Monday, December 26, 2011

'Twas the Day After Christmas: 2011

Hope your Christmas was a good one! J and I spent the weekend at my parents' house and saw a lot of my family. At one point before eating Christmas lunch, one of my cousins asked me if I was on the lookout for something weird to happen during lunch that I could blog about. happy (Of course I was!) We were all weird in our own endearing little ways, but today's events have presented a far better story. So you lucked out, family! I will not be applying my sarcastic wit to our family get-together this year! winky

I had several errands to run, and I thought I would get them out of the way today so that I could stay in and relax for the rest of the week (until subbing and tutoring start back up again). 

Here's a picture of everything I needed to take to the car this morning:

I had several items that needed to be returned/exchanged. Notice the really nice laminator and extra cartridge in the top right of the picture. These things were courtesy of Meme and Papa, who were pretty peeved (to say the least) that I'd found and purchased a different (cheaper) laminator online so close to Christmas (whoops!).  I packed it all in Walmart sacks and a plastic gray bin like the true redneck I am, and out the door I went! 

I'm sure you read my post over Thanksgiving '11, right? So you know we went shopping on Black Friday, and I really didn't think it was bad. The longer today went on, the more I was convinced that today should've been called "Black Monday." I left the house around 10 am this morning and didn't return until after 5 pm. The traffic and the crowds were a mess, and the people were just so pleasant...they must've used up all their holiday cheer yesterday. whatevah

I think that my tweets throughout the day tell the story better than I could, so here we go. The most recent comments are at the top of the screen, so I'd suggest reading bottom-to-top to get the full gist of things.

I started off the day a little sleepy but, overall, ready to do this thang. You can tell that I encountered my first excited-to-be-there-and-filled-with-holiday-cheer employee of the day about 6 hours before this screenshot was taken. Ugh. If you're going to be a smelly Grinch, just call in sick to work! The poor teen had obviously not washed his hair (nor showered...), and he was reeking of intelligence and enthusiasm. Just how I like to start my day!

Four hours prior to this screenshot, I was feeling pretty good about myself. This was after I snagged Jon a sweater for $10, two tanks for myself for $4 each from Old Navy, and very nice replacement shoes at Famous Footwear for J (with a coupon I didn't even bring!). I also encountered some good deals on the Christmas merchandise at Target, but was too busy being harassed by a little old man who apparently thought I was an employee to remember to be excited (and tweet) about the bargains. (Note to self: don't wear red to Target.)

The tweet posted 39 minutes prior to this screenshot being taken was after I'd just wrestled my way across the most crowded shopping mall of my LIFE -- TWICE! -- and fought with irritating return policies, rude customers, hot stores, and frustrating salespeople.

You can see that this last slew of tweets was after things took a turn for the worst. I attached the following picture to my last tweet:

A face only a mother could love.
When I was in high school, one of my best girl friends and I used to go shopping at a popular city mall for like, 9 hours a day every single weekend. It was no biggie. I'd come home ready to play some basketball or run a mile! Today, however, I just want to sit and possibly pout. 

This morning, I visited the following stores:
This afternoon, I visited the following stores:
I spent far, far more time in those two little department stores than I did in any of the 9 smaller, "morning stores" combined! The difference? Those department stores were at a mall. I had one item I needed to exchange for a different color/size at each of those two stores. In traffic, it took me an hour to get the mall. When I taught novels in my English class last year, I was always asking the students to look for foreshadowing and predict what was going to happen. ...Well, time to take your own advice, Mrs. K. Had my two little brain cells rubbed together at this point, I would've known to turn around now.

I get to the mall and it is a mess chaotic a madhouse the worst crowd ever .... no words adequately describe what I need to say.  Police officers were in the process of shutting down certain roads because of the mall traffic. Guys with big trucks were pulling over the curb and parking on the grass. Horns were blaring and it seemed like many people had a certain finger permanently stuck in the air (hint: it wasn't a "thumbs-up" gesture). I finally ended up parking at a car wash across the street from said mall and high-tailin' it into the store with my pepper spray clutched tightly in one hand.

