Buying a car is a frustrating experience for most. You feel the dealer holds all the cards, and you’re just hoping they won’t take too much advantage of you. I also don’t understand why they’re always wearing cowboy hats. Is it just to keep the sun off them in the lot all day, or do they view us as cattle they’re leading to the slaughter? I’m guessing the latter.
Posts Tagged ‘shopping’
In the next few days I will (hopefully) be posting the presentation I did over humor in Professor Hobo. Once posted you can see how much you disagree with my own flimsy analysis. However, having given the presentation twice, it has had me thinking about the subject of humor. What makes something funny?
One technique in humor is to take something to its logical conclusion. You could call this the “slippery slope” approach, but that relies on exaggeration. For example, if we pardon all the illegal immigrants, then next thing you know we’ll have to pardon all the guys trying to marry their goats! Wait, I think I got two arguments confused there. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…
People love to complain about Valentineâ€™s Day up until the point that they have a significant other, and then they simply complain about having to shop for Valentineâ€™s Day.Â Personally, I prefer to use it as a way to judge my wifeâ€™s expectations.Â If I buy her half a dozen roses and she gets upset because she expected a full dozen?Â Well, her expectations are just too high and the next year will be used to bring them more into line.
I fully expect to be single by next Valentineâ€™s Day.
People of small stature are a group you’re never quite sure what to call.Â You don’t want to use midget or dwarf, because you’re really not sure of what the technical differences are.Â You don’t want to say little person either, because somehow it seems wrong.Â Probably best to fall back on what we all do when we don’t know someone’s name–hey you!
Jimmy looks incredibly uncomfortable holding that bra.
There are certain tasks you shouldn’t help others with.Â These include, but at not limited to, passing a kidney stone, disposing of a dead body, and shopping for lingerie.Â These are one person jobs.
Poor Rick, he just doesn’t get it.
Now that Christmas has passed I can write more freely about the shopping process. In particular, the process of shopping for my wife. See, while Santa might give parents a break, childless married men are left to fend for themselves in shopping for their wives. Worse, without children we’re expected to devote extra thought to our wives’ gifts. This is our story.
Upon arriving in Pittsburgh I realized my Christmas buffet of presents perhaps wasn’t quite up to measure yet with the parade of boxes from Amazon.com being delivered to my wife. She’d nonchalantly point out that just because she had ordered a lot of boxes didn’t mean there would be a lot of presents, but if memory serves Amazon isn’t in the business of piecemeal presents. I was worried. So off to the Waterfront and Shadyside shopping districts I go.
One of the first stops was Ann Taylor. Or maybe it was Ann Taylor Loft, or Ann Taylor Hovel, or Ann Taylor Studio Apartment. Look, all I know is Ann has lots of places to lay her head at night. Upon entering, a very friendly looking woman greeted me and asked, “Are you shopping for your wife or girlfriend?” At this point I don’t know if this is a real question or not. Why would it matter which I was shopping for? And if I’m not shopping for one of those two, who does she think I’m shopping for? Mother? Sister? Myself? I can’t imagine Ann Taylor is particularly high on the trany shopping index, and what difference would mother or sister make from wife or girlfriend? This isn’t exactly Victoria’s Secret, you’re not going to be directing me toward the flannel pajamas and away from the garter belts.
The other possibility is that she thinks I might shop differently based on whether it’s my wife or my mistress. Does one lavish your mistress to keep her quiet, or your wife to keep her oblivious? Either way one of the two is getting hosed more than normally (that’s not dirty) and Ann Taylor is sacrificing sales for some unwritten code of adultery that I’m obviously to honest to have been clued in on. That’s the anxiety I feel just stepping foot in the store. Can you imagine prolonged shopping assistance?
