PSA No. 1: The hidden dangers of outlet shopping

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, but it bears repeating: Retail is for suckers. Having said that, I feel I should share with you some cautionary advice about spending extended periods in stores that offer “designer brands at discount prices”. If you do not find the deal of a lifetime within the first 10 minutes, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY! In your desperate attempt to find a bargain, often things that you wouldn’t give at the tackiest white elephant gift exchange somehow find their way into your shopping cart. If you are weak, shop with a buddy — preferably one who will bluntly tell you just how incredibly ugly that sunflower tea cozy really is. (If you’re in the Houston area, I am available at a nominal fee.)

Since a picture truly is worth a thousand words, I will give you some examples of what NOT to buy on your next shopping excursion.

In my exciting and rewarding career as a faux-paux painter, not only do I help my clients choose a color palette, help them with creative decorating solutions, and wipe God only knows what off of their baseboards, as an added service, I also am always on the lookout for decorative pieces that might fit with their decor. I have worked in a vast array of homes with a wide variety of decorative tastes. I have not, however, ever had the occasion to select anything like this:

(Then again, I’ve never painted for any missionary families.)

And while we’re on the subject of decorating, I have also painted a few fairly awesome beach themed rooms (if I do say so myself). Here’s the thing — if a child requests a surfing or beach theme, it is usually because he or she thinks it would be incredibly cool to have their friends hang out in said room. Resist the urge to buy every surfer themed item! Less is more. Besides, little statues like this do not scream, “I am cool”:

They scream, “I am as nerdy and as fish-belly white as Captain Shorty Pants, here.”

With a name like “katdish” you would think that I would be all about the decorative cat accessories — and you would be wrong. I don’t dislike cats; I have a cat. But having a real cat (and the associated litter box) is really all I need. I’m not fond of the bumper sticker declaring my sworn loyalty to the Abyssinian, Persian or Siamese. Nor, would I ever own any of these items:

And frankly, if you have actual cats that resemble any of the ones pictured, shopping should be way down the list of problems you’ve yet to deal with. And speaking of pets, if you purchase a lead crystal dog bowl for your little four-legged friend, does the word “Spoiled” really need to be engraved on it, Captain Obvious?

The following items truly defy any logic. I can only loosely categorize them into “weird stuff you might put food into or perhaps frighten a small child with”:

While we’re on the topic of frightening, have you ever purchased a celebrity endorsed product? I’m not talking about something useful like a thigh master or a George Foreman grill. What I mean is, have you purchased an item with a celebrity’s likeness on the packaging? Nothing says, “You really should stay with your own children next Christmas, Uncle Phil” like a celebrity endorsed board game:

Do we have any Dr. Laura fans out there? If you have read all of Dr. Schlessinger’s books and listen to her radio program faithfully, yet still are not entirely convinced of what a pathetic loser you really are, perhaps you may be in need of some personal counseling via your very own Dr. Laura doll:

Not only is your favorite snarky psycho-therapist decked out in a fabulous lemon yellow pants suit, but if you politely and respectfully press the center button of her single breasted, designer jacket, she will speak to you in that oh-so condescending voice of hers. I know this to be true, because I do what I am told. And when I saw that little blue circle that says “Try Me”, I did just that. I’m not entirely certain what she said to me, as my actions coincided with an announcement on the intercom (“Clean up on Aisle 5”). But I’m pretty sure she called me a tramp.

We’ve talked about the inside of your house, but what does the exterior of your home convey to others? Seriously, people. Do I even need to mention you should avoid the lawn and garden aisle at Big Lots at all costs?:

I also found a large assortment of toys and games soon destined to for the donation pile at your local house of worship, but I smell a post series, so I’m going to hang onto those pictures for awhile.

I will close this post with a word of advice for readers of the female persuasion. When you are getting dressed in the morning and your husband gazes upon your backside, do you really want him reminded of Easter egg hunts from days gone by, and the “big one that got away”?

While I have been known to rock the granny panties on those days between “when the laundry should be done” and “when the laundry is actually done”, clearly this should not be a regular practice. Besides, they make an excellent tea cozy!
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12 Responses to “PSA No. 1: The hidden dangers of outlet shopping”

  1. Helen January 29, 2009 at 9:40 am #

    >Why do you have to go hating on the lawn gnomes.

    (Be glad I didn’t share the granny panties videos….)

  2. Steph at The Red Clay Diaries January 29, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    >I think I’m going crazy. Either you posted this last night and I read it then, or I’m having a major case of deja vu…

    Which is it? Or are you just messing with me?

    Also… For me, this is definitely a day between “when the laundry needs to be done” and “when the laundry is actually done.”

  3. jasonS January 29, 2009 at 4:10 pm #

    >Too funny. My mom was a big outlet shopper growing up and we even went way out of our way on family vacations to stop at giant outlet malls and the like. I have witnessed the carnage firsthand and I’m a different man.

    Also, loved not 1 but 2 “captain” references. Captain Shorty-Pants and Captain Obvious- 2 of my favorite underappreciated superheroes.

  4. Tony C January 29, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    >The very fact you have a label for ‘granny panties’ is why I visit your blog….plus you’re never short on the sharpest wit around.

    Wow, those cats were scary looking!

    Always a pleasure…never a bore.

  5. Nick the Geek January 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm #

    >I just want to say that the phrase “rock the grannie panties” is something you don’t hear every day and has some interesting applications when you consider the stereotyped grannie in the rocking chair. *snicker*

  6. Jeff January 29, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    >Rock on with the missionary family reference- masks are always a favorite!

    I believe this one depicts “Gaspacious,” the Greek god of surprise.

  7. vanityofvanities January 29, 2009 at 7:02 pm #

    >I LOVE DR. LAURA! She probably did call you a tramp. And if she did, you really might want to re-evaluate yourself because she’s always right.

  8. vanityofvanities January 29, 2009 at 7:04 pm #

    >Hahaha wait. I didn’t mean she probably called you a tramp because I think you probably are a tramp. I mean it’s a very Dr. Laura-esque thing to say. So, I should have said that it’s entirely possible that she might use that term to describe someone. If, in fact, she did and if, in fact, it happened to be directed toward you, you might want to re-evaluate.

    Incidentally, I just had two funny word verifications in a row, but I’m entirely too uncreative and I can’t think of any good definitions. But, they made me laugh. They were “swaxi” and “framlin.” Jokes? Anyone?

  9. katdish January 29, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    >Oh, hey…Angela loves Dr. Laura. Now there’s a shocker.

    And I am NOT a tramp! (anymore)

  10. sherri January 29, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    >I would love to go shopping with you!

    My cousin and I kinda’ do this same “schtick” when we go to these places. Who’s buying this stuff?

    Never thought of taking a camera along…NEXT time I will, and you can write another clever post!

    wv: fertrai
    “I’m buyin’ that there scary mug fertrai, my little granbaby. He needs to tuffen up anyways, little crybaby.”

  11. Candace Jean July 16 January 30, 2009 at 12:15 am #

    >Where were those Granny Panties when I needed them (the week before my Jan 18 post)??? Anyone wearing them has never been called a tramp. I’m sure Dr. Laura wears them.

  12. texasshawn January 30, 2009 at 1:45 am #

    >Those cats are almost as scary as those underpants!

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