Wednesday, December 22, 2010

t’was the toy shopping before Christmas…

In honor of the impending holiday celebrating unbridled greed, gluttony, family dysfunction, mounting debts and other psychoses this most tender and sacred of seasons, I went shopping for Denizen Christmas presents last week.

I had a list! I’d checked it twice! (Actually, I’d been checking it compulsively for two weeks. It wasn’t so much a ‘list’ as a ‘solid block of ink written in a Top Secret Code not even I could understand anymore.’) I knew exactly where I was going, and in what order!

So! I saddled up and headed out and I came home four hours later with a minivan so heavily loaded it was practically popping a wheelie from all the weight in the back-back-back.

That’s right. Fully loaded.

…with fifty pounds of flour! Fifty pounds of sugar! Twenty-five pounds of brown sugar! Shampoo! All kinds of canned goods that were on sale! Plus a few household items (like a silicon oven mitt to help me with that pesky ‘pouring boiling hot water out of boiling hot Mason jars while canning’ thing) I’ve been circling for a while, purchased with 40% off coupons, THAT’S RIGHT!.

…but…uh…not a single…you know…Christmas present.

Not.
Even.
One.

{face-desk}

SEE, this is why I should not ever, under any circumstances, be the one who does the frivolous shopping. I should just go to the bank, take out all the cash I have hoarded up for this most spendy festive time of the year, and just hand alllllllllll that cash to the husband, saying, “Go. Shop. Buy. Whatever.” And then I should retreat to my knitting chair and refuse to look up until it’s all over, and the receipts have been shredded or burned, and the children are all lying around the house in a state of advanced post-excitement lethargy.

Turn me loose on basic necessities, and I am all over it. I can fill up a pantry in nothing flat. I can whip through re-outfitting the kids with new jeans and shirts and whatnot like it was nothing. I can pounce on things like carpet shampooers and nail guns.

But ask me to go blow perfectly good money on useless crap spread holiday joy and cheer by sprinkling my loved ones with completely unnecessary fun and exciting crap-crap-CRAP! toys that will undoubtedly be left allll over the floor so that I’m constantly tripping or treading on them OHMYGAH, would it KILL you people to pick up your blasted Lego’s once in a danged while?!, and, well, obviously?

I have some issues.

Although it’s actually kind of layered issue thing. On the one hand, yeah, I don’t like spending what always seems like insane amounts of money on plastic things that go “beep!” for a couple days before ending up in a landfill somewhere because somebody left it on the hall floor and then I stepped on it.

But then, for added Crazy Points, I also don’t like to cheap out on these things. I’m not going to buy each kid four Dollar Tree toys and pretend it’s the most awesome Christmas EVER!

Merry Christmas, guys! That’s right! I sprang for four whole presents, for each of you! Imported presents! All the way from China! FANCY!!!!!

…just don’t put them anywhere near your mouth, and we’ll have ourselves a rare old fun-time with these bad boys…

And I do want to shower them with stuff at Christmas. I don’t do it the rest of the year. Shoot, half the time they get nothing-or-close-to-it for their birthday, for Pete’s sake. So when we come to Christmas, well, I would like to actually get them stuff they want, stuff that is cool, stuff that makes them go, “AWESOME!!!!”

…except that it always seems to be, you know…pricy. (Go figure.)

And then I end up in this endless cycle: “I’m not paying forty bucks for that! What’s this, hey, it’s cheaper! Oh. Ugh. Lame. Geesh, I can smell the lead paint from here. Back to this thing. This is cool. It’s COOL. It is boss and wicked and whatever other word means ‘groovy’ these days. But…forty bucks. Really? Forty bucks? For one toy?”

And then I’ll stand there like one of Those People in the supermarket, who will spend hours squinting at the nutritional information on the box of Ding-Dongs. And you just desperately want to slap the box out of their hands and yell, “BAD! They are bad for you! If you’re worried about nutrition in any way, shape or form, BAD! BAD! BAD! Step away from the Ding-Dongs! Here! Bag of apples! Box of oranges! Now, git!

So there I’ll be. In Costco or WalMart or Michael’s or Some Other Place With Toys. With a box in my hands. Staring at it. Like, maybe, if I look long enough, and hard enough, I will find actual real gold nuggets in it…which would totally explain the price tag.

