Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Shopping 101

My husband thinks I’m nuts, which is a given, but even more so because of the emotional attachment I have with every single book I read.  Even the not so great ones. But once I start a book, damn it, I have to finish it. Example A. I read several books at a time but there’s always a front-runner and after that book is finished, the cycle starts over again.

Stage 1: Deciding on a book to read. Sounds easy but it’s torture picking one book out of millions. Damn those first world problems.

Stage 2: I finally decide on one but there might be a few more that are in the running. As much as I love real books, I’ve been reading on my kindle more and more. So, I use the “buy now with 1-click” button. And those few other books that sounded good? The “buy now with 1-click” button makes me get those too.

I had more self-control when I would be asked for my credit card but it would be in my purse downstairs and I would be too lazy to get it. Boom, no impulsive shopping for books or anything else for that matter. Now, with that clicky button, I go clicky crazy and have accumulated so many books, I could open my own library.

Stage 3: I seem to start out reading a book and usually think, meh. Because it’s not the last book I read and my head is still in that story.

Stage 4: I cannot put the book down. I don’t want to tear myself away from the characters. My kid needs to be fed, dinner has to be made, and laundry has to finally be folded after spending the past 3 days in the dryer after being dried over and over again with the intention of taking it out but then forgetting about it. But I can’t stop reading!

Stage 5: It never fails that when I’m at a crucial point of a book, my 6 year-old wants to have every single second of my attention. Even if she has a friend over to play with. I’m convinced that kids have an internal radar that pings when you really, really need a little time by yourself. It’s like she knows and thinks “Wait a second! My mom looks like she’s enjoying herself without my company. So, I will bug the shit out of her to make sure she remembers I will never let that happen.”

For that matter, even my husband is that way. The man isn’t much of a talker but when I’ve been having a toddler like tantrum in my mind because I haven’t been able to move along in the current book I’m reading and my daughter is in bed at last, I open up my kindle and my husband seems to have a rare moment when he wants to talk and talk. They know. Oh, yes. They know.

Stage 6: Oh my god. I’m getting close to the end of the book. No! No! No! This can’t be happening. I want to finish but I can’t let these characters go!

Stage 7: I set the book aside for several days because I need time to accept the fact that it will be over soon. Sniff… sniff.

Stage 8: I finish my beloved book and it’s bittersweet. Yay, I’m done but booo, so is the story and characters I’ve been consumed with.

Stage 9: Spend days with a book hangover.

Stage 10: Finally settle on a new book. And get a few more because of that damn “buy now with 1-click” button.

This post was originally featured on Elle Davis’ blog, This Is Mommyhood. Featured image via.

Shopping with your kids can be quite the experience. 

If the thought of lugging your children through Target or Costco sends terrified shivers down your spine, just know you aren’t alone! We totally feel you and can totally relate. Here are 10 GIFs that all moms who have shopped with their kids can relate to.

1. When your kid asks if they can have every toy you pass.

HA, what dream world is this kid living in?

2. When your kid says they want to go home five seconds into shopping.

What a fool!

3. When your kid asks to use the bathroom right as you’re about to check out.

Hold it or lose it, kid.

4. When the tantrums begin in the middle of a crowded aisle.

GOD HELP US.

5. When the cashier says “I can help you over here” and gets you out of a crowded line with your screaming babies.

Praise you, kind cashier person.

6. When your has the nastiest poopy diaper of their life in the candle section of Target.

 

The desecration of the most holy of aisles! The injustice of it all!

7. When the kids knock over an entire ceramic display case at Crate & Barrel.

It just isn’t right.

8. When Starbucks is closed so you have to shop at the mall sans-caffeine.

There is nothing worse than trying to shop with a herd of bratty kids in tow without the sweet elixir of coffee.

9. When the person in front of you changes their mind on paying cash midway through check-out.

REALLY? WHY NOW?

10. When you realize on your way home you forgot two of your bags in the store, and have to turn the caravan around.

Godspeed.

