Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

For those of you waiting anxiously for another post about one of my silly grandchildren, this one’s for you!

Of course, it’s about Spencer. Some of you might recall that he’s four years old. He loves to come to see me and he follows me everywhere. He asks a lot of questions, as four year olds do. His older brother, Anderson, is seven and gets tired of having his little brother around all the time so sometimes Spencer needs just a little break from home when his brother is being mean to him or doesn’t want to play with him. Spencer is all action and Anderson is more into playing Minecraft or working on his Legos.

On these mini visits, Spencer comes for just a little while then suddenly wants to go home. That’s usually fine because they live so close to me and I can take him home. Sometimes, it’s not so fine because it’s one thirty in the morning. Yeah, he’s one of those that won’t go to sleep until he’s good and ready. He has a routine on these visits. He comes to shop but we don’t know until he gets here. I think we need to teach him to tell us when he just wants to come shop.

Shopping at Nana’s house goes something like what he did last night: It takes him half an hour to get read to come then we drive over (about two minutes). He walks in the house and the clue that it’s a shopping trip is that he doesn’t immediately take off his shoes and jacket. So he walked in the house, looked around, sat in front of the heater. My heater went out last month and I don’t have the thousands of dollars to replace it so I bought room heaters and the one in the living room is one of those that looks like a fireplace. So Spencer sat in front of it for about two minutes then got up and said, “Nana, I think I’m going to need a little bag.” Bingo! It’s a shopping trip. I had a little shopping bag ready for him because I have learned that the bigger the bag, the more he takes home. He walked around the house (I have to follow so I know what he’s taking) and grabbed candy for him and for his brother and then went to the fridge and asked me to give him the pink milk and the brown milk (Nestle’s strawberry and chocolate individual containers). He went to my craft table and grabbed a color pencil that writes in five or six different marbled colors, a pencil sharpener, and a notepad.

Then he said, “I think I ready to go my house, Nana.” So off we went.  We got in the house and he gets his brother to come see what he got at Nana’s and he dumped the back in the middle of the floor!

Of course, a lot of what he takes with him ends up back here, thankfully. I’ve learned not to argue with him. He has taken things like my scented wax melts, my headphones, my mini voice recorder, and on and on. My daughter usually grabs the stuff when he’s not looking and puts it in another bag and hands it to me the next time I go.

These visits we call “shopping trips.”

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I went to Target tonight. Just me. No Tina. No kids. I was looking for a Lego Minecraft toy that Anderson wants but when we were there yesterday Tina said “no Lego toys until after Christmas” so I couldn’t get it. Instead, I hid it so I could go back and get it today. It wasn’t expensive. It was $14.95. So I went tonight and the toy section had been completely redone because they had a toy sale today and the toy I hid wasn’t there anymore. It had been the only one last night; tonight it just wasn’t there. I’ll have to wait for them to re-stock and/or go to a different Target store.

However, on my Target trip, I got a chance to check out some of the toys. I wanted them. Some for the kids but some for me! Do you ever do that? Go to buy for someone else and end up getting for yourself? I actually didn’t buy anything for myself. I got a few stocking stuffers for the boys and a little music light up toy that clips on to the car seat or highchair or whatever, for Maya. The only thing I got for me was a $3 pair of slippers. I have several pair but I used them non-stop, even to go outdoors and to go to Tina’s and back. With the nerve damage on my foot, I need to have the soft furry stuff to cushion the bottom of my foot or I end up in a lot of pain so I need lots of slippers so that I always have a clean pair. That’s all I got. Not a lot but it was refreshing to go by myself and to actually get something for myself. Yay!

I’m looking forward to this Christmas. I feel like it is a gift. A few months ago we weren’t sure I would have one more Christmas. I do have one more and hopefully many more.

Are YOU looking forward to the holidays? What’s your favorite part?

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It’s the day after the snow day. A lot of people are still home from work and school as the roads are icy. I’m sitting at home, nice and warm. I left the house for about twenty minutes to get some food my daughter picked up for me. Yay for food!

Otherwise, I am looking online for ideas for inexpensive but useful groups for the adults I need to get things for. I also order two things for the youngest grandbaby. I have the kids’ gifts ordered or already in my possession so if I don’t get anything else, that’s fine, I’ve got the babies covered!

