Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Retail Therapy......

I know I missed this class because I seem to be in the minority of the female population that sees shopping as a "git-er-done" chore rather than an all-day, shop-till-you-drop extravaganza.
I'm pretty sure I'd have to take a double dose of anti-histamine to survive a trip to the local mall and you might as well fully sedate me if you want to get me anywhere near Mall of America.

Which is why I am perpetually puzzled by the number of people that come into the modern day retail store where I work and aimlessly meander through the departments for hours at a time.

That's in multiple increments of sixty minutes.  At. A. Time.

After two years working in the Children's Clothing department I started noticing a theme to my evening retail hours.  I wound up spending a majority of my shifts playing "Parent and Family Therapist"  Turns out that sometimes Grandma needs to be gently told to just get what the daughter-in-law said would fit.  Sometimes first time parents need a little help understanding that size 4T is not just for a 4 year old Toddler, and that size 4T and 4 are two different sizes and that you should probably buy that summer outfit on the clearance rack in February in a size larger because kids...grow...

Also turns out that pre-teen girls and moms need some sales-staff intervention at times, and dads need a bit of help buying their socks and ties during the 30 minutes before the Daddy-Daughter dance they have known about for two months.

Sigh.   No wonder I was coming home exhausted.
My manager, noticing my stress level, switched me to the jewelry department to give me a chance to recover.  I thought it would be a breeze playing with the sparkly inventory and un-packing new baubles to put on display......

Nope.  Turns out people need more than just sales help here too.  

Instead of Parent and Family Therapist, I have now switched to "Marriage and Relationship Adviser", in which I gently remind the young men that yes, rings do come in sizes, and yes, your girlfriend will be more likely to wear the ring if it fits.  You may also overhear conversations where I diplomatically remind the husband that fact that the ear rings she wants are more expensive than the vacuum cleaner that is on sale really. doesn't. matter.  It is also possible that you could witness the return of an expensive watch and watch  me talk the husband down from the wall over the frustration that she had bought him a watch for EVERY Father's Day for the last. five.years.

Sigh again.  Still coming home tired.   I need to  go back to school for a Phd in Psychology just to survive Christmas and Valentine's Day.

But, I think I have finally solved the riddle of Retail Therapy.  
They come, not to feel better by buying clothes in the wrong size and color, but to have us barely qualified, barely above minimum wage retail employees walk them through the complexities of life.
Which, in a bizarre way, is oddly rewarding.

But still doesn't convince me that anything longer than 20 minutes of shopping for anything more than groceries is worth my time and stress level.

I would rather spend my time with book-coffee-yarn-therapy.   It's cheaper.

'Cause I didn't miss the class on that :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

....the Iowa Caucus....and Date Night

They have more in common than you might think.....

I like to think of myself as a simple, no-muss, no-fuss female. (Ok dad...stop choking on your coffee.  I am NOT high maintenance!)
A cup of coffee, some chocolate and  a ball game on TV counts as a date night for me.   Throw in a trip to a museum, yarn or book store and I'm set for the year.

I am also a semi-junkie when it comes to politics and current events.   I can frequently be found yelling talking to the radio or television, trying to explain why the newscaster or caller is wrong since they have clearly missed the class on history, government, economics and/or common sense.
My family has learned to ignore me ;)

That's what makes living in Iowa so wonderful for low-maintenance wives like myself. (OK can stop trying to smother your laughter...)   February during an election year is the perfect combination of  news, candidates, political gatherings, call-in radio shows and newspaper Op-Ed pieces.  You can imagine that by now everyone in my house except the dog has tuned out the sound of my voice as this opinionated New Englander debates any and all points being made by any and all sides on any and all issues.  Isn't my husband lucky to have me around?  ;) 

Since he has adopted the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" philosophy of living with my low-maintenance hobbies, (OK kids...thank you for not even trying to pretend to smother your hysterics...) he planned the perfect 14 hour date for his no-fuss wife. 

The Iowa Caucus and Morning Edition.....

Yes folks, nothing says "I love You" more than an evening of gathering in the elementary school gym to listen to your neighbors stand up and explain why you should vote for their chosen candidate.

And then he made the ultimate sacrifice.
He got up at 4 A.M. to take me to a coffee shop where a favorite national morning radio talk show was broadcasting coverage of the Iowa Caucus. 
  4 A.M. folks.   
Then sat with me for FIVE hours while I knit and listened to the radio show production.
Five hours everyone.

                                     That's Buttercup and Wesley true love at its finest.

This can only happen once every 4 years.....this romantic combination of politics, coffee, analysis and True Love. So as a New Englander who got to have an Iowa Caucus Date Night, I would like to offer this piece of advice to those  participating in the New Hampshire Primary today.

Grab your spouse, your ballot and a cup of coffee.  This extravaganza only happens once every four years and you wouldn't want to miss the class on that..... :)