T-to-the-A

Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

What are all these people doing here?

In The Daily Drool on March 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm

A long time ago, I began working in the food service industry.  I usually worked weekends, because that’s when you make the dolla-dolla bills, and I got fairly used to surrendering those weekending days for the greater good of my bank account.  As a result, my then-burgeoning hermit-self got used to running errands during the week, when all the “regualars” were managing their 9-5’s.

It was bliss.

Gone were the annoying crowds doing battle for broccoli… here was a land open to me and the few other’s who had discovered the joy of a mid-week shopping spree.

It’s a lesson I learned well, and a schedule that I adhere to, to this day.  (It helps that I’ve been in school forever, waiting tables forever, and now am an unemployed writer with wacko writer hours.)

But occasionally I head out at noon on a Wednesday and am completely assaulted by CROWDS of poeple at the supermarket, or the mall, or at the Wherever, and I find myself thinking Where the hell did all these people come from!? with mounting irritation. Don’t they know this is MY Ralph’s?  Don’t they have jobs?  What is the world coming too when Best Buy is busting at the seams at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday?!

You see, the world is my oyster during the week, and everyone else’s on Sat/Sun.

Ahh, another angle on the “Stuff” dilemma…

In The Daily Drool on October 21, 2009 at 10:35 am

Maybe some of you remember my short rant on the pressure of all the “Stuff” in my life… the feeling that it’s beginning to own me and eliciting a raging need to get rid of it.  To be free.  (followed up by the nagging voice “But, you won’t you just get new stuff once the old is gone?”

Then a friend posted this on Facebook. And it like, really clicked with me.  Because although the bent here is sustainability, it’s sustainability born of the realization that we are RULED by our need to consume STUFF.  Please check it out- even if you don’t really suffer from an overabundance of stuff, the points here are really interesting.  It’s about 20 minutes long, just FYI, but there are illustrations 🙂  http://www.storyofstuff.com/

And after you’ve watched it, ask yourself if maybe this “Economic Crisis” isn’t a good thing in that it’s forcing consumers to slow down a bit… to make better decisions about the things they need vs. those they want and the crap they pick up just to fill in the empty spaces.  I’ve been out of work and on “Rainy Day” budgeting for the past THREE MONTHS.  Although I’ve splurged on he occasional fairly frequent steak here and there, and the occasional visit to the Chiropractor, I haven’t really bought any new things… the treats I’ve been allowing myself have generally been less material in nature.  And I’m actually quite fine with that.  It’s not the “Oh my God, I can’t buy the new gadget!” that’s driving me crazy, but the not being able to pay my bills.  (Although I admit an affinity for new clothes like any other hot blooded female… and anything electronic and techie…  BUT I also know I usually don’t NEED spankin’ new bells and whistles)

Which makes me look back at my “Comfortable” college days (A paycheck and Sallie Mae cocktail of illusion) where I pretty much didn’t go crazy, but wasn’t the most discerning of shoppers either, and shake my head.

Sooooo, all of this to say, maybe it is time we look at our habits and actually change the way we think about life – to change our philosophies from “Living to Buy” to  “Buying to Live.”

The Media, my GOD the Media!

In The Daily Drool on October 8, 2009 at 8:20 am

Read this article and I promise it will incite in you a swelling of indignation.  If it doesn’t, you are a robot.

It’s not just that I care so very much that they airbrushed this model to skeletal proportions, but that they have the audacity to defend that decision against those who would point out it’s tremendous shortcomings.  What message were they hoping to convey by running this photo?  And what message are they sending now with that (ludicrous and egocentric) attitude?

If you want to keep the ire burning, click this link for the article about Self Magazine’s Kelly Clarkson cover where  two female editors defend their OBSCENE decision to replace her curvy figure with one that better suited their idea of “beauty.”   Seriously, I want to throw these women back in the oven cuz I don’t think they came out done.  They’re like, still doughy, and full of salmonella and shit.

All of this to say that the idiots at the top who are telling you what to wear are about as insecure as they come.  Do yourself a favor- look for strong female role models in the world around YOU.  And avoid the 2-dimensional kind – they’re just for decoration.

$9.99

In The Daily Drool on July 25, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Ahh, the genius bug… not all of us have it.

I was out doing some light shopping today when I overheard Poor, Mathmatically Challenged Girl talking to Disbelieving Manager and Appalled Customer.  Allow me to transcribe…

POOR, MATHEMATICALLY CHALLENGED GIRL (PMCG for short) : She says they’re on sale.

DISBELIEVING MANAGER: Yes.

PMCG: But it’s not ringing up.