I also wrote a new Christmas story. This one is a short flash piece (under 800 words). It’s for a guest blog post later this month. It’s fiction. It feels good to sit and write something new. That’s twice this month, both for other bloggers. I’m going to try to come up with something else later today…maybe for MY blog this time!

Are you finished with your shopping? Who is the most difficult person to get a gift for? I’d love to hear!


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I’m taking a break from posting about Australia today.  Instead you get a list of some of the most annoying and in some cases rude things I have run into while out and about over the last couple of days.

1.  Can we please not blast Christmas carols over the store’s stereo? Can we wait a couple of weeks until after Thanksgiving?  Please?  This has been a problem while out shopping at Old Navy, The Gap, and at a local outlet store mall.  And the music is LOUD.

2.  It seems as though people were either raised in a barn or they have forgotten their manners.  How about a simple “thank you” once in a while?  Today, as I was entering The Gap, I saw a woman pushing a stroller.  I was already two steps in the store with the door closed behind me.  I saw her with the stroller and a little one in her arms.  I went back outside, opened the door and held it open for her until she and her two children (one in arms) and the stroller (the older child was walking) got clear of the door.  I was rewarded with nothing.  Not a thank you.  The woman didn’t even make eye contact with me.  Unfortunately, she’s teaching her children to be just like her.  And my daughter, who is five months pregnant (and yes, she’s showing quite a bit), has had numerous instances of having the door close in her face at stores and at her apartment building when there were people around that could have held the door for an obviously pregnant woman carrying packages and a dripping umbrella.  Where are our manners?

3.  And how much sense does it take to know that when you are shopping with a group of people, you shouldn’t all congregate in one place to discuss the next store you’re going to.  People, you are blocking the aisle, or in some cases the entrance/exit to the store and no one can get around you!  (Think a group of 6 adults standing right inside the door to a store.)

4.  Now this one is just unbelievable to me, especially in this season of H1N1.  Today I visited a number of restrooms (okay we were out about 7 hours and I my bladder doesn’t work so well at my age) and was pretty shocked to see (and in some instances hear) no fewer than 8 people go into a restroom, use it, flush, and then leave the restroom without washing their hands!  I actually got into the habit of looking at their shoes and then avoiding going near them when I was out in the store!

Okay, no more ranting.  Tomorrow more Australia stuff!

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Christmas Shopping

Earlier today I was at Target shopping for my daughter’s gift. She was on the cell with me telling me which set of pots and pans she wants. Not the 12 piece set of T-fal, she wants the 10 piece set because it comes with three pans, not one. No, not the grey one. She wants a set of red. The problem is that the red, as far as I can see, comes in only the 12 piece, not the 10 piece. I even read the list of which pieces come in each set. We didn’t find what she wants and so far, we are holding out for the one she wants but if it gets closer and we don’t find it, she might have to settle for the grey ones.

I thought it was pretty silly to have her on the cell, basically picking out what she wants but at least that way she won’t be disappointed and I won’t feel horrible because I got the wrong set. Then as I was leaving the parking lot, I remembered another era in which the kids picked their own presents!

When my kids were little it was really difficult to go Christmas shopping and even more difficult to go Christmas shopping for their presents. I had them with me round the clock and I didn’t have anyone to watch them so I could go shop. I had to resort to trickery to do their shopping.

My kids have lots and lots of cousins, most of which are in their age range. Many years ago, we used to exchange gifts with all of them. So I would go shopping with my kids and they would end up getting to pick out their own presents! We would be at Toys R Us and I would get a toy I thought one of them would like and ask their opinion as to whether one of their cousins would like it or not. They would go into detail about why or why not it was a good choice for their cousin. We would decide and we would go pay. What they did not know until Christmas day, was that they were actually picking out what they were going to get.

It worked for about three or four years then they got too old to deceive like that! At that point, I would have to wait until their dad could watch them after work. This only worked closer to the holiday when the stores, including Toys R Us, were open until midnight.

We still laugh at the days when they actually got to pick their own presents!

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Did you venture out for Black Friday shopping? If you did, how did you make out?

