Perks, Cards, and Gimmicks

I must have been hiding behind a tree when God passed out the “shopping bug.” I HATE shopping!  I especially hate shopping for clothes for me.  I’m a large woman.  I’m also a short woman, which is a double whammy.  The option to shop online isn’t practical for me because nothing ever fits, and then I have to pay postage for the returns.  Shopping in stores requires weeks (and sometimes months) of preparing myself mentally to look in a 3-way mirror at every bulge and every old lady sag.  Then I have to search for a day when I’m in a really good mood with nothing on my schedule (yeah, right), because shopping in a bad mood will result in either tears or returning home to screech at a family member.

Now I know I’m not the only woman who suffers from this malady.  I don’t have any scientific studies or research papers to back me up on this, but I would venture to say there are probably many more tears shed in dressing rooms than at funerals.  Clothing stores make the process worse; not better.  If I haven’t already shed tears in the dressing room, I’m sure to shed tears going out the door after experiencing the check-out line.

Catherine’s, Avenue, Lane Bryant — LISTEN UP!

1)  Not everyone wears pants 365 days a year.  Some of us are professionals and we need professional looking clothing.  Stock dresses and skirts.  Some of those dresses need sleeves!

2)  Not every large woman wants to wear safari clothes, or huge flowers on her boobs.  Show us some femininity and beauty!  We are beautiful people!

3) STOP THE GIMMICKS!  Place a reasonable price tag on each item, and let me pay for it.  If you want to put an item on sale, put a sale price on it.

I was given a $50 gift card for Christmas 2012 — which I couldn’t spend until today, April 26, 2013, because I need dresses and/or skirts and tops, and none of the three stores mentioned above had anything but pants until now.  Today almost all of the dresses were sleeveless (totally inappropriate professional wear), and most of them looked like jungle wear.

In addition, Catherine’s was having a 30% off sale for most items in the store, but as usual, nothing was marked with the sales price.  I admit, math is not my best subject.  If shopping isn’t already stressful enough, trying to figure in my head what 30% off of each item is and then adding up the total in my head of all the items, well, gee, just give me one of those hand guns everyone wants to ban and let me shoot myself in the foot with it.

Shopping at Catherine’s is also the “Perks” card experience.  Heaven forbid that you should not own a current “Perks” card.  Today, I discovered my “Perks” card expired in 2010, and I had no intention of renewing it.  I purchased three items:  1) a skirt ($74 minus 30% discount), 2) a blouse ($26.50 with no discount), and a blouse ($22.50 with no discount). First, let me say that $74 is a ridiculous price for a skirt — and frankly, the blouses were over-priced as well — but that’s beside the point.  The woman at the check stand wanted to sell me a “Perks” card, so she told me that the three items totalled $180, but that I would save a bundle if I bought a “Perks” card for $25.  Okay, so I’m not the brightest bulb on the planet, but even I know that those three items don’t total $180.  I need two hearing aides which I can’t yet afford, so I thought maybe I had misunderstood until my husband who happened to walk into the store at just the right moment almost had a heart attack.

Ten minutes into the discussion, I finally walked out of the store having spent my $50 gift card from Christmas and putting $62.50 on my Catherine’s credit card — but I’m supposed to be happy with that because that included a “Perks” card which is supposed to save me money for the next 12 months (as if I could afford to shop again in the next 12 months), and two “Catherine’s Cash” cards for $25 off my next purchase of $50 or more (valid only May 13 through May 19, 2013) — which I can’t spend because I won’t have the $62.50 paid for yet on the Catherine’s card.  My receipt also gives me a $15 discount on $75 or more between 4/27/13 and 5/26/13, with a whole lot of “exclusions” that I don’t even want to take the time to read since I won’t be using that either.  With the instant discount from the “Perks” card, I think the card ended up costing me about $5 — which I might use within the next 12 months.

Shopping at Avenue with my daughter is always such a dreadful experience when we get to the check stand because the lovely woman who has helped us find our purchases disappears and turns us over to the Wicked Witch of the West who gives us the hard sell on the Avenue credit card which I don’t need and don’t want.  No matter how many times I shop there, we get the same run around, and I get mad.

Shopping at Lane Bryant only happens if we are desperate because the sales people are so nasty and look down their noses at you if you dare look at the price tag.

So here’s the deal, people:  Make me want to shop in your store.  Make me want to spend my money in your store.  MAKE SHOPPING IN YOUR STORE A PLEASANT EXPERIENCE!!  STOP THE GIMMICKS!!  Put a reasonable price tag on each item in your store, and let me shed a few tears in the dressing room, pay for my purchases, and be on my way without feeling like I need to shoot myself in the foot before I get out the door!  If you make it a pleasant experience, I might even shop more often!  Maybe it wouldn’t take me 6 or 8 months to work up the courage to walk through your door!