Of course, JCP was on the side closest to my car, but Dillard's was on the complete other side of the mall from JCP. But I was a Woman on a Mission, so I used my mom's mad mall skillz to bob 'n weave through the crowd in record time.

Dillard's is the store that was most irritating. My mom Santa got me some really cute (and seemingly comfortable) black flats for Christmas. Unfortunately, they were a tad too small, so something had to be done. I first went to the women's shoe department, which is on the 2nd floor. They did not even have my particular shoe on display, so I figured I'd just go to Customer Service, get a refund, and try to shop for it online or something.

I studied the wall map in the store, which said Customer Service was on the bottom floor. I took the escalator and realized quickly that the wall map needed to be updated; Customer Service was on the 3rd floor. In the corner. Hidden under the name "Gift Wrap." ...See, they try to disguise it as something cheery: "We're merrily wrapping Christmas gifts back here and sipping cocoa! Come join us!" Chyeah.

I'd been doing some pretty intense mall-walking (like those blue-haired folks who come on Tuesday mornings at 10 am) and my calves were burnin' by the time I made to the Customer Service/Gift Wrap station. There's a wall of pre-wrapped gifts dividing the counter from the back. As I quietly stand and wait in front of the counter, I can hear cackling and giggles from behind the divider. They're obviously having a Christmas party and/or some type of alcohol, because I see no other reason to be this jolly, folks! After waiting 10 minutes, the Customer-Service-lady informs me that returns must be made in the actual department. Sigh.

I find the women's shoe section again and wait in line. I didn't have a receipt, so I snagged the same shoe (different color) as proof of price. pleased It felt like 2015 by the time I got to the register. The shoe-lady tells me they have my shoe in the next size up; would I like her to get it for me? I'm excited! I get out of line to try the new shoe on,'s too big. Seriously, it hung off my ankle by at least half an inch. What kind of wacko sizing IS this?! I jump back in the line. I'm pretty sure the entire Huxtable clan was standing in front of me, and I kept myself amused by Theo's insistence of a certain shoe for his girlfriend while Dr. Huxtable razzed him about it and little Rudy just giggled in the corner.

When I get to the front of the line, I'm told I can receive cash back for my shoes. Cool beans. How? I must go back to Customer Service to redeem a voucher.

The shoe-lady has adequate money in her drawer (I know, because Theo just bought his lady-friend some Coach go, Theo!) and I just came from Customer Service, who told me to go to the shoe department, so I'm more confused than Mike Tyson in a spellin' bee. But I numbly marched my happy butt back upstairs, fighting through the throngs of people and leaving a trail of undergarments (because Customer Service is located strategically behind lingerie) in my wake. I felt like a shopping ninja, fighting The Good Fight. "I will get Santa's money's worth! I will get great black flats! I will make it home alive!"

To make a long story somewhat short, Customer-Service-lady announced that I would have to come back at a date later than December 30 because Santa had been using his check book from the Stone Age, and it takes at least 10 days to process a check. Dillard's will not give you money back until after the check has been processed.

After wishing her a happy new year, I ducked my head and stuck my 'bows out in order to fight, running-back-style, to my safe place car. After those several-hundred-yard dashes, I'm not sure which NFL team would like to recruit me, but I'm open to any with pretty team colors, so... any takers? 

I'm really looking forward to this 2+ hour journey again next week! whatevah

3 love notes:

Becki said...

Your story gave me two things:
1-- a good laugh, as always.
2== assurance that I made the right decision in staying home today. I'll exchange my EJ pj pants in a few days.
Miss you.

Melanie said...

This is great! I never go shopping on Black Friday anymore or the day after Christmas. I learned that lesson a very long time ago!

CK said...

Rebecca: I almost didn't recognize you because of your nickname. :) I didn't know you had a blogger account! You should start your own blog! I'll follow it. :) You definitely made the right decision. EJ pants are THE most comfy (I hope they were orange!)...if I were you, I'd stay in them until Saturday!

Melanie: It would've been awful nice if you'd have shared that advice with me! lol. I had no idea it would be that bad. I mean, I knew there were some sales in progress, but they didn't look that fantastic to me. But I guess it's a combo of the sales + everyone now has Christmas money that's burning a hole in their pocket. Ah, well. Lesson learned!