I used to go out and get in line early, many years ago but I stopped. I think the last time I did it was two years ago but that was such a negative experience that I vowed never to do it again.

First, in my house, there is never any money left at the end of the month so Black Friday is not usually a time when I have extra money to spend, even on bargains. I don’t use credit cards. I pay cash for everything so if I don’t have cash, then I can’t buy. If I do have cash, then something has to be a really, really good deal to lure me in to joining a throng of rude and pushy people.

When I first started going out on Black Friday (which I admit I always forget what Black Friday refers to until about three days before Thanksgiving each year when ads start popping up), it was with my older daughter. We would go to Target early in the morning and wait in the car until we saw people lining up then we’d get in line. The store staff always brought out hot coffee and donuts for us as we waited in line. Those were the days when the stores would give away “goodie bags” with coupons and samples and limited edition items. The store would open and we’d go in, get what we went in for, pay and leave. We’d get home and go back to bed.

Then it changed. Everyone got in on the Black Friday mentality. More and more stores began to open earlier and earlier and they began to compete with each other to lure the customers to their stores. As I see it, the stores got more and more greedy and caused customers to get caught up in the day’s frenzy. Stores stopped giving away treat bags. Gone was the hot coffee as we waited in line. Gone was the friendly staff. It got to be that you had to get in line before midnight if you were going to get any of the limited number of super discounted items. I went along with my daughter, because she didn’t drive and she wanted to go. She always loves being in the hustle and bustle.

Three years ago, we went to Best Buy. Their Black Friday event was very well organized. They had employees come into the line and give out tickets for the items that were limited in supply. So if you didn’t get one of the tickets, you weren’t going to get the item. You knew it a couple of hours before the doors opened. You could leave if you wanted to. Store staff was friendly and very helpful. When the doors opened, they let in only a limited number of customers so no one would get trampled. It was very orderly. It was one of the better Black Friday experiences that I’ve had.

Two years ago, I went to CompUSA. They had advertised an incredibly low priced external hard drive that my son really needed. It was normally over $300 and they had it advertised for $79. They were supposed to give out tickets for the items. They never did. When the doors opened, they didn’t even try to keep people from running and pushing. I got in and headed for the external hard drives. I’m very short. I’m only five feet tall. I couldn’t see past all the computer geek types. Finally, I saw an external hard drive on the bottom shelf. I reached down for it and as I came up with the item in my hand, one of the computer geek guys grabbed it out of my hand and pushed me on the floor. Then the other computer geek type guys started grabbing to take it from him and I literally got trampled and stepped on. No one helped me up. I was absolutely livid. I found my daughter and we paid for the stuff we were getting and I put in a complaint to the manager. He didn’t even try to sound apologetic. I did end up getting an external hard drive for my son. I actually found one at the register that someone had decided not to get. It had more memory and was ten dollars cheaper than the one I was looking for so it turned out okay.

My legs and my chest were bruised for days. I was sore all over. And I was angry. I don’t like being angry, especially during the holiday season.

I swore I’d never go back to another one of those sales again. It is not worth being trampled. It’s not worth the indignity of it all.

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I just posted my Shoe Shopping Adventure in another place and someone left a comment that I should just shop online.

I have done that in the past but only when I am absolutely sure about the item and the size. I hate to pay for shipping and to buy something, pay for shipping, then have to either go through the hassle of returning it or end up keeping something I don’t like or something that doesn’t fit is just not for me. I haven’t had much luck with Internet shopping so for now, I will stick to shopping in person. No more ordering a size Medium for my daughter only to find out that it is too small for even the youngest who wears an extra small. Nope. Not for me.

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One of my favorite bargain stores is Big Lots, formerly Pic N Save. I shopped at Pic N Save since around 1969. They have great stuff and I’ve learned that when I see it, I have to grab it because it won’t be there for long. I’m still kicking myself for not having but a universal cell phone charger that runs on batteries. I saw it early this summer. It was very portable, about the size of a lipstick, and I believe it was around $7. I keep looking for it but they just haven’t had it again. I recently saw one that is not as portable or light weight for a bargain price of $35. Yeah, let me kick myself again! (more…)

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