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Southern comfort

Did you know Cracker Barrel has an online store?

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I was dozing on the couch and a commercial woke me up with the news.

For someone like me who doesn’t live near the Barrel, this is good news. Unfortunately you can’t order those nasty good Southern veggies online…or have Uncle Herschel’s breakfast delivered hot to your door.

But a ceramic owl spoon rest is nice, too.

Lost in translation

First of all, I want to clarify —

This is not a rant. Think of it more as a ‘huh.’

lost parcelYesterday a package arrived at my door.  It was addressed to a man who hasn’t lived here in almost six years.

I quickly deduced he had selected his old address by accident while shopping online, so I called the company to see if I could help correct his error.

(How nice am I?)

Turns out the company’s customer service just isn’t set up for this type of communication.  All their scripts are for customers, not people like me trying to assist another customer.  The representative I spoke with understood the situation and was definitely working with me to help correct it, but she refused — or maybe wasn’t allowed to? — say anything that was not in her script.

So nothing she said to me made any sense.

Even after we figured out how to resolve the shipment error, she thanked me for my order and hoped I would return again.

You know?  Probably not.

 

 

Cute as a button

When I worked at Hallmark Cards, I had the good fortune to work with a lot of very talented writers and artists.

Maura Cluthe was one of ’em.

She has her own website now — with a shop where you can buy posters, prints, books, buttons and stickers featuring her distinctive artwork.

My favorite?
happy blue button

Her new happy blue button.

Look at that face — gotta love those big, angelic-yet-mischievous eyes.

I wonder if she gives volume discounts? 🙂

Day Six, Vicenza: all that glitters

We have encountered a lot of history and beauty during our week in Italy, and our day in Vicenza was no exception.  But today I chose to focus on the beauty.

No museums for me.

The weather was just so nice — blue skies and warm temperatures after a few days of clouds, drizzle and chill.

So I hit the streets of this lovely, upscale village and shopped.

It’s the place to do it.

The only thing that hampered my trip was the shop merchants’ habit of closing down for 2-3 hours in the afternoon.  I found myself most interested in items that were behind locked doors, but with no signs to indicate when the owner would return…I left with the money still in my pocket.

For instance, I really wanted to look at these leather wallets and tablet covers…but the shop owner was nowhere to be found.

I’ll show him.  I know how to buy things on the Internet.

Still, it is a lovely village filled with nice people.

And as I walked the flagged boulevard toward the train station, I left with warm memories…

…and tired, aching feet.

Shop talk

A good friend of mine blogs about word meaning and use (see “Word Nymph“).  I thought of her the other day when I realized how my definition for the phrase “window shopping” has changed over the years.

Growing up in rural Kentucky, we had to drive a minimum of 30 minutes to get to a mall.  When you make that kind of time commitment, you usually buy something...so our window shopping took place in a catalog before we left.

After I moved away to college, shops and malls were much closer.  I didn’t have a car then, but I could hitch a ride with a friend easily enough and window shop to my heart’s content.  And I really did window shop back then, because goodness knows I didn’t have any money.

Then I moved to the Midwest and got jobs and cars and drove myself everywhere.  I probably intended to window shop, but instead ended up buying lots of things I didn’t need.

When I moved to the Northeast, things changed even more.  I sold my car.  Walk pretty much everywhere.  On every corner, there are stores for major brands and boutiques and shops. And where do I do most of my window shopping today?

Online.

It’s just so easy.  I can visit any store in seconds, click around on the merchandise — select hundreds of dollars worth, if I feel like it — put it in the shopping cart, and then close out the window, buying absolutely nothing.

I get all the fun of shopping without spending any real money…

…well, that trip.

Shop till you…

I have learned new holiday shopping lingo this week!

As you know, yesterday was ‘Cyber Monday,’ when all the online shopping portals featured fabulous one-day sales and deals.

Did you take advantage?  Shop much and save big?  No?!?

If you didn’t take advantage of yesterday’s Cyber Monday savings, you may experience ‘Tuesday Regrets’.  (I heard this on a TV ad, so you know it must be true.)

Which leads one to surmise….

If your ‘Tuesday Regrets’ are not quickly treated — with a dose of online (or over-the-counter) retail therapy — you might find yourself sinking into the ‘Wednesday Despairs’, followed by a rapid downward spiral into the ‘Thursday Self-Loathings’.  (Sufferers are encouraged to avoid “Grey’s Anatomy”, which can exacerbate existing symptoms.)

If conditions persist, ‘Black Friday’ may return, but not the day shoppers fondly recall.  While they may experience a renewed urge to purchase, they will find no day-after-Thanksgiving specials, which can lead to disorientation, disappointment and severe depression.

‘Suicidal Thoughts Saturday’ can then last up to 24 hours, but typically is cut short.

Happy shopping!