Worse still were the clerks at Banana Republic who assumed I knew exactly what I was doing. I suppose they do sell men’s clothing, but that was one floor down, hidden away in a damp basement of the store. No, I was browsing through sweaters when a young woman approached me to alert me to their sales. Very polite and informative, that is until she started explaining the different sweaters to me. “This one is a lycra cotton wool blend.” What? It’s both cotton and wool? Is that scientifically sound? I’m not the kind of guy who grunts at the mere mention of fashion. I walk into a store keenly aware of my wife’s sizes and likes and dislikes. No, she cannot and will not wear a size 14 pea-green burka. However, when you combine lycra, cotton, and wool into one fabric I’m having a difficult time keeping up with the class. I’m imagining a sheep from Mississippi dancing to Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical.” At which point I’m as helpless as my toddler nephew randomly pointing in the direction of sweaters and shouting, “Blue!”
Did my wife eventually get a present? Yes. Though, the fabric make up of it I cannot recall.
Christmas shopping is the worst. It’s a slow, drawn out death by degrees. It’s a solid month of trolling through malls and web pages searching for that one certain gift that won’t make someone resent you for a whole more year. Bah humbug.
“But surely you can see that you’ve lost the true meaning of Christmas,” you say. “Refocus on the meaning of the season and you’ll soon realize that gifts don’t matter.” You know what? You’re just the kind of jerk that spews that nonsense and then goes into a catatonic shock when I buy a medium instead of small. Look, the three wise men showed up with gifts. We’ve been calling them wise for two thousand years for a reason. No one ever refers to the dolt who shows up at Secret Santa empty handed as a wise man. Guess who’s birthday is getting conveniently forgotten next year?
The worst part of holiday shopping is people like me. My family harasses me for gift ideas, but there’s very few tips I can provide them with. Clothes? Sure, why not? Books? The more the merrier! DVDs? Who wouldn’t want some? But these are all things I have in abundance. As I write this there’s an untouched copy of the Epic of Gilgamesh staring down at me from my office bookshelf. I will read it eventually, but any new books are simply getting in line behind it. It seems wasteful to banish any new books to the literary equivalent of the DMV.
The polite response might be to request no gifts, but a donation in my name to a charity of choice instead. Altruistic as it may be, it undermines the fundamental motivation of gift gifting–selfishness. I selfishly want things and people selfishly want to give me things. That’s right, you’re being a bit selfish in giving gifts. We give to others in order to make them happy, because in turn that makes us happy. That’s why people love watching others open gifts from them.
So, this year when you’re second guessing all the extravagance of holiday spending, just remember it isn’t about you–except when it’s about the other person.
I bought a car this past weekend. Actually, my wife and I bought a car this past weekend. But since I rarely drive (except slow on the driveway every Saturday), it is mostly a purchase for her.
The process of buying a car is equivalent to having root canal work done on the back of a camel while riding through It’s A Small World at Disney. We should probably just load every terrorist from Guantanamo Bay onto a boat and send them to the nearest car dealership. If every day is the endless process of car buying, you’ll really start to view us as the Great Satan (or Saturn, take your pick). Regardless, the process isn’t enjoyable in the least.
Our experience was better than most, I suppose. The dealership was one of those “no negotiation” setups, so we had already price checked it before even going to look at it. Even after using the mighty Internet to check prices, I’m still certain we got ripped off. I think everyone feels this way when buying a car. No matter how friendly the salesperson, you’re fairly certain they’re up to something. Oddly, I don’t feel this same way when purchasing celery from my local grocer, and that guy is a hell of a lot creepier.
One explanation might be that, in general, we know very little about the way cars are priced or what any of their features mean. I think my new car has something on it called ODO Trip, but I have little clue what that button does. Worse yet, I’m afraid to push it. If it does mess something up I have to head all the way back to the dealership so they can rub in the fact that I am completely clueless about the thing I just paid them my non-existent child’s future college tuition for.
Basically, I bought a car. So yeah, I’m an idiot.
If you have never gone shopping for a washer and dryer go ahead and save yourself the trouble now by turning on the oven, allowing it to heat up, and then dropping the whole thing on the back of your head. That’s sort of like the first store you go to. It gets worse from there. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…