Friday, November 24, 2006

How To Drop 500 Clams in One Day

The car, the furniture, the wife, the children - everything has to
be disposable. Because you see the main thing today is - shopping.

- Arthur Miller
I didn't mean to do it, I swear I didn' just sort of, you know, happened that I managed to, er, uhm, spend $500 bucks today. ;) Oops. I guess it is time to put my credit card in the freezer.

I mean, how predictable can you get? Spending 1/2 of a thousand dollars on the same day that everyone else is out dropping money!? I feel like such a sheep, and worse still, a $$ hungry-sheep. Ick.

In my defense, I didn't set out to spend all this money AND I swear to God, I didn't know today was some crazy shop-til-you-drop-discount-day. I know, I know, what sort of an idiot raised in a cave would not know this!? To explain how I got to be 33 yrs old and so entirely clueless, please take into consideration the fact that my boho hippie mother NEVER went shopping for new crap when we growing up (she still doesn't) so these sort of shopping holidays hold no meaning for me. So that explains why I am 33 yrs old and totally clueless, at least partially.
The odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread
and coming out with ONLY a loaf of bread are three
billion to one.

- Erma Bombeck
Still, I should have had enough sense to know NOT to go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. I mean, duh. But silly me, I figured all those lines of cars coming out of the mall parking lot were just an odd coincidence. Little did I know, today was BLACK FRIDAY - sounds positively frightful! Damn it, if I had known about this crazy day from hell, I would have totally been a non-consumer supporter of the Buy Nothing Day which is way more up my alley anyhow.

Since Thanksgiving has always had an emphasis on friends, family and community, while the day after Thanksgiving has more recently had an emphasis on consumerism and shopping, "Buy Nothing Day" may be seen by some protesters as a way of reclaiming the 'original meaning' of Thanksgiving: encouraging friends and family to socialize instead of encouraging individual income-earners to spend their money. - Wikipedia

It started innocently enough. I went to get my hair cut and the girl was so nice and did such an amazing job (oh the joy of having your scalp massaged - take note gents, this is a sure fire way to any girls' heart) that I somehow got hornswaggled into buying a fancy hair straightener (I can't help it, curly-haired girls like me find smooth, straight hair to be such a decadent luxury!) and a crapload of expensive hair care products that will supposedly make my hair smooth and shiny (yeah right).

See, in order to explain HOW I managed to drop $200 on hair care products (I am all about the lengthy explanations/justifications today - battling massive consumer guilt here), I will have to tell you more about my hair. Yes, that's right, my hair (now is when any sane person would stop reading this worthless, self-centered blog).

The thing about my hair is, it is a curly mess. It would turn into dreadlocks if left to its own devices. And when you brush it, my hair transforms into a dust cloud mess. So long ago, I gave up on shelling out big bucks for hair care products or even taking time to do stuff to it cause, you know, I just figured it was what it was.

But now I am actually gonna try to be proactive cause I DO so love having straight, smooth, movie star hair and THAT is all I will say about hair as this has already gone on far too long. And now, a word from Tammy Faye to cleanse the pallet:

I take Him shopping with me. I say, OK, Jesus,
help me find a bargain

- Tammy Faye Bakker
Consider monkeys exchanging favors -- say pieces of fruit for back scratches. Mutual grooming can remove ticks and fleas that an individual can't see or reach. But just how much grooming versus how many pieces of fruit constitutes a reciprocation that both sides will consider to be "fair", or in other words not a defection? Is twenty minutes of backscratching worth one piece of fruit or two? And how big a piece? ...

If clams can be money, furs can be money, gold can be money, and so on -- if money is not just coins or notes issued by a government under legal tender laws, but rather can be wide variety of objects -- then just what is money anyway? And why did humans, often living on the brink of starvation, spend so much time making and enjoying those necklaces when they could have been doing more hunting and gathering? -excerpted from Shelling Out - The Origins of Money, Nick Szabo

After the hair straightening fun, I took my new flat hair to the mall to buy new glasses and was immediately put off by the crazy lines, crowds and screaming infants. Yipes, serves me right for knowing next to nothing about shopping holidays.

The weary zombies masquerading as clerks told me that people lined up outside the mall at 5:30AM to be first in line for the on sale goodies.

Call me mad but, what difference does it make if you buy some comforter today instead of some other day? $20? Is this $20 really worth all the crazy parking hijinx, walking at a snail's pace behind mobs of people and waiting in awful lines to check out? But what do I know? Needless to say, I won't be buying much at the mall these holidays. It is not that I am mall snob or anything like that, it is just not my scene.
Money can't buy you happiness, but it does bring
you a more pleasant form of misery.

- Spike Milligan
As usual, I got pulled into the tractor beam of the Bon Ton teen department (this place always gets me with its sales) and against my better judgement got some striped t-shirts for $5 bucks each. I can't resist a bargain and I can't resist long striped, soft tees.

It is a character defect, I know. But I get paid back in spades when all the real teens shopping with their parents (who are my age) wonder out loud, "What the hell is that old lady shopping in the teen department for?" Ah well.

Next thing you know, I am trying on multiple glasses frames and agonizing over the fact that my face is shaped like a plate. Jesus, how can you dress up a plate with glasses? Granted, it is nice to obscure my shiny, red skin with an object of some sort but none of them seemed to fit just right. After trying on every chunky frame in the place, I decided on a purple/orange pair of long rectangular frames.

Yes, I know, I am already verging on kooky-old-spinster-arty-lady-wearing-colorful-glasses, owning lots of cats and shopping at the teen department territory as is but, you gotta work with what you know. And besides, once I re-dye my hair cherry black, I think the purple frames will fit right in. And since I am blind as a bat, that was another $315 down the drain and that was with a coupon. Damn it. It sucks to be blind and vain.
So this post has been ALL ABOUT ME and that is just plain awful. I know I should have spent this day feeding orphans or teaching surly teens how to read complicated philosophy. Instead, I bought myself a bunch of crap that I don't really need (I have glasses already and my hair is fine curly). Ah well, c'est la vie. Happy Black Friday TO ME and to all of the other selfish bastards in the house!
You aren't wealthy until you have something money
can't buy.

- Garth Brooks
And here is a video made by Chris Kelly who took his own unique approach to Black Friday. He stood outside a mall wearing a sandwich board and handing out free hugs to all who were interested. Seems like a nice gesture on this consumer crazy day:


Suzanne said...

eva, you are too funny.

Eva the Deadbeat said...

insane is more like it! i spent so much $ this weekend! must stop!! arghhhhh!