Friday, November 23, 2007

And I'm out of money again

Well, it was much like last year.
I don't really have lots of presents to buy on Black Friday, but I usually go shopping anyway. I don't set the alarm and get up early like I did for a few years. I would go to places that would give free gifts and coupons to the first five hundred people in line, whether they bought anything or not. That used to be fun. Here's a free ornament, a coupon, and a chance to win a car. They don't do that so much anymore, and the stores open way too early for my liking.

Still, there are a few things that I will go out and buy, if it isn't too difficult.

Like last year, I started out at a drug store. Bought a present for my husband, some candy, and three candles. It's good to have just some nice stuff like candy and candles, just in case you forget that you didn't buy anything for the club gift exchange, or you find out at the last minute that someone you normally don't exchange gifts with has brought you a little something. If you buy an extra gift and then find out later you need one, you'll already have it. But then if you end up not needing it you can keep it yourself or add it to the stuff going to charity. See? It will work out either way, as long as I buy something that I think other people would want that I wouldn't mind keeping for myself.

I went to another drug store and bought my mom something.

Then I went to the hardware store and bought myself a drill. See, that's why I end up going out, cause there's all this stuff on sale that is just stuff we probably need anyway. Now I have my own drill, and I can quit borrowing my brother's.

All that took less than an hour, was nowhere near a mall, and there was no traffic. So then I had to think for a minute if I really wanted to keep going, or if I should just go home and go back to bed. It was only about 8:30.

Remembering how nice it was last year, I went on. The other thing that I wanted for myself was blank DVDs. The computer uses either kind, so we bought a bunch of DVD+R last time there was a good sale. Only the recorder hooked up to the TV uses DVD-R, which we did not remember when we bought 200 of the other kind, so we have yet to even try out the DVD recorder on the TV. Several stores had specials of DVD+R and DVD-R this morning, about 100 for twenty dollars or less. The really great deal was at Best Buy, but that required keeping receipts and mailing stuff for a rebate. Instead, I decided on Office Max, which had 100 disks for 15.99, and at about 9:00 had an almost empty parking lot and no lines.

But, no DVD-R either. Or least, not the 100 pack that was on sale. Best Buy was just across the street, so I decided to have a look. There was a long line of cars trying to get into the place, and people were parking on the street and such. Well, if the almost empty Office Max didn't have the thing I wanted, the crowded Best Buy probably didn't either, so I skipped it and went on to the mall.

Like last year, I decided to park in front of the Michael's and walk instead of attempting to find something in the mall parking garage.

I decided to stop at the ladies room before I had to worry about packages that might get stolen. Of course, the escalator was being repaired, so I pretty much had to walk to the Bath & Body Works to find another way upstairs, go upstairs, and then walk to the area right above where I'd just come in. And of course you also have to walk past most of the food places to get to the restrooms, and then you have to walk past them again afterwards. And everything in the food court really smells good when you have skipped breakfast, but I didn't stop.

There are two Bath & Body Works in this mall. One is very small like the original stores, and the other one is pretty big. The big one isn't as big as it used to be, because it used to be down the mall a bit and have a White Barn Candle with it. They still have a lot of candles and White Barn stuff, but if I actually need a White Barn Candle store I have to drive to a mall in Fort Worth. And they used to hand out two sets of coupons, and now they don't, so it is a bit annoying.

So I'm looking in the little store, and I'm thinking it looks really crowded, but since I am after one thing in particular I decided to go ahead a check there first. I'd decided to buy this travel kit thing for my brother-in-law, which wasn't on sale and wasn't a particularly good deal, but that's what I came after and that was what I was going to get. And also I planned to get some Wallflowers that were on sale and a free gift for spending thirty dollars before noon and all of that. I figured that I'd still have time to go to the other store and buy more Wallflowers later.

