Friday, December 07, 2007

Christmas Shopping

I just realized I hadn't gotten around to posting all day. I've been busy doing grocery shopping, which involves going to two different stores in order to find everything I need. But now I shouldn't need to buy anything other than maybe milk and fresh produce for the rest of the month.

I'm also just about ready for Christmas, and I'm finally in the mood. I got all my shopping done yesterday, and today I brought in all the decorations from the garage. Tonight I'll deck the halls.

Last night was the first time I've really hit the mall other than to go directly to a particular store in ages. They've really spiffed up this mall and brought in some new stores. I made myself walk the whole thing, did my shopping, had dinner at Panera (hadn't done that in years), then went over to Borders, where they had some musicians in the store. On the way home, I took some side roads to look at the lights. All in all, a nice kick-off to the season. Though it says something about my life that going to the mall, Panera and the bookstore is my idea of a big night out.

Some notes from the shopping trip:

My taste in clothes does not match my lifestyle. My eyes are automatically drawn to dressy things -- pretty party dresses, high-heeled satin shoes, etc. I spend most of my life in sweatpants and leave the house maybe twice a week. I'm always tempted to go up to a sales clerk with some fabulous silk dress and say, "Excuse me, but do you know where I can find the life that goes with this?"

But I must not clean up too badly. When I was in Macy's, a saleslady came up to me to point out all the sales they were having (and BOY were they having a sale!). She listed the various designer collections, then said, "But you're pretty trendy, so you might want to look at this one." I'm not sure I was wearing anything less than five years old. I think my outfit was pretty stylish (yes, my life is so sad that I actually really dressed up, put on makeup and everything for a trip to the mall), but I don't think that you can be "trendy" wearing clothes that old that aren't the current craze in vintage.

In spite of my rant the other day, I'm not anti-lingerie. I like pretty things (see above -- and if the pretty, silky things are nightgowns, then I have somewhere to wear them, even if nobody sees them but me). I'm just anti-costume (as in, the lingerie you wear only to pose in before removing that has no other purpose) and anti-intimate gift too early in the relationship. I have a fair number of items from Victoria's Secret, but I hadn't gone in there in ages. When did they start sticking their logo on the outside of everything? It's not like that's a brand with actual status. I had a gift card from last Christmas I needed to use, so I was doing last year's shopping for myself, and I had a hard time finding something I wanted. There was a really pretty slip-type nightgown in a fairly retro style -- I could see the flighty, free-spirited heiress in an old screwball comedy wearing something like it with marabou-trimmed high-heeled slippers and a floaty robe in the scene where she gets ready for a night out while talking on her princess-style phone and gets sidetracked so that she mixes things up. But when I took it off the rack to look at it, they'd Bedazzled the skirt of it with their "Sexy" logo in rhinestones.

That struck me as silly for a number of reasons. That made it too uncomfortable to wear for sleeping, but it would snag anything you wore over it if you used it as a slip. If you're wearing something like that for posing and removing and need to have the word "sexy" on it in 4-inch rhinestone letters in order to get the message across, you're doing something wrong. If he needs the word "sexy" flashed in his face for him to get the idea, there's a problem that probably can't be solved with lingerie (he's just not that into you). And if you need the word "sexy" on the outside of your clothes in order to feel sexy or good about yourself, you need a therapist.

I love Bath & Bodyworks stores. I can spend hours in there. But I almost never buy anything. For one thing, I can get paralyzed by all the choices. For another, I usually come to my senses and realize that their stuff is rather overpriced, and I can find more effective lotions for far less elsewhere. I usually come down to buying the vanilla scented stuff, anyway, and you can definitely find vanilla products less expensively elsewhere. Still, I just love the stores and smelling all the stuff and trying to pretend that buying the right scent could change my outlook on life.

The kiosk people are starting to get pretty aggressive, or else more of them have picked up aggressive tactics. First, there were the people who chase you down the mall trying to buff your nails. Now there's the curling iron kiosk, where the guys pop out at you and ask you how you style your hair. I have curly hair. Really curly hair. Like spiral ringlets. So I just looked at the guy and said, "I don't. It does this by itself." But I guess his script didn't allow for naturally curly hair because he still started his pitch on the wonders of the curling iron. There was a stretch of the mall that was like running an obstacle course through infomercials.

I think I ended up doing all my Christmas gift shopping in Macy's because they were playing the right music. They played the old classic/standard Christmas music done by people like Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, etc. Maybe it's because that was the kind of Christmas music we had records of when I was a kid, but that's what I think of when I think about Christmas music, and when I'm enjoying the music in a store, I tend to linger a bit. It's happy, pleasant and classy-sounding.

And now my agent has again managed to give me revision notes on a Friday, so guess what I'll be doing this weekend! Good thing I did my "weekend" during the week.

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