Thursday, January 03, 2008

I caved. But I got better.

Well, of course I caved. I predicted it.

But you know, it's very difficult for me to come up, quickly, with a tactful way of telling people that I think their idea sucks. At the idea of shopping with other people, my brain is too busy screaming "HATE!" for me to come up with an alternative activity that would please both parties. ("OK, think of something we could do instead--quick! Movie? Lunch? Museum? Historic house? Whale watching? Jell-OTM wrestling? THINK!") I get all overwhelmed and end up doing what the other person wants.

But I do hate shopping with other people. With so hard of a gem-like flame that I might substitute it for my hatred of Ann Coulter on my 100 things about Poppy list. But I am, as I said, a wuss. So when my sister asked whether I'd like to go to the outlets in Kittery, I said I would.

I even ended up in the Cuddledown outlet store, just as I predicted.

And I bought a lot of stuff. But enough about that.

Here's why I hate shopping with other people:

1. I don't go shopping often, and when I do, I spend a lot of money. An embarrassing amount. OK, I don't reenact the Rodeo Drive scene in Pretty Woman, but I spend plenty. It looks like some kind of crazy binge. It's kind of like the way a really skinny woman will order the Everything Nachos and a frozen Margarita, then get the combination enchilada plate, and finish with fried ice cream and coffee with Tia Maria and whipped cream. You don't know it, because you didn't see it, but for the past week all she's eaten is two Kashi bars and a Hershey's Kiss. The rest of the time, she lives on skim lattes. Well, I'm like that when I shop. I'm there, I actually tried on the clothes, and they fit, so why not? I mean, what am I supposed to do, drive all the way to Kittery to browse through racks of shit and not buy any of it? I might as well stay home and surf the web.

2. I hate spending time in stores that don't carry any merchandise I'm interested in. I think I spent 20 minutes in the Coldwater Creek store, and the whole time I was kicking myself for not bringing a book. And wondering how much a cornea transplant would cost, because OUCH MY EYES.

3. I hate bringing people who dislike the kind of merchandise I like into stores that carry it. I sense their boredom. Actually, I don't need to sense it; sometimes it's quite clear. I breezed through the Aging Hippy stores my sister likes with nary a word of complaint. (No, really. It's true. Why do you think I have a blog?) But then she called the stuff at the Dana Buchman/Ellen Tracy outlet "dowdy." And them's fighting words. Especially coming from my sister, who, trust me, is no Kate Moss. Or even Kate Hepburn.

Let me just add, though, that I did show some signs of developing a spine. For example, when my sister said Dana Buchman's clothes were dowdy, I mentioned--in the mildest manner possible--that these things are subjective, and that funnily enough, I felt the same way about broomstick skirts.

Which I somehow sensed she tended to buy. And wear. (And I was right.)

Also, I didn't actually answer when she mentioned that she was thinking about taking my family and our brother-in-law out to dinner last night. (I figured I deserved a night off from my siblings.)

And, to her suggestion that she, my other sister, and I should do a girl's day out on Friday, I remained staunchly non-committal. And then, I will probably use my husband as an excuse.

I will conclude today's whine-fest with a piece of advice to the single women out there: get married. Among its many other advantages, marriage offers you the single easiest way to be completely non-committal about every single thing under the sun.

Examples? You need examples? OK. To a contractor pushing for a signed contract, I'll say "I'll have to talk it over with my husband." To someone inviting us to a party: "I'll have to see whether Mr. Poppy is free that night." To a sister wanting to force me--at gunpoint if need be--to go out shopping with her again, "Sorry, Mr. Poppy has to go to Boston that day and I need to stay home with the kids."


  1. I like Dana Buchman's stuff and I'm far from dowdy. They look great on women with 'larger' frames.

    And Kittery in the dead of winter? Are you NUTS? Too freaking cold. Did you hit the Trading Post? For some weird reason I LOVE that store. I can't tell you why, but I do.

    And what about the greatest store in Kittery, bar none. Did you stop at Yummies?

  2. It is true. There is not a straight skirt to be had at Coldwater Creek. And much of their stuff is old-ladyish. But I got a pretty fabulous brown suede jacket from there this year. On sale.

    So, you know, treasure can be found in unlikely places.

  3. Margalit: I agree about Dana B. I like her stuff--it's real, grown-up woman clothes--instead of the beaded, crinkled-cotton, elastic waist menopausal hippy stuff my sister likes. I'm right down the road from Kittery in New Castle, so this wasn't much of a road trip. We skipped Yummies but had lunch at ... shit, I can't remember--right on Route 1 across from the Trading Post. I had steamuhs!

    KathyR: I cleaned up at J. Jill--nabbed a black dress marked down to $29 from $99, with 40 percent off that--I can't do the math, but it was cheap. I also got some $19 cords and knit jerseys, but then I was DONE with the natural fiber skim-the-body look, so I bought a pair of very tailored black slacks at the Dana Buchman/Ellen Tracey outlet. Only to be told the merchandise is dowdy. Dowdy, forsooth! WE'RE SHOPPING IN MAINE, for Pete's sake. THEY INVENTED DOWDY.

  4. I was lucky enough to be gifted a pair of Dana Buchman trousers by my mother, THE DANA BUCHMAN REP.
    I think we know how dowdy I am.

    Coldwater Creek? You? Um, no.

  5. I am on record as having gone shopping with the lovely and gracious and clearly non-deformed Poppy and she was never bored.

    But then again, I didn't drag her into Post Menopausal Hippie Skirt Hut. I think I may have poked my head into Thomas Pink's, but that was that.

    I dunno what that says about her or me, but there ya go.


  6. 1. Ugh, who thinks shopping with friends is fun? Boooooring!

    2. Dana Buchman, no. Eileen Fisher, yes, yes, yes!

  7. And to think that I get excited by shopping ONLINE, so that I don't have to go into the dreaded stores...


Gentle Readers:

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xxx, Poppy.