GIFS via 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10. Featured image via

Given the fact that the employees at my local grocery store see me more than my own family does, it’s safe to say that I have quite a bit of experience pushing a full cart around.

While I generally enjoy the experience because a) I love finding and checking things off of a list and b) food, there are a few simple things that would make it better for all those involved:

Thou shall not leave your cart in an empty parking spot.
As I’ve said before, there are two kinds of people in this world: 1) those who return carts to the cart corral and 2) a-holes. Leaving a cart to find it’s own way home often results in the cart camping out in a parking spot someone will inevitably pull halfway into before realizing the cart is there and angrily backing out, pissing off people behind them. The carts have a home. Help them find their home.

Thou shall not walk down the center aisle of the parking lot.
You do not have super-human pedestrian powers that override people in their cars trying to get past or around you. Pick a side—any side—and no one gets hurt.

READ MORE: The 5 Most Annoying Things About The Grocery Store

Thou shall travel up and down the aisle like a civilized person.
Up one side, down the other. If you’re barreling down the middle or the wrong side like a linebacker and clip my cart, I am not above throwing a shoulder. Also, try to refrain from doing a 180 halfway down a jam-packed aisle only to amble along as if you’re taking in the sights of the Louvre. It’s soup. Not the Sistine Chapel.

Thou shall obey the express line rules.
The sign says 15 items or less. It does not say, “Everything you can stick in the small-ass cart you chose instead of regular cart.” That does not refer to the number of item types, but the actual item count. For example, those 75 cans of soup that took you 15 minutes to pick out does not count as a single item. You are not a special snowflake. If everybody ignored this rule, it would just be a regular line.

Thou shalt not decide against the frozen pizza you picked up in the frozen foods section and then place it on the shelf next to the shampoo.
Really? Come on now, people.

READ MORE: 8 Reasons Costco Is Heaven

Thou shall respect the invisible checkout line bubble of personal space.
Regardless of how close you creep up or how many items you throw on the belt, you will be next—after me. If you continue to creep up, I will pretend to go through my coupon keeper for an extraordinary amount of time and chit chat with the cashier…unless you would like to pay for my produce. In that case, you have a deal.

Thou shall treat the cashier with respect.
This means not chatting on your phone while she’s ringing up your groceries or getting ticked when she won’t accept the four expired coupons you thought she’d ignore. If you get caught trying to sneak in an expired coupon, just let it go. It’s 35-cents off of dish soap. You’ll survive.

Thou shall not stop at the exit to go over your receipt.
Once given your receipt and all 300 extra pieces of paper that get pumped out of the printer with it, do not stop and read the receipt like it’s a treasure map. There is nothing on that paper that is that important that you need to throw on the brakes and cause a backup. Move it along.

READ MORE: 9 Items Moms Need An Advanced Degree To Purchase

Thou shall reconsider the self-checkout.
Know your limits. Can you find a bar code on a product? Match the picture of bananas on the screen to the bananas in your cart? Flatten paper money to insert into a slot? If you answered “no” to any of those questions, don’t be a hero. Go through the normal checkout.

Thou shall not stalk for a parking spot.
Finally, do not slowly drive behind me at 5 mph impatiently waiting for my parking spot that is often only two down from another available spot. Unless you’re going to get out and help me unload my groceries into the back, your insistence on sitting there, impatiently revving the engine on your minivan, will force me to do a full vehicle check—interior and exterior—before getting back in and leaving 5 minutes later.

Thank you for shopping with us.

Have a nice day.

This post was originally featured on Abby’s blog, Abby Has Issues. Photo via.

Listening to people talk today, Target seems to be the suburban equivalent of Las Vegas. There are no clocks on the wall, no windows to let you gaze outside and I wouldn’t be surprised if they pump oxygen throughout the store to keep you alert.

I’ve heard it suggested they might as well implement at $25 cover charge, as it seems to be impossible to walk out of the store without spending at least that amount. And as aware as I am of the hypnotizing logo and siren song of sales, I still find myself traveling through the five stages of shopping at Target every freaking time.