Rant over!  I feel much better now!

Dumpy Me


Short, dumpy me!


Accident or Scam?

My husband and I were driving to a local grocery outlet yesterday to buy groceries for a church function.  It was sunset as I was driving down Broadway, and the sun was in my eyes. For that reason, I was driving slow.  A woman ran out of nowhere in front of my vehicle. Neither my husband, nor I saw her until she was in front of the vehicle.  Fortunately, I was able to stop just short of hitting her.

Shaking, I turned the corner and drove into the parking lot of the grocery outlet.  Before I could even get out of my vehicle, the woman approached.  As I got out of the car, she said, “I’m sorry.”  Then she begged for money “to buy noodles for my grandson.”  I told her the sun was in my eyes, that I couldn’t see her and almost hit her.  I told her I was sorry.  Then I told her I wouldn’t give her any money.

Walking through the store, reality set in, and I realized that quite possibly this idiot woman had run in front of my vehicle for the sole purpose of getting money out of me one way or another.  I tried to brush the thought away, because no one would be that crazy!  Or would they?

We left the store, and ran into an old friend in the parking lot who we hadn’t seen in several years.  As we were chatting, an older man approached and asked for money.  He became quite indignant when I turned him down.  After he left, I told our friend what had happened before we went into the store.  She told us that her husband had hit a woman the same way, and she had sued him.  It was proven that she was full of illegal drugs, and that she had previously told people that she was going to run out in front of a car and get hit so she could get money.  Our friend’s husband won the court battle, including his attorney’s fees.

So is this the latest scam?  Are people really crazy enough to throw themselves in front of a moving vehicle to pay for their drug habits?  Is this just a coincidence?  It hardly seems likely that this could happen to two people in the same town by coincidence.

It has been nearly 24 hours since this happened to me, and I still can’t stop thinking about it. I’m so angry!  I could have killed this woman if I had not been going below the speed limit because of the setting sun.  If I had, her family would have sued me because they would have been clueless as to the truth of what really happened.  What on earth are people thinking these days?!  Have we no common sense?  Have we turned into complete animals?

Animals at Bodhaine Ranch





It Ends Well

The world has gone mad

The stench of evil all around

At least it seems.

Bombs, fires, tornadoes

Hurricanes, oil spills, earthquakes

Locusts, killer bees, spiders

Missiles, atomic weapons

Automatic rifles inside schools.


Children — mere babies cursing

Parents and family abusing

Families torn apart.

Children born without families

Worse, those who were never born.


Where is the peace?  We cry.

Why do we suffer?

How long will the evil last?

Where is God?


Lilacs blossom, roses bloom

A child hugs another.

The fragrance of tiny orange blossoms

Fill the air.

A baby is born

The family dog guards the cradle.

A toddler takes first steps

Smoking BBQ sauce wafts in the crisp spring air.


Gentle rain falls on the window

The old couple cuddles under the warm quilt.

Soft music sets the mood as

A single candle flickers.

The words of the scriptures

Fill my mind.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:  not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:27

The end may be in sight;

But it ends well.


On a Spiritual High

All too soon, LDS (Mormon) General Conference is over for six months.  I am on a spiritual high.  The messages received from living apostles and prophets of God are always special. Sometimes I think they were given just for me, and that the speakers were speaking directly to me.

During conference I always have a chance online to interact with members of my faith, as well as many others who are not of my faith.  I was particularly touched when I saw this on Twitter:  “I’m not Mormon, but the #ldsconf tweets all over Twitter have some very good life lessons every Christian should take to heart!”  Needless to say, in addition to thanking this person, I have followed him on Twitter.  It is heartwarming to see others not of my faith begin to realize that Mormons are just like other Christians.  We don’t have tails.  We’re not a cult. No, we are very much like everyone else.  We’ve learned a few things about persecution over the last 183 years.  We’ve also learned a lot about turning the other cheek.

We don’t apologize for our beliefs, and we respect the rights of others to worship as they please. As a matter of fact our 11th Article of Faith states:  “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”  Since the very beginning, the goal has been to be of service to our fellow human beings, respectful of their beliefs (or lack of them), and to be at peace with our Heavenly Father.

There were so many great speakers (as always) at this General Conference, and I encourage everyone — Mormon as well as those of other faiths, to go to this website and watch.  You can watch entire sessions, or just an individual speaker.  You will be amazed at the peace you feel in your heart.  I will be studying these talks for the next six months until the October General Conference.

I have a testimony of living apostles and prophets.  I have a testimony of the restored church of Jesus Christ.