Self Conscious Shopper

I really don’t mind Christmas Shopping. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either.

Every year, I swear that I will start early and be done before Thanksgiving. I even made a pact with a co-worker this year that we would both start by September first.

Nicely done Jane!

I failed. It’s mid-December and I’m no where near finished shopping. Am I worried? No. Am I stressed? No.

I guess I’ve adopted a laissez faire attitude about it all. Whatever…the gifts I don’t find will magically transform themselves into gift cards (which most people probably prefer anyway!)

My son and I hit the Yankee Candle store last weekend (“buy 2, get 2 free, coupon” in hand, oh yeaah). After intoxicating ourselves with the scents of numerous candles, we debated over our favorites and checked out.

As we left the store, a nicely-dressed man in his twenties, standing in the opening of the adjoining store, handed me a sample of something.

As a long-time frequenter of fairs and carnivals, I’ve mastered the art of ignoring mid-way squawkers.

I half-turned and said, “Thanks,’ as I took the offering.

“Do you even know what I just handed you?” I heard from behind me.

My response: “Nope.”

Enter salesman. Albeit, not a very bright one!

To paraphrase, ‘It’s a wonderful hand lotion,’ dramatic pause…long, look into my eyes…

(ok, not like a Nicholas Sparks, ‘I’ve just met my soul-mate’ kind of look. More like 3.2 seconds)

Anyway, he then asked what kind of eye cream I use.

My answer: “None.”

Seconds later, I’m sitting in his chair and giving my son the, let’s humor him look.

Einstein squeezed lotion on the webbing between his thumb and index finger and started dabbing it under one of my eyes. To my son he says something to the effect of, ‘You will be the judge.’

While massaging the lotion ever so gently beneath my eye (which felt quite nice actually) he explained how this lotion would remove the fine lines and puffiness under my eyes. SCREECH…did you hear the brakes on that sales pitch?

Really dude? Did you just point out my fine lines and puffy eyes and think I was going to bust out my fine credit cards and puffy wallet to buy hundreds of dollars of your product?

As salesman of the year finished his handiwork, he turned me toward my 14 year-old son (who, by the way, wouldn’t compliment Queen Elizabeth under the duress of Scotland Yard guards). He asked him, “What do you think?”

The look on my son’s face became one of my greatest Christmas presents ever! He was completely perplexed as to how to answer without hurting anyone’s feelings. I could see his, and feel my, giggles bubbling.

I bailed him out. I politely thanked the salesman and told him that I was shopping for others but if I ever needed any “product” I would definitely ask for him.

Yeah, that’ll happen.

Lucky for me there was no immediate, dramatic transformation. How awkward would it have been to continue shopping with only one wrinkle-free, luminous eye?!?

Sorry, I do not have a yummy recipe to share with you today, as I spent the rest of the afternoon scanning the myriad facial creams, lotions and potions in an attempt to recapture my youthful radiance.

Lotions and Potions

This may take a while…
JUST CURIOUS: What must haves are on your snowstorm shopping list?
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Tuna Casserole

So the other morning, I heard a preview for the “Live! With Kelly and Michael” show airing later that day.

Apparently they were discussing “Kinky Boots,” a 2013 Tony Award winning musical. To Kelly, Michael posed the question, “How are you going to write a musical about shoes?” Kelly, being Kelly, busted out in song. But, I thought, I don’t know about writing a musical about shoes, but I bet I can blog about them.

Shoes are very important, probably more so that any other article of clothing. They protect us from the elements, they speak of our socioeconomic status and they divulge secrets about our personalities.

From a practical standpoint, I assure you, that if I was dropped into an episode of “Naked and Afraid,” the first thing I’d do is fashion myself some footwear. While I love barefootin’, the jungle, with its creepy crawlies and such is the last place I’d want to be unshod.

In fact, during the five minutes I actually watched of this week’s “Naked and Afraid,” the dude had cut the bottom of his foot and was sporting a nasty infection. Yeah, shoes are good.