I put it down. I pick it up. I put it in the cart. I circle the store a few times. I put it back again. Circle the store again. Pick it up. Stare at the box as if any second, my x-ray vision will kick in.

This can go on for hours, until eventually I’ll drop it back on the shelf in disgust and slink off with my hands in my pockets, muttering to myself.

Add in the fact that Denizens are still young enough to do That Thing kids do, where the thing they just got done telling you was THE thing, the thing that they cannot exist another hour without, the Most Awesomest Thing That Ever Was™, IT, the thing that will cause them to actually DIE of sheer joy…wait, what? That old thing?

Yeah. So five minutes ago. Nobody wants one of those old bags of “pfffffft!” any more! No! It’s now all about this things which is just so “eeeeeeeee!” and “Ohmygah-ohmygah-ohmygah!” and {swoon!!!!!!}.

{FACE-DESK}

Well…about all I can say is, thank Dog for Amazon. And two day shipping. I think this is the second year that just about everything kid-related has come from Amazon, and I have to say: It’s pretty cool. The stuff arrives in plain brown boxes, and it’s really obvious if someone tries to peek.

But on the downside, the kids have cottoned on to the fact that sometimes, the boxes that usually contain cat litter, books about how to field dress an elk and other such fascinating things might contain presents.

Which led to the scene earlier today, when there was a ring of the bell and four little voices began shrieking, “It’s the UPS guy! It’s the UPS guy!!!!”, and eight little feet went pounding down the stairs and hallways and the poor man was swarmed by this horde of psychotic children in the grips of a pre-Christmas feeding frenzy.

…and he was delivering a carpet shampooer…

Me? Excited. Because my carpets are gross. They don’t look gross and I’m sure that comparatively speaking, they aren’t really that bad…but lately we’ve had a lot of carpet-related disasters around here and I’ve been forced to use my ‘Little Green Machine’ to get them up.

Nothing will call a “dirt” issue to your attention like seeing black water in the tank after you’ve cleaned an itty-bitty section of carpet you wouldn’t have said looked all that bad. And then COIT quoted me something like $27MM to do the shampooing for me and I was all, “Really?!” and they were all, “Uh, yeah.” And I was all, “REALLY?!” And they were all, “Look, lady, you want the carpets cleaned, or no?”

And I was all, REALLY-REALLY?! except they had already hung up on me so I didn’t bother saying it out loud.

So, I’ve been sitting around waiting for a deal to come up…and finally, it did. I got myself an All-Terrain Steam Vac (the ‘all terrain’ part basically meaning that it can do the carpets and the tile / Pergo) for about half price and sat around looking smug about it for, like, two days.

And then I laughed myself sick at my poor, disappointed kids, who were so sure it was going to be something good, but then it was just stupid vacuum

…especially because they were so disappointed that they wandered off before Mr. UPS toddled back up to the door with the two large boxes full of games and dolls and so forth and so on, mwa-hahahahaha…

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

so what was the cause of the plumbing disaster? you left us hanging ...

Nicole said...

Ah ha-ha-ha! I love it.

Anonymous said...

Costco has the Hoover All-Terrain Steamvac for $229.99 (includes shipping). I hope you bought it from Costco!

Anonymous said...

Carpet? In a hourse with 4 children, a cat and a man? teeheeheeheehee That's what the crazypants part is.

An Binh said...

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Cách chọn tủ tài liệu văn phòng hiệu quả nhất hiện nay
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Hiện nay trên thị trường có rất nhiề các loại tủ hồ sơ được tạo nên từ những chất liệu cơ bản như gỗ, sắt. Tủ sắt bền hơn tủ gỗ nhưng ngược lại không được đẹp và đa dạng nhu tủ gỗ. Dựa vào mục đích sử dụng của mình để lựa chọn loại tủ hợp lý nhất.
Qua những chia sẻ trên đây của Nội thất Miền Bắc đã giúp các bạn có thể đưa ra cho mình lựa chọn tủ tài liệu văn phòng tốt nhất và phù hợp nhất để hỗ trợ công việc một cách hiệu quả cao.
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