Denial

I’ll only go in for one thing. In fact, just to ensure that I make it quick, I’m going to drink at least 24 ounces of tea and water—not Starbucks from the Target location, as that will simply caffeinate my craziness—and “forget” to use the bathroom before leaving. Given my aversion to hovering above public pissers, this is a fool proof plan.

Plus, if I go at a time in which the store is most likely to be full of screaming children who feel they need ALL THE THINGS when in fact they just need a nap, the constant soundtrack of shrieks will serve as a not-so-subliminal reminder that although the appeal of a discounted chevron towel in the SAME EXACT COLORS as my kitchen—only $4!—my greater desire will be to escape from the ear-splitting screams.

Anger

After finding the one thing I went in there for, I come across bright colored melamine plates that would look great stuck in my cupboard for months—only $2!—and a 3-pack of gel fresheners in a variety of seasonal scents—only $2.79!

What the hell, Target? This wasn’t in your ad and I didn’t bring my 75-cent off coupon! I haven’t planned for these additional purchases! Crap. I also have to pee.

Bargaining

Even though I only came in here for one thing, at least I didn’t grab a cart. I WILL NOT GRAB A CART—or as I prefer to call them, “enablers.” Better to carry what I “need” by hand so that I have a palpable feel as to my prospective purchases. If I can’t carry it, I don’t buy it.

Depression

Crap again. I can carry a lot in my arms.

Acceptance

Fine. You win. Where the hell is the wine aisle? I might as well go all-in. A full-bodied red would look lovely in the two new Room Essentials wine glasses I have perched precariously on top of the Nate Berkus towel I found over on clearance. Next time I’ll stick to the plan, but this is simply too good to miss.

Now where are the bathrooms again?

This post was originally featured on Abby’s blog, Abby Has Issues. Photo via.

No matter what your opinion is on shopping, there’s one thing we can all agree on — the parking lot is a paved hell. It should be simple. Park the car, get out of the car, go about your business. But there are always a few who go to the dark side and ruin it for everyone else.

Lust

Lusting after a closer parking spot turns many people into Parking Spot Stalkers so overcome with desire for your spot that they dedicate themselves to claiming it for their own.

While the logic employed by the Parking Spot Stalker makes sense—a closer spot is often more desirable than one farther away— there can be a troubling gray area when it comes to their actions. If it’s dark out and you’re a woman being followed by a car creeping up behind you like Charles Manson in a Volvo, it’s safe to assume they’re not sightseeing and it’s hard not to feel as if you’re about to become a special on Dateline.

And God forbid if you forget where you park and have to cut through across the lane to find your car, as they’ll think it was an intentional move on your part, speed past you with a look of disgust and be forced to park in a spot that’s a full 10 feet farther away.

Envy

When lust gets overtaken by blinding envy, you are presented with the Parking Spot Rusher. This driver is so envious of your spot that they don’t patiently keep a safe distance back, turn on their blinker and wait. No, along with blocking other people from passing, they keep creeping up closer and closer while rolling their eyes and sighing so loudly you can hear it through two layers of car window glass.

This just in: The person in the parking spot cares more about trying to load a week’s worth of groceries into the trunk of their car before trying to strap a tired and cranky kid into a car seat than you finding a suitable spot at that second. Unless you’re going to get out and help them load up the car, just keep a safe distance back.

Gluttony

There are certain people who feel themselves to be above the laws of parking space lines and take up two or three spots. They presumably feel their vehicle is so pristine and important that the thought of the unwashed masses coming near it can’t even be entertained. You’re not a special snowflake. Color inside the lines.

READ MORE: The 10 Commandments of Grocery Shopping

Greed

While envy and lust can cause people to act out in pursuit of a prime parking location, it’s also up to the person who parked there not to let that position of power go to their head. When walking in a parking lot, it’s important to make your intentions clear. If you’re leaving and sense the parking lot stalker, a simple nod at your car will suffice to alert them that yes, you will be leaving.