Good shoes can make your day. You know you bought a sweet pair when you spend half of your workday looking at your shoes thinking, “Damn, these are cute!”

Bad shoes can ruin your day. Ever try running in bad sneakers…ugh…shin splints. Ever skip food shopping after work because you wore brand new heels and you’d rather starve than limp through the market?

One of my personal goals in life is to be non-judgmental. I am human, and therefore catch myself sometimes, but I then remind myself that there’s always more to the story than I can see.

Nonetheless, I love checking out people’s shoes.

New or old? Is that guy wearing those old, beat up sneakers because he can’t afford a new pair or are those his favorite sneakers from college his wife keeps trying to throw out?

Practical or whimsical? (I love the word whimsical by the way…just sayin)

Does that lady in the loafers rock out stilettos on girls’ night out?

Cowboy or cowgirl boots? There’s a question. If you’re not in Texas or on a farm, wearing them probably makes people speculate. Since I wear them (a lot) I will tell you what they say for me.

  1. I love them. They are quite comfortable and go with jeans or dresses, especially on days I don’t feel like wearing heels. Oh and I really don’t care what people think. 😉
  1. See 1.

Just for the record, yes, there are more important things in life about which to ponder, but pondering these little things takes my mind off of the oddities, atrocities and injustices for a while.

Speaking of atrocities and injustices; the heel of one of my newest, favorite boots cracked. As I’d only had them for two months, I returned them as defective. Of course the store didn’t have my size handy for replacement, but they kindly ordered me a new pair.

The new ones will take one to three weeks to ship! Ugh. I considered keeping the defective boots, but realized a potential three weeks of no boots was better than no boots at all if the heel broke off.

As I left the store empty handed, I felt as those I’d just dropped a puppy off at the pound. As I had received real, bad news earlier in the day, I felt totally justified in some retail therapy.

As soon as I got home, I began my internet search for new boots, thinking I could surely get new boots shipped before my old friends returned.

While intent on my search, I heard my husband’s approach. I nonchalantly minimized my screen and quickly announced, “I’m not shopping for new boots.”

He smiled and turned away saying, “You’re so cute. Honey, if boots make you happy, you should have them.”

Two important things I should add here:

  1. This quote is now part of a permanent record and shall heretofore be referred      to as the “Boot Clause.”
  1. Back off ladies, he’s mine! 😉

In keeping with this blog’s shoe theme, I offer you my Fillet of Sole recipe!

Heehee…Just kidding, I couldn’t resist! But I will share my husband’s favorite tuna casserole recipe.

Ninety percent of the recipes I post will not be complicated. Also, you will probably notice a trend. I like casseroles. They are simple and re-heat well which makes them great for the work week.

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What you need:

1 – 12 oz package of egg noodles

1 – 10 ¾ oz can of cream of chicken soup

1 – 10 ¾ oz can of cream of celery soup

1 – 8 oz bar of creamy Havarti cheese (cubed)

2 – 5 oz cans of solid white Albacore tuna (in water) drained

1 – 8.5 oz can of Lesueur small peas (yes, I’m snobby about my peas)

About a cup of crushed, buttery-style crackers

What you do:

In a large pot, boil pasta according to package directions.

In a smaller pot, combine all other ingredients except the peas and cracker crumbs. Cook on low heat, stirring consistently. Stir in the peas when the mixture is melted and well blended.

The goal is to have the pasta and the cheesy mixture ready at the same time.

Drain the pasta and return it to the large pot. Pour the melted goodness over noodles and mix well. After moving the pasta to a 13 x 9 glass dish, sprinkle crushed crackers over the top.

Mangiare!

P.S. in case you were sitting on the edge of your seat…I did find a new pair of boots; Dingo Hitchhikers in charcoal grey. I can’t wait to see which ones arrive first!

Stay tuned for the follow-up blog: “Shoe-shopping addiction: When to seek help.” 😉