen asked for my last name, as they do and I told her. Without looking up from her BlackBerry, she said, “Okay, I’ll put you in bed thirteen.” Okie dokie; I started to head to the bed. She said “Oops, wait a minute; something’s not working.” This didn’t alarm me, as I have the feeling she’s easily confused. Then she told me something I’ve never heard in my tanning career.

“I’m sorry – you can’t tan until 2:39 this afternoon.”

Um. What?

“Yeah, it’s because of our 24 hour rule. You tanned yesterday at 4:39, so it won’t let me override the system. I’m sorry.”

Now, I’m no mathlete, but something about that bothered me. I said, “If there’s a 24-hour waiting period, why am I allowed to come back at only 22 hours?”

I swear, I wasn’t trying to confuse the poor girl. She looked at me blankly for a minute and said, “Well, I guess it’s a 22-hour waiting period. Sorry.”

I walked out. I may have cursed a little under my breath. It wasn’t that big of a deal; the place is literally a little over a mile from home. But I started playing the what-if game. What if I’d driven twenty or thirty minutes to get there (And I have driven that far to tan before – don’t judge.) In all my years of fake baking, I’ve never heard of this assinine rule. Sure, I understand they all have the safety features and I know these places only allow one tanning session a day, but how did someone come up with such an arbitrary number like 22? And what if I was a duplicitous tanner and had signed up at three different tanning salons – how would they know? There was one of those small-town myths that went around when I was in high school that some girl went to five different tanning salons the day before prom and fried herself to a crispy death. I don’t know if that’s a true story, but it’s certainly a good cautionary tale. But whatever – it’s called COMMON SENSE, YOU MORONS, AND I DO HAVE SOME.

Thing the Second:  

Brian’s birthday is this Sunday and I was having trouble coming up with ideas for a present. Conveniently, his PlayStation decided to stop working yesterday. Now there’s something you need to understand about his gaming. He does love it, but realizes it’s a hobby that isn’t exactly age-appropriate or useful, so is okay with using game systems and games that are hand-me-downs and/or a few years’ out of date. For instance. NCAA Football 2010 comes out tomorrow, so when that happens, I buy him 2009, because it immediately drops in price when the new one comes out. Same with the system – he’s still using a PS2, (and a refurbed one at that) while the rest of the world laughs at him. But he’s okay with that.

He got excited as I gathered up the game system and three games to trade at Game Stop. I’m not a gamer, but I do enjoy that store and I’ve always managed to get him something he likes for a decent amount of money. Yesterday the place was busier than normal and there were two guys behind the counter. I sidled up to the first one who was available and put the stuff on the counter.

“Hi. I’d like to trade this stuff in and possibly get a new system.”

Dude takes the stuff out of the bag and looks it over.

“I bought that system here at Christmas, but it never really worked right and now it’s not working at all. We only had the one-month warranty on it.”

Dude goes, “I can already tell without checking you aren’t going to get much for this stuff.”

“Okay…but I will get something, right?”

“Yeah. Let me scan it in and I’ll tell you how much.”

“Sounds like a plan.” Call me crazy but I do prefer cold hard facts over a snotty employee’s opinion believe it or not. And what’s with the attitude anyway, buddy? You’re working here on a Sunday and I’m in here spending money. Condescend me, motherfuc…

“Okay, all this stuff would give you a credit of $19.43.”

“Great! That’s more credit than I had a minute ago, right?”

Sarcastic sniffing sound.

“Okay, then. Do you guys have any more refurbed PS2’s?”

“Well, I’m not sure, but I can go in the back and look.”

I stare for a minute. “Could you? That’d be awesome.” Sorry to inconvenience you, good sir. I know I’d be a much more attractive customer if I was spending the $400 on the PS3, but that ain’t me and it never will be. Unless I have a kid. Then, totally.

A minute or so passes by and out he comes with a system. Okay, now we’re getting somewhere.

“I found this one – do you want to know what the price would be with your credit?”

Are you kidding me. “Yes.”

*Punches numbers into computer* “It would come out to thirty-something.”

I sighed. And I seriously said the following: “Okay, I’m sorry to trouble you for one more thing, but can I get NCAA 2009 thrown in there too?”

“2010 comes out Tuesday!”

“I realize that.”

“Wouldn’t you want to get the newest one?”

“No. Every year when the new one comes out I buy the previous year’s.” Why the fuck am I explaining myself to this asshole?

Disdain. “Okay….”

Ringing me up: “Would you like to get the one-year warranty this time? It’s only ten dollars and that way maybe you wouldn’t have to come back for awhile.”

“Ten dollars not to come back in here for at least a year? Now THAT’S gotta be the best deal I’ve gotten all day!”

I don’t think he got it. But I’m glad I said it.

I’m wondering if it means I’m getting old, this complaining about these places and the idiots who work in them.

Don’t answer that.

Scenes from a southern Christmas December 24, 2008

Posted by Kimmothy in Cooking, Holidays, Home Life, Pets, Photoblog, Shopping, The Man.

I haven’t done a photo post in awhile and since I have a ton of stuff to do, what better way to procrastinate than upload a bunch of pictures and write about them? Giddyup!

