So, I still can’t exactly let on about All Things Crappy right now, but I can tell you that my Uncle Norman died week before last. It was pretty sudden, but not necessarily unexpected – he’d had many chemo therapies and transfusions over at least the last year, maybe even the last couple of years, and kidney failure is what got him. Like most everyone else in my family, he was quite a character. I never got to know him as well as I could have, but I always liked him just fine.
He was a chemist, of which sort I’m not sure, and taught at OU as long as I can remember. He always had a book with him, generally quite thick, and about science or history or something very dry and of no interest to me. But conversation came easy to him on just about any subject. I enjoyed my last visit with him at Dad and Joane’s birthday dinner this past August. I think Norman generally disapproved when anyone in his family didn’t dive head first into higher education, but I also suspect that Norman may have secretly admired the fortitude of anyone who did entirely their own thing and succeeded. The memorial was very enjoyable, at an old train station in Norman, OK (where he lived – funny, no?) where family and friends shared stories and were encouraged to happily celebrate his life, rather than to sullenly lament his passing. He was 85 or 86, was up and around better than most of us to the very end, so he lived a very full and happy life. I’ll certainly miss his funny bald head and clever anecdotes at the future family gatherings. Nice knowing you, Norman.
Mr. Sarah’s birthday is in less than a week, and mine is exactly a week later, so yesterday, I thought I’d console us and gather up some b-day gifts for him. First I went to Guitar Center, and as much as I would have liked to support a local business, I couldn’t find a local music shop on my side of town that had what I wanted. This turned out to be fortuitous. I entered the store, explaining that I was completely out of my element, and described what I was after. We located it, and as the nice girl was ringing it up, she asked what my husband’s last name was, and I told her and she said “I’m not finding anything….” So, knowing my husband, and knowing he had shopped there at least once before, I took a wild stab and replied “Try Wellington.” I was trying not to die laughing as the predictable look of disbelief came over her face and she finally said “Beef? Beef Wellington?”
Dear retailers, Radio Shack included: when you ask my husband for his name at the time of a purchase, there’s no telling what you’ll get – if it isn’t a dirty look and a lecture about a man’s right to privacy, you’re in for something highly amusing. I was giggling all the way out to the car, thinking about how silly my hunny is. We’ll be married 12 years in January, and even though I feel like throttling him to death at least once a week, I’m still pretty sure it was a good idea to go ahead and make that impromptu trip to the OK County Courthouse and get hitched that cold winter day.
Another gift for him was a pair or two of Levi’s. In my opinion, the best place for men’s Levis is JCPenney, for selection and price. Apparently, his size is the most common among men who wear Levi’s, so it often takes some digging to find his size in just the right color or wash. I took a chance and got him a pair of 517’s and a pair 559’s. The 517’s were cut way too tight, and the 559’s were pretty right on. (The most significant part of this gift was not making him go buy them and try them on, even knowing that I may have to return them. After surprising him with the jeans and realizing the necessity for an exchange, I made it very clear what was going on, and that I would only go clothes shopping for him without him on very few occasions throughout the rest of our lives.) I promptly took the 517’s back and exchanged them for a pair of 569’s, which were very similar to the 559’s, and were cut very differently than the 569’s he still has from several years ago. Predictable, as well.
Enough with the numbers – the main point of this is that during my first trip to JCP, I got $20 credit, or JCP cash. When I swapped the 517’s for the 569’s on my second trip, I got another $10 JCP cash, even though no money exchanged hands. All the way down the escalator, I felt as if though I had gotten away with something big and that nobody really cared. I don’t really like feeling that way because it’s so American Condition… but I decided to go ahead and check out the misses Levi’s. After trying several pairs, I finally decided on a pair that I believed to be on sale for $39.99. It occurred to me to price check them in case they were in the wrong spot and… what? $10.83? This has to be a mistake, this is a perfectly good pair of Levi’s originally priced at $54.99 and the only ones I really liked out of the first several I tried on. I can’t possibly be this lucky. But just in case I am, I go ahead and grab another pair with interesting back pockets, that actually were $39.99, and they fit quite nicely, too. So I got out of JCPenneys on my second trip with two pairs of jeans for me – as if I need two more pairs of jeans, but whatever – for $21 and change. Even the nice girl who checked me out remarked on what a good deal I got. I’ve looked them over and can’t find a thing wrong with them.
I guess as craptacular as these last couple of weeks have been, something small but good was bound to happen.
Thanks for reading! Just thought I’d share a teeny bit, and that I’ll be deciding my Etsy/Superstars schedule very soon, and as soon as I do, I’ll share it with you in all of the pertinent places.