Only they told me that I couldn't use my $10 off $30 purchase coupon and get my free gift unless I spent an additional $10. You actually had to spend $30 after the discount to get the gift. They didn't say that last time. So I ended up buying two more Wallflowers there and didn't bother going to the other store. It wasn't that different from what I had planned to do, except that I wanted to look for a different scent of Wallflowers, and I wanted to use a second coupon to get another free lotion. Oh, well, no big deal.

Then there was all this stuff that I was going to look at, but we don't really need. Like a meat slicer. Not only do I not really need a meat slicer, but twenty years ago I worked at Arby's for the summer, and I'm actually a bit afraid of the meat slicer. But I'm looking through the ads and I see a meat slicer and think it would be cool to have a one. We used to live near this place where we sometimes bought this discounted deli stuff, only it was never really like having deli stuff because we didn't have anything to properly cut it with. So if we'd had a meat slicer then, that would have been really cool. But we don't live so near that place anymore, and we rarely buy stuff like that now, and we don't really need a meat slicer.

And I don't really need the new programmable crock-pot. I like crock-pots. I like that I can put together a soup and have it cook while I'm asleep and ready to eat when I wake up. Or I can have something cooking while I'm at work or school and have it ready when I get home. I don't actually do that very often, but I like the idea of it. I used to do that sort of thing more often, but I'm not doing it right now. So right now, I don't really need the new programmable one. Still, seeing that there was one for only thirty dollars, I was tempted.

And I really didn't need anything at Macy's, but I had a coupon, so I was thinking that I should go and look around. Only I realized that I had left the coupon in the car, so I decided to skip Macy's.

I looked at a few more things that were on sale, but I decided that there were either things that I didn't really need, or the sale wasn't really that good. Anyway, I didn't see anything worth standing in line for.

Odd thing, but there were all these people just sitting around. Of course, there were people sitting at the food court, and most of them were eating. That's understandable. Some of them had been shopping for three hours or more, and you get hungry after a while. And you do get tired once in a while, so if you see any empty table and chairs or a bench, sure. And there are these steps near the elevators that don't actually go anywhere, so that's also a good place to sit down for a bit. But there were people sitting in every chair, every bench, every available place on those steps, and then there were still all these people just sitting on the floor. So that was odd, because the whole mall was open now. Sure, sit on the floor while you're waiting in line for the store to open, but why sit there now? I mean, if you've gotten what you came for and are done shopping, go home. If you're not done shopping, maybe take your packages to the car and sit in the car for a bit. That's got to be more comfortable than sitting on the floor. I've just never seen so many people sitting on the floor like that unless they were waiting for something to open.

I think that I've about had it with the mall, and it's not even lunch time yet. So I call my husband and ask if he wants to have lunch a bit later. Sure. Great. So I say I'll try to be home by 11:00.

Well, I almost made it home by 11:00. I stopped at two Targets trying to find some on sale DVD-R, but no luck. The rest of the stuff wasn't that far from home, and did not involve early-bird specials, so I figured I could do that later. And I stopped at two more drugstores, to get more candy.

I went to Burger King with my husband. I was starving. That was probably the best Burger King hamburger I'd ever had.

So then he had to go to work. I wrapped his present and then went out again. There was still time to get just a little more of that early-bird special candy at the drugstore, and there were two of them on the way to Garden Ridge. As I was leaving the last drugstore, someone announced that the early-bird specials would be ending in twenty minutes, and there was no limit on the early-bird specials. Now they tell me. The ads said limit two or something. So I debate on whether or not I should go back in and by more candy. I decide against it. Most of the candy was for that charity thing anyway, and right now I'm not even sure that I'm even going to go to that.

So I go to Garden Ridge, and I guess everyone else also thought that after lunch was a good time to go to Garden Ridge. So I go and pick out a few things that I don't really have to have, but as long as I'm here I might as well get them. And I pick out one of those bed in a bag things that's pretty. I don't really need another one right now, but I'll probably need one eventually and I might as well get one now while there's one I like on sale. Only I see that the sheets are polyester, and I don't think that I've ever slept on polyester sheets. They're very pretty, but I'm just not sure if they'd be comfortable. So after thinking about it a bit, I decide to put it back. The cotton ones are not as pretty, so I decide to get one some other time. The other things I had picked out were not worth standing in line for, so I put them back too. And there was something that I might need for an art project, but I'm not even sure about it and I won't need it til Tuesday or Wednesday, and it's not even one of the sale items. So I put that back too.

