PSA – The hidden dangers of outlet shopping

Those of you who have been following along at home since the early days of “Hey Look a Chicken” have probably already read the following important Public Service Announcement, but in these days of a declining economy when disposable income is either scarce or non-existent, I think a repost is in order. (That, and I’ve been really busy this week and didn’t have time to write a new post.)

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 Mr. 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.

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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19 Responses to “PSA – The hidden dangers of outlet shopping”

  1. Michael September 9, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    Sadly, I personally can relate to the GP thing between laundry days. But I don’t think they are too comfortable. 🙂
    .-= Michael´s last blog ..Messed Up =-.

    • katdish September 9, 2010 at 11:52 am #

      Thanks for sharing, Michael.

  2. Sandra Heska King September 9, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    I so should not have started reading this while rolling a giant swig of coffee around in my mouth!

    And that box cover with the Donald scared me more than the kids’ cups.

    I have been known to grab a pair of my husband’s undies in an emergency. Is that TMI?
    .-= Sandra Heska King´s last blog ..Cornucopia =-.

    • katdish September 9, 2010 at 8:01 am #

      Yes. Definitely TMI.

      • Sandra Heska King September 9, 2010 at 8:55 am #

        I failed to mention–he never borrows mine. 😉
        .-= Sandra Heska King´s last blog ..Cornucopia =-.

        • katdish September 9, 2010 at 8:58 am #

          “Not that there’s anything wrong with that…”

  3. Helen September 9, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    The Mr. Potato Head cup would have been cute if it had actually been made by a child….

    I love my leopard print granny panties! RAWR!
    .-= Helen´s last blog ..Fruition of Hope =-.

  4. Kelly Langner Sauer September 9, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    you are whimsical-wise, you know. love the way you put things.
    .-= Kelly Langner Sauer´s last blog ..note to self- in which the photographer records some learning =-.

  5. Candy September 9, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    That clown cup may well have been my very first cup and has apparently scarred me for life, as in GAAAA!
    .-= Candy´s last blog ..Unexpected Hope =-.

    • A Simple Country Girl September 9, 2010 at 11:44 am #

      Maybe that is what happened to me miss Candy. Clowns are bad. And I mean B-AAAAA-D. Say it like a sheep would, b-aaaaaaa-d.

      My grandma made me a pretzel man clown thing that was about 4 feet tall. Had to toss it into the hall every night before bed. And if I only stuck him in the closet, I could hear him trying on my clothes. It was b-aaaaaaa-d.
      .-= A Simple Country Girl´s last blog ..Rides =-.

  6. Louise September 9, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    So, ummm. While people actually do buy these things, the scariest part is realizing, someone in a company somewhere thought… let’s make…. surfer dudes and chintzy cats and ghoul’s heads and….

    Oh my!

    Too funny!
    .-= Louise´s last blog ..Syncopation =-.

  7. Maureen September 9, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    I missed this on its first posting and I guess I’m glad I had a chance to read it.

    The Donald and Dr. Laura?! Gaaaaaaa.
    .-= Maureen´s last blog ..Betty Spackmans Found Wanting =-.

  8. A Simple Country Girl September 9, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    What’s an Outlet Mall?

    Do they sell covers for my electric outlets? Cuz I have a few with nary a cover. Shocking!

    .-= A Simple Country Girl´s last blog ..Rides =-.

    • katdish September 9, 2010 at 11:56 am #

      What’s an outlet mall? It’s a place where items that didn’t make it in the retail sales world go to die. You need to visit me in the city. There’s a whole big disturbing world of shopping I could show you.

      • A Simple Country Girl September 9, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

        Uh, sounds like the opposite of fun. Couldn’t we just go to a rodeo? Or drive by George Strait’s ranchola (wrong city, right state). I detest shopping–except for food, produce more specifically. I think I will keep wearing my husband’s jeans from high school with a cinched belt. And wait for him to bring me those large packets of underwear from Costco, ya know, along with dog food, tp, and olive oil?

        Okay, maybe if we went to an outlet mall full of wooden butlers…
        .-= A Simple Country Girl´s last blog ..Rides =-.

  9. Cassandra Frear September 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm #

    I was doing okay until I got to the granny panties. Then I couldn’t take it any more. At least, I was not drinking any coffee while I read this post.
    .-= Cassandra Frear´s last blog ..Under the Sun =-.

  10. Michelle@ Graceful September 9, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Oh this made me laugh today. I think I need to get me a doctor laura doll. And I’m sad to say, I think my underroos bear a striking resemblance to the grannies. Must hit victoria secret on the way home from work. Thanks for the reality check!
    .-= Michelle@ Graceful´s last blog ..Healing Sky =-.

  11. jasonS September 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    I definitely remember this one (how could one forget?). There is a word for these items and that word is… craptastic. 🙂
    .-= jasonS´s last blog ..Debt to Love =-.

  12. Hazel September 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    I love a bargain, but I taught my girls that not everything on sale is actually a bargain. What a great story and so worthy of a re-post. P.S. I just purchased some cotton granny panties, and if they were colored, they could pass for Lounging shorts. So comfortable!!
    .-= Hazel´s last blog ..Teachable or Gullible =-.

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