Archive for October, 2007

Coffee Shop Deer

Here’s a post I started a long time ago. And then it was summer and not nearly as funny.

I buy my kids’ clothes a year ahead. I like getting deals. I like my clear bins. I like my label maker. I like the sense of accomplishment that knowing my kids are clothed next year, even though I don’t know what they’ll eat for dinner tomorrow, brings.

Last year I bought this sweater for E for this winter. He saw it and was so excited that it had the “coffee shop deer” on it. It took me a minute but then I realized, we were spending too much time at Caribou Coffee.

Sweater

caribou coffee

WTH Part Deux

Holy crap, she’s talking about the weather again? Yes. Yes I am. Clearly I haven’t read this.

If you find my copious free-time can you send it back to me? I did hear that the Rockies were swept by the Red Sox.

Oh! I’m going to Houston this weekend to visit the very pretty, and very pregnant Lynn.

WTH?

Peter would say this is why he loves Colorado. Me? Not so much. It’s a little too schizophrenic.

Better to Give Than to Receive

Wow, I’m already reading posts about Christmas! Did I sleep through Halloween and Thanksgiving?

I really enjoy gift shopping for other people. I love to find the thing that speaks to me about that person, the thing that they’ll love and would never get for themselves. Am I always successful? Hardly. Do I spend an obscene amount of time searching and contemplating? Absolutely. And yet. Every year I get fed up. Frustrated. Vow that this is the last year that I’m shopping for anyone. I get too emotionally involved in the gift giving.

When we got married someone told us they didn’t buy us a gift because we didn’t tell them what to buy. Granted, we didn’t register. We weren’t setting up a new house. And, honestly, anything we would have registered for would have been price prohibitive for all sane people (see Le Creuset). But really? You didn’t purchase a gift BECAUSE we didn’t instruct you what to buy?

That sentiment gets my knickers in a knot. Buy a gift, don’t buy a gift, whatever. But do it because you want to, not because you have to.

This year, brother-in-law was tasked with convincing all adults in the family that we want to do a gift exchange. It gets us out of the rut of having a checklist of people and buying something, anything to fulfill our list. I’m glad to say he was successful. I am excited. Now, each of us can focus on one other person. We can find the gift. And me? I’ve already started my online browsing.

For the Love of Waffles

Maybe if there wasn’t a waffle on her plate she would have remembered the words.

Chili Cook-Off

Hey! I’m in a chili cook-off, because there are t-shirts! There are two categories: “regular” (red with or without beans) and “other.” Other can be chicken or green or anything not red. I was thinking pork green chili with pork ribs instead of cubes. How could ribs not push me into the winner’s circle? But then I remembered that I haven’t made green chili in years. No matter, that didn’t keep me from talking smack. Anyway, I have a crockpot. And the competition is noon on Friday. So, help a sister out and tell me your favorite recipes. I’m open to anything that’s tasty and crockpotable. I’ll remember to thank you in my winner’s speech.

Onslaught

I wish I could say my children won’t be affected by outside influences. They’ll go through middle and high schools with their self-esteem intact! Magic 8 Ball says: Doubtful. The media tells us we can be better people if we do/wear/carry/drink/eat/shop at/spritze their product(s). I like to think I’m a savvy consumer. I do believe I can help the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles with moisturizers. Do I think I’ll turn back the clock and look 18 again? Nope, and that’s great. I want to look my age. Just… more vibrant. On the flip side, I’m pretty sure my food would taste better stored in a french door refrigerator. Sears/Home Depot/Lowes told me so.

I like it. It’s catchy and all the other things that effective marketing is supposed to be. And for me, the little girl looks like I think Audrey will look in a few years, so they got my attention. They did a great job luring me in. Dove cares about ME! And MY daughter! It wasn’t an ad for products, it was an ad reminding parents to talk to their kids about self-esteem! How many mothers are going to now reach for the Dove products because Dove cares about their daughter? Sneaky marketers, got the hook in when I wasn’t looking. Since Dove cares about me and my daughter, using their products will make me realize I don’t need a boob lift! Washing with a Dove bar (yum, chocolate Dove bar) will keep me from wanting to purge my lunch!

I applaud Dove. They use real women in their advertising. And they try to attach a message to their advertising. But in the end, they’re still trying to tell me that I’ll be more beautiful if I use their products.

But that song? Totally catchy and stuck in my head.

Appropriate Play Experiences

Hasbro emailed me back. So underwhelming.

As a family organization we are committed to finding exciting and appropriate play experiences for boys and girls of all ages

I’m curious what an “appropriate” play experience is. Does Elliot riding his pink bike and carrying a purse count? Does Audrey wiping her penis with toilet paper count?

The gender specific toys help to build confidence and create wonderful bonding experiences amongst both parents of same sex children and amongst the children who they relate with most.

So daddies that don’t relate well with their daughters are out of luck? And if a mom isn’t a fan of trucks and other toys built for boyhood, and relates most with her daughter, she too won’t benefit from Hasbro toys?

Specifically on Tonka, there are essentially two reasons why we choose to market Tonka to boys. In all of our research, the overwhelming majority of Tonka interest is with little boys. Further, we have scores of research that tell us about the psychological differences between boys and girls and how they play. In fact, there is some recent research that explains how this can actually be traced back to the actual biology and chemistry in the brain. This research proves to us that while there will be girls who defy these studies, the marketing is best targeted to boys and moms of little boys.

At least they’ve done their research, I guess. And I get the point that they need to market what’s going to sell. But does it have to be so blatant?

I don’t know if I would have noticed this if I was a mother to only boys. In fact, I guess I wouldn’t. I do recall getting my knickers in a knot last winter while looking through the rec center catalog for classes for Elliot. I was looking at the gymnastics classes and found a cheerleading class. Because I always wanted to be a cheerleader am a consumer of information I read the entire class description. It was for GIRLS interested in cheer. I fired off an email to the head of the program. She wrote me back and was surprised that the description said that, she hadn’t written it or ever read it. She made it clear that boys were also welcome. Elliot was and is too young for that class. But cheerleading is a sport I can get behind when he’s in high school. And, because I’m not as enlightened as I wish – I’ll probably be mortified when Audrey wants to cheer.

My life? Full of contradictions. Mostly of my own making.