APALLED CUSTOMER: They’re 50% off.

PMCG: So it’s $10?

MANAGER: Well, let’s see… It’s regularly $19.98, so that’s… $9.99, right?

CUSTOMER: Yes.     PMCG: No

Manager stares.

CUSTOMER: Yes.

PMCG: But it’s $19.98.

MANAGER: Yes.

PMCG: So that’s about $20.  So half of 20 is 10.

Manager and Customer look at one another in shock and disbelief.  Manager makes an embarassed chuckle, addresses PMCG.

MANAGER: half of $19.98 is $9.99.

PMCG: Alright, well then you ring it up, because I don’t think that’s right.

PMCG steps aside, arms folded and face stern.  Manager looks towards the heavens, thinking “Why me?”

Seriously folks, these people are out there – ringing up your purchases, sticking gum under theater seats, watching reality T.V…

It’s a mad, mad world – Just do the math.

Evil Grocer Bandits Vs. the Little Leather Pocketbook

In Essays, The Daily Drool on July 10, 2009 at 7:44 am

I’ve not been paying all that much attention to the news lately… perhaps it’s because it has all been so awful.  So when my grocery bill kind of took my socks off this week, I set to scanning it with fervor – and guess how surprised I was to see that our sales tax had gone UP!  I am now paying nearly 10 cents to the dollar on every CA purchase!  OUCH!

But that’s not all I realized… the price of the taxable groceries have gone up too.  Way up.  What’s even more appalling is that the crafty price gougers at Ralph’s have gone about it with such deceit!  You see, they raise the price of your favorite orange juice from $3.69 to $4.29, then they attach one of those little “Ralph’s Club member price” tags to the case screaming out the new bargain price of $3.69.  You toss a carton in your basket, not realizing that the new “sale” price is the old regular price, and that the only one doing any saving is Mr. Ralph himself.

And you get angry.

Your grocery bill is higher, your taxes are higher… gas is outrageous!   And you start to wonder how evil McDonald’s really is if they’re the only deal left in town.   I mean, selling double cheeseburgers for a buck!  That’s a downward-spiraling-economy’s golden ticket.

But in all honesty, just what the $$$ is going on?

At one of my waitressing jobs, I remember very distinctly the owner coming in with new menus, having just raised all the prices.  When I asked what to tell our customers when they asked why the raise in prices, he told me (with a very straight face) that the Iraq war was to blame.  I guffawed (because I do that when handed a plate of grade A bullshit) and told him that I seriously doubted customers were going to believe that tensions overseas were causing a price jump in lettuce.

But they did.

And he kept raising those prices as a result.

Because what happened is that the people transporting the lettuce were paying out the ass in gas – it was cutting into their profits.  So they raised their prices to transport, which in turn cut into the lettuce growers profits, so they raised the price of the lettuce, which led my employer to raise the price of his salads… which led some of our customers to stay home for lunch where they could make their own damn salad.

And I just can’t help but wonder when it is all going to end?  Will it take till consumers have nothing left to give?  Who is winning here?  Are the people at the top taking any cuts, or are they just bleeding us all dry in order to keep their own busting bank accounts full?   I hear about CEO’s loosing their multi-million dollar bonuses, but when will any of it help US out?

I just have to wonder, with everyone passing the buck, how are we ever going to settle this disastrous bill?

Retail Therapy

In Essays, The Daily Drool on May 16, 2009 at 10:46 am

I’m sure I’ve spoken of this before… but there is something quite soothing, in the midst of a crisis, to buying yourself a new pair of shoes, or a shiny new handbag.  I can’t explain it, it’s almost like rewarding yourself for the trial of going through whatever it is you are going through.

Well, I went to Sam’s club while I was home, my intention to buy a jumbo sized box of garbage bags and some jumbo reusable bags for my groceries (since it’s so much easier to reuse bags and it’s better for the environment.  And you can fit more into them, making for fewer hikes between car and apartment)  So there I am, amidst the aisles and aisles, the towering aisles, just mesmerized by all of the stuff.  

And I start thinking about how easy it is to spend money on giant cartons of binder clips and brads… that the excitement over the price of a jumbosized box of Tide isn’t practical, but there it is anyway, rumbling inside my chest “Wow!  Only $10.99?”  I mean, I’ve got cookie pans in my cart and I only make cookies at Christmas time…  and then it hit me, I was retail-therapy-ing myself at SAM’S CLUB!   Which I then decided was maybe better than going to the mall and buying more shoes, because at least I will make good use out of that giant box of detergent.  And the binder clips.

But I put the cookie pans back.