I need this thing for an art project. Preferably it would be cheap, and it would be green. Dollar Tree has cheap stuff, but I've been to four stores and haven't found the item in green. Every other color, but not green. So I stop at one more Dollar Tree, and, no green. I'm going to give up on that and maybe switch to purple.

And I pick up three bottles of sauce from Wild Buffalo Wings for my brother. And in that same shopping center with the Dollar Tree and the Wild Buffalo Wings is an Office Depot. I totally forgot that it was there. So, one last effort to find some on sale DVD-R.

And they have plenty left. It's just the Office Depot brand disks, but who cares. And they're only about two dollars more than the ones I was going to buy at Office Max. Now I can go home a happy camper.

This is probably all the Christmas shopping that I will do, except for maybe that charity thing if I decide to go, and maybe some gift cards. The shopping is mostly done because a.) two or three people will be getting artwork (which is a bit behind schedule so they might be getting little note-card describing what the artwork will be like once it's finished), and b.) I've spent the rest of the year stockpiling stuff, mostly from Bath & Body Works. My sister and my brother-in-law really like the stuff, as does one of my friends from the club. A couple of other friends from the club will get gift baskets which will include some Bath & Body Works stuff. My mom and a few other people seem of the opinion that "it's the thought that counts" and just seem happy that you got them something. Bath & Body Works stuff will probably go into the club gift exchange, and possibly that charity thing. My husband probably will be getting some Bath & Body Works stuff, although I've already given him some and he probably doesn't need any more. And anything left from the Bath & Body Works stash will go to me.

So that's about it. I need to work on some art projects, but except for that the pressure is off. I can spend the rest of the season wrapping gifts and doing the more pleasant holiday traditions, like eating.

When I was a kid, I wanted all kinds of stuff and I probably spent two months telling my parents and grandparents what I wanted. I don't do that so much anymore. I almost forget that while I'm buying all this stuff for other people, they are probably out buying stuff for me. Half the time I get some really neat stuff, and half the time people just don't know what to get me. People will ask me what I want, and I'm like, I don't know.

I want all of this stuff and possibly a row-counter and some extension kits. But, a row-counter I can get myself at Michael's when I have a coupon, and I'd feel guilty if someone spent enough money on me to buy extension kits and then I didn't really use them.

Also, I would like at least two miter clamps, and two and three foot bar clamps would be nice. But I probably won't get them. Not very Christmasy, you know?

And then there is this book. I keep borrowing the old book from the library, so it would be nice to own the new one. I use the patterns a lot in art class. But it's not something anyone would come across while they're at the mall, so I probably won't get that either.

I like clothes, but clothes seem like a lot of trouble to give or get as gifts. Half of the time, they have to be exchanged. They don't quite fit or something.

However, if someone wanted to buy me clothing, just about anything black would be appreciated, as would just about anything that goes with black.

I am all in favor of the totally unimaginative gift card. Cards from Michael's or Hobby Lobby especially would not go to waste, as would cards from Half-Price Books or any other bookstore.

I am also a great fan of food, just about any kind of food, except maybe pet food.

Anyway, I have a couple of problems: a.) I'm not sure about how to go about giving the above hints, and b.) if I were going to give hints I probably should have done that two or three weeks ago.


Dame Honoria Glossop said...

I've finished my Christmas shopping! This is amazing, as I'm usually really last-minute, but I made a list & finished it all in about a week (thanks to the internet).

evil-e said...

I have only to really concentrate on my lovely girlfriend. I have ideas and a lot of possibilities so it should not be too difficult.

Sounds like you played it pretty smart and avoided the UFC version of shopping. That stuff is just crazy.