That was the moon the other night. If I had a better camera, the picture would show the skeletal branches of the hickory tree in our front yard that the moon was peeking through and the creepy slivery clouds scudding by. It felt cold enough to snow and looked like it should snow, but no.

Our annual game of Please Wear The Antlers For One Fucking Second So I Can Take A Picture.

The massive tree in the middle of the Village where we went shopping yesterday. It’s no Rockefeller Center, but it’s not too shabby.

He looks pissed. He wasn’t. I just asked if he had fun shopping with me yesterday and he said “It was the least pain-in-the-ass and most fun Christmas shopping I’ve ever done.”

I TOLD you I had a thing for lamp posts! And ones decorated for Christmas? Be still my heart! One day I hope to own my own.

I’m about to turn all this into a pie. My cousin just freaked out and scolded me for using storebought crusts and I told her to suck it. I’m under enough pressure as it is to make a decent filling – I’m going to attempt my first crust as well? I don’t think so.

Oral fixation tools for quitting the damn cigarettes. Brian suggested one more oral tool I could use anytime I wanted.

SOME people ENJOY wearing antlers, you stupid animal!

This one is similar to the one I used in our Christmas cards this year except a miracle happened and in the good picture, the dog was actually looking at the camera with his head tilted all cute. Which was because of the beeper on the camera’s self timer. Once the excitement of the beeping wore off, the rest of the pictures looked like this.

One last side note: Ten years ago tonight the dude in that picture above asked me to marry him. I said yes. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into that night, but here we are ten years later, still hanging out together and making each other laugh every day. I think it was a good decision.

If I don’t talk with you between now and tomorrow, I hope everybody has an amazing Christmas with tons of love, laughter, food and fun.

I’m dreaming of a smoke-free Christmas December 24, 2008

Posted by Kimmothy in Fam Damily, Holidays, Marriage, Nail Biter, Shopping, The Man.

I’m a notoriously bad secret keeper when it comes to presents. Dating way back to when my dad and I went shopping for my sister’s third birthday and we got home and I first got alone with her and told her, “We had to look so many places to find your doll and her highchair!” I swear. And I was six at the time – old enough to know better but dumb enough to screw it up. And ever since I’ve been ruining surprises everywhere.

This morning I was on the phone with my sister, oddly enough since I just used her as a plot device in the above paragraph, and I was excitedly shout-whispering to her about scoring Brian’s Playstation and game yesterday. He was still in bed and I was mostly at the other end of the house in the bathroom that is loud because the fan comes on automatically when the light is on. (How do you fix that, by the way? You don’t need a fan when all you’re doing is peeing.) A few minutes later we got off the phone and he got out of bed, jumped in the shower and joined me in the living room for some coffee. The first thing he said was, “You know, I wasn’t asleep when you were on the phone with your sister just now. I tried not to listen, but I heard some of it.”

Damn him. Damn him, his bionic hearing and his honesty. He should’ve just kept that shit to himself and pretended like every other fucking person does on Christmas! Oh yes, you know it. There will come a time in the next couple of days when you are pretending to either be surprised or delighted or suprised and delighted and there’s not a damn thing you can say to change my mind. I have my Christmas opening gift act down to such an exact science, I should have won some kind of award already. Which would probably be made of brass and I’d have to pretend to love it.

My way of dealing with this ruination of things was to inform him I’d be going shopping with him today for my presents. Since he already knew what his big one was and I’ve given him explicit instructions on what I want my Fossil watch to look like, all the more easier to make me happy and he agreed. That, and a new Messenger or large Satchel-like purse is all I wanted and I have to say this plan worked so well we may have to employ it from now on. We went to the Village of Shopping Ecstacy, where all the good stores are together but not in mall form, but instead interspersed with landscaping, restaurants, fountains and lamp posts. I love lamp posts. I took a picture of one today. We walked around together for a little while with me showing him the types of watches and bags I preferred and then we split up for awhile so he could make the final decision on his own. We met up together at Books A Million, where we each picked out a book as well, because it’s Christmas and well, it’s us. And that is what I’d call a successful husband-wife shopping outing.

We may not be surprised when we exchange gifts tomorrow, but we will both be happy and isn’t that the ultimate goal?

We’ll be staying with Mom & George tomorrow night so we can get up bright and early to open gifts (I hope I won’t have to do too much pretending) and then it’s on to Aunt Shirley & Uncle Billy’s for the large family eatathon. And tomorrow two very big things are going to happen.

Thing the one: I will attempt to make my first apple pie from scratch. George is ridiculously hard to buy for and Iris suggested we just get him a can of mixed nuts or something. Uh, no. I know apple pie is his fave and I think he’d be very pleased and surprised to get this from me. Or else he’ll pretend really well.

Thing the second: Tomorrow as we leave to go to their house, I’ll be hopefully smoking my last cigarette ever. It’s long overdue, it’s necessary for some goals I’m working really hard to achieve and it’s enough already. I’m already armed with a bottle of Wellbutrin, Jolly Ranchers, Now and Later’s and three different kinds of gum, so I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. I’m not waiting until New Year’s Eve like I thought I was going to. It’s more than a resolution. And since I don’t smoke around his parents anyway, what better time.

Should make for a very interesting holiday.