A Sharp Stick In The Eye

Image by SidewaysSarah on Flickr
Image by SidewaysSarah on Flickr
My Dad likens shopping with “a sharp stick in the eye,” yet he’d (willingly?maybe?  through coercion of some sort by my mother? perhaps.) accompany my mother, sister and I on various escapades to the mall as we hopefully searched for the perfect Easter or Christmas dress or school clothes. He’d patiently give a thumbs up on the third one out of the dressing room. No matter, we’d still inevitably hit every store looking for something better only to end up purchasing that third dress from the first store. I laughed the day I found him with a piece of mulch hanging out of his eye from the fake planter behind the bench he’d sat waiting for us on.

At the time, I thought he was joking about his aversion to shopping, but I think not. In fact, I can honestly say, I relate to that “sharp-stick-in-the-eye” syndrome. And, furthermore, although some may consider it un-womanly or possibly un-American to admit, but (deep breath) I hate shopping. I really do. It’s not even the spending of money that I detest. I am far from frugal. I can never remember to take coupons with me and comparison shopping is beyond my expertise. I don’t mind spending money. In fact, as many of those charity telemarketers, know I find it hard to say “no” and am free with giving. So free in fact that I really have no idea where a lot of my money goes, which might explain why I often find myself short of said dinero (but that is another post in and of itself).

I digress. So what is it about shopping I hate so much? I think it is the shopping experience that I detest so much. All those people, for one. I can’t stand crowds. Black Friday is a nightmare, I avoid (I’m more of a Cyber Monday kind of gal). Waiting in lines makes me shutter. Even worse is shopping with my kids. Their whining and begging turn me into a mega-b. By the time we’re back in the car headed home, I don’t even like myself. Add to that most stores have the heat turned way too high. If I have to take off my coat (as my sister lovingly knows), I usually take my patience  off with it and we might as well just go home.

My shopping attitude could be the culprit. Maybe if I had a more positive attitude about the whole experience, I’d like it more. I usually start with a good attitude. In my mind’s eye I can see that sweater or the boots or the running shoes I want. I can picture what I want, I can just never find it or if I do it’s the wrong size or too expensive or the wrong color. I either leave empty-handed or with something almost like what I was looking for and in both cases disappointed.

Thus, I’ve turned most of my shopping needs over to the virtual world. Online shopping is my holiday salvation. I am a proud Amazon Prime member (free two-day shipping!!!) My co-workers know when the smiley-face boxes begin to fill my cubicle the Christmas season has begun. Opening those brown boxes never fails to make me smile!

In most cases, I can get most of what I need online. The pictures and reviews are helpful – and I don’t miss the dressing room. Although, I still can’t always find what I want, the disappointment is less when I don’t actually have to leave my bed to shop. Occasionally, I’m disappointed, but at least my head and feet aren’t throbbing at the end of the day.

Anyone else hate shopping, shopping?  Or is it just me?

Losing it…

a-to-z-letters-lNo, I’m not writing about that “it.” Nor am I writing about losing my mind, although some days I seriously think I may be. Especially those days when my children bicker and argue with each other non-stop. Those days when everyone wants a piece of me and those late, late nights when I can’t fall asleep and my mind won’t stop going, analyzing, second-guessing and what ifing.

No today I’m writing about lost causes. We have many lost causes in our home. For instance, I have laundry baskets and drawers full of socks – mine, the girls’, my husband’s. Socks of all colors and sizes, but none that match. My daughters like to wear mismatched socks. My youngest especially likes mismatches and she could care less if either of them actually match her outfit. I admire her eccentricity. My oldest daughter tells me mismatched socks are “in” and that you can actually buy them that way now. An interesting concept I think – pure genius. A lost-cause mom like me must’ve come with that marketing idea. Although, personally I wish flip-flop weather would get here so we can ditch the socks all together.

Flip-flop weather brings with it sunshine and sunglasses. I don’t know how many pairs I go through in a year, but it’s a lot. Sunglasses seemingly disappear from my car, my purse and my house. I used to by nice ones, but eventually gave up that notion as I’m simply not responsible enough to keep a pair long-term. Now I stock up on the ‘sale’ pairs. In fact I just got a cute pair today at the “Friends & Family 40% Off” sale at Christopher Banks. I’m sure they’ll join the hundreds of other pairs I’ve lost by next week.

Earrings, bobby pins and pony-tail holders join my list of the lost. No matter how many I buy I can never find what I’m looking for in the morning when the bus will be here in less than ten minutes. Where do these things go? Are they hiding with the socks and sunglasses? Or maybe they’re with the library books, drum sticks, homework and gloves my daughters can’t find when the bus will be here in less than five minutes. Maybe they’re with my car keys and the remote control to the TV? I don’t understand why can I lose these items so easily and losing five pounds is so hard?

My family thinks I’m the super-finder. Although, I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because when I actually do lose one pound, five more find their way back to me! Mostly though, I think I’m able to find their stuff because I actually look for them. My girls can look on the table or in the fridge or a drawer and not see what they are looking for. Both of them have excellent vision. I know because they just had their eyes checked. But, still they don’t see. Even when I specifically tell them where to look, inevitably I hear the missing shirt or doll or Nintendo DS is gone forever. Five minutes later I return with the missing treasure right where I said it’d be.

“You know,” I tell them lovingly, “you are not superman. You don’t have x-ray vision. You might actually have to move something or look under something else to find what you are looking for.” I get the eye rolls. “Better yet,” I remind them, “if you’d just put your stuff away when you are done with it, you would know exactly where it is.” More eye rolling.

“Now where are my sunglasses? Has anyone seen my sunglasses? I just had them!” I guess maybe I should take my own advice.

What about you? Do you lose stuff or do you have some great organization tips to share with me?