Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Card Massacre in Maryland

For the first time in the years I have graced this earth, the procrastinator in me didn't procrastinate buying a  Valentine's Day card. After seeing the path of destruction left at Target and Safeway yesterday morning, I'm relieved to have purchased my card long before those procrastinators terrorized the card aisles.

Such a sweet thought!

Late card buyers can be found in both sexes, among all races, and at all income levels. Sure, my observation isn't scientific nor valid, but it's safe to say we've all been card-buying procrastinators at some point. Target had an entire card aisle devoted to the holiday of love, but it wasn't enough. Customers jockeyed for position, possibly elbowing others, to skim the remaining cards. I was so proud of myself for beating the rush.

The Greeting Card Association estimates men spend twice as much on Valentine's Day gifts as women.

By 3 PM on Valentine's Day you won't find the card's matching envelope.

That's a new way of implying you want something else.

Walking against the traffic flow of procrastinating boyfriends and girlfriends and husbands and wives, I couldn't help but notice the immense pressure they had put onto themselves to find the perfect card. Beads of sweat were falling over their nervous faces as they realized time was running out.

Nothing like being romantic because the calendar told you so.

The scene was even worse at the Safeway florist with a queue of embarrassed, oh crap I didn't order flowers, in the doghouse SOs. I'll grant you that flowers are best if bought on the day they're given, but buying Safeway flowers for Valentine's Day means you forgot to get her an original gift and your desperate move to save face is buying a bouquet of battered tulips for $14.99 ($12.99 with a Safeway club card).

Good luck finding more than weeds on Valentine's Day.

In a sad attempt at tooting my horn again for this Valentine's Day, I was also not one of the embarrassed, oh crap I didn't order flowers, in the doghouse SOs. For once, I actually didn't just order flowers online.

So I hope that all of those late cardbuyers and flowerbuyers made it through yesterday unharmed. I've learned my lesson, never wait until the last minute to get Valentine's Day shopping out of the way. If you start now, you'll have a 364-day headstart.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I Smell Like A Chlorinated French Whore

First, allow me apologize to the large contingent of readers hailing from France who are whores. In this case, the stereotype of such a lady is her penchant for excessive perfume to cover the, um, smells that she attains during a typical workday/night. In my case, I am neither French nor a whore (except I whore myself to gain readers of this blog), but I do smell like far too many brands of cologne.

Gene Wilder's book, "My French Whore," isn't exactly about heavy perfume use.

I'm pretty sure users of this type of perfume bottle aren't reading this blog, don't have a cell phone, and don't watch Real World Brooklyn.

I rolled up to the Macy's in the Columbia Mall and began snorting colognes for purchase. Unlike the makeup counter salespeople who have to wear every one of their products, the women behind the cologne counter were not wearing all of the colognes. I didn't verify that the same was true for women selling perfumes, but you'd like to think that they wouldn't.

Good luck getting those smells off of you.

I smelled colognes from a black bottle, blue bottle, tall bottle, fat bottle, clamshell bottle (really), triangle bottle, and even bottles shaped like snowglobes. Most of the weird shapes came from the Bvlgari counter, none of which were even close to making it past the first round of auditions. I tried some from Calvin and other designers that were close, but not right. One cologne even smelled like black licorice, one of my most hated foods. No thanks.

I am so thankful to the person who realized coffee beans cleanse your nose's palate between sprays.

I settled on a cologne made by a woman known for wedding dress design - Vera Wang for Men. The product's description is: An aromatic oriental, the Vera Wang For Men fragrance is masculine and seductive. A scent designed to elicit desire, emotion and passion. If I can be both masculine and seductive by lining Vera Wang's pockets with cash, I'm all for it.

Quick, give us your "masculine" and "seductive" pose. Make it fierce!

I walked out of the mall with the smell of all colognes sprayed on my wrists. It seems that even small dashes of artificial pheromones are tough to remove. Despite multiple hand washes and one loofah-heavy shower, I still carry the scents of Bvlgari AQVA, Calvin Klein's Euphoria, and Carolina Herrera's 212, plus a few more colognes I can't recall. Having exercised this morning with a dip in the pool, it seems chlorine and an uncontrolled mixture of cologne don't mix.