If you’re going back into the store, shake your head so they can journey down the lot and continue to stalk someone else.

Sloth

The grocery carts have a home. The carts like to go to their home, which is clearly marked and not hidden in some cart corral cave accessible only through a series of security measures and secret handshakes. Moms who have to do their shopping with youngsters in tow get a pass—as long as they make an effort to put the cart where it won’t obstruct someone else’s ability to park—but for everyone else, laziness is no excuse.

A shopping cart left to run amok could possibly cause a great deal of damage and injury, not to mention those abandoned in empty spots will inevitably cause someone to pull halfway in before realizing the cart is there and angrily backing out, pissing off people behind them. Nobody wins.

Wrath

How many times have you been driving through a parking lot when out of nowhere some lunatic comes speeding at you from the opposite direction—ignoring the yellow lines and arrows painted on the ground— and nearly causes a head-on collision?

News flash: Just because you’re pissed your wife sent you back to the store for tampons doesn’t mean the rules of the road don’t exist when a trip to Costco is involved. Follow the yellow brick road, so to speak. The arrows are there for a reason.

Pride

They say pride comes before the fall, and this applies to pedestrians walking down the middle of the lane as if they have super-human pedestrian powers that override people in their cars trying to get past or around them. Pick a side—any side—and no one gets hurt.

This post was originally featured on Abby’s blog, Abby Has Issues

I hate shopping!

It is true. I am not your stereotypical female. I do not like shopping, and never really have.

There are a few exceptions though. I don’t mind grocery stores, garage sales, antique shops, and quirky, fun stores or even tourist trap shops. However, I am not one who can wander around for hours looking at every little thing. I am one who knows at a glance if I like anything. If I don’t, I move on.

Just because I’m not a fan of shopping, though, doesn’t mean I’m not good at it. I am quite good at finding decent deals and saving some money.  After all, years ago I was a department manager at a Macy’s.  I know what to look for now.

I did have hope that having a child would have me enjoy shopping more. What could be more fun than shopping for cute clothes for your adorable little one?  However, I still do not find shopping fun.  In fact, if anything, I find it MORE frustrating and aggravating than ever.  Quite frankly, I often finish shopping for my daughter pissed off.

Several months ago, I vented on the obsession of stores with selling pink and princess stuff for little girls. It is often difficult to escape this retail push to buy everything pink and purple for a baby girl (or even a toddler or a little girl).  Don’t get me wrong, I like pink and purple just fine. Ginny has quite a few things in these colors that I have picked up for her. However, I like the idea of having color variety in her wardrobe.  Ginny looks pretty fabulous in orange, yellow, and red as well as a few non-pink and pastel colors.

When I shop for clothes for Ginny, I look for a variety of colors and styles.  It is kind of amusing that if you buy something in red or blue or even brown, it will have pink or purple on it, somewhere (even though most reds don’t go well with pink or purple).  I can deal with that to a degree. However, I’ve recently hit a wall of frustration in trying to find socks and accessories in colors other than pastels, pinks, or purples. It infuriates me when all I want is a cute barrette or even a pair of cute socks in the color red, but they don’t sell that for girls.  They don’t sell those items in green, blue, orange, or even yellow most of the time.

I spent an afternoon looking for those items in those colors and found nothing on the girls’ clothing side of the aisles. All I could find were pastels and each had a hint of , you guessed it, pink. Grrr!! I eventually found some socks in those colors, but the socks were not cute. They were basic and solid, which is fine, and they were in the boys’ clothing section.  Not one hair accessory was available in those colors though. Not one.

Do store buyers really believe that girls don’t wear colors other than pinks, purples, and pastels?? Do they not realize that other colors exist for girls?  They must not, or they must believe they won’t sell enough. They have gotten so in the habit of only selling those colors they don’t realize the sales are good, not because of the colors, but because the choices are limited.

This post was originally featured on Denise’s blog, Jayhawk Mommy