Archive for January, 2014
It was reported on the news that stores like Nordstrom’s Saks and Urban Outfitters are offering an ‘in-store bar’ for customers to drink while shopping. Is this a good idea? I know and you know bad purchases will be made when drunk. You’ll get the lady who buys a string bikini because she has ten drinks in her and thinks she’s lost fifty pounds. The next morning, looking in the mirror she realizes she made a bad purchase. Returns will be made. The reason on her return slip will read ‘under the influence.’
This may be one shopping trip a husband won’t mind his wife dragging him on. When you arrive at the store, you park your husband at the bar, kiss goodbye and go your merry way. Once he starts drinking he won’t know or care how many hours have past. The longer you shop, the happier he gets. He won’t remember you reaching in his pocket for his credit card because you maxed out yours. Shopping has become his favorite activity.
Men and women both may find shopping at the Whole Foods in North Texas a pleasant activity. This store is the first “commuter store,” which offers perks for business corridor-ers such as a taco bar, an upstairs lounge and a girl whose sole job is to buy your groceries while you drink and wait for traffic to thin.
How it works: you call or email them your shopping list before arriving and the girl does your shopping – free the first time and around $7 after that — while you sit at the bar. You can even give specific guidelines such as, “I want green bananas.”
When she’s done, she’ll keep your groceries refrigerated. When you’re done with your beer check in at the concierge desk and collect your groceries. I want to know if she’s paid extra to carry your groceries to the car.
Hopefully, the girl is not like my husband who’ll look at the list and demand, “Bread? What do you mean by bread?” After I explain, “Bread, you know, the stuff you put meat between and make a sandwich with,” and all the other items on the list I thought self-explanatory, I need as stiff drink. This drinking and shopping may be the next best thing since sliced bread.
There’s a café in London called Café Ziferblat that offer customers free coffee, tea, biscuits and Wi-Fi, but charges per minute. If that’s the case – drink up. I picture customers filling up thermos of coffee. This is smart business if customers linger, but not if they dash in and out.
My husband and I had lunch at a busy restaurant. Sitting next to us at a table for four was one girl and her laptop. With laptop, papers strewn about, a cup of coffee and feet up on the opposite chair the table became her private office in a public place. Even though she had a right to be there – was it inconsiderate of her to monopolize a table for four with others waiting? Should the manager have said something to her? She was there when we arrived and there when we left.
I think this is why restaurants that offer free Wi-Fi should bring back the counter, that restaurants such as Howard Johnson’s and Woolworth’s use to have. The counter section can be for Wi-Fi customers. Just hop up on a stool, set up laptop, papers, family photo, order your coffee and get to work. You won’t take up unnecessary space and the restaurant won’t lose business due to customers who can’t wait.
This leads me to a question. When a restaurant is busy – how long is too long to wait for a customer to pay their bill? Once they get the bill, how long should a couple be allowed to sit and talk, making hungry patrons wait? When is it ok for the manager to say something? Is it ever ok? Should there be a time limit?
I’ve been at restaurants, next in line to replace the couple sitting at table 6 with the check. I get excited when the man gets up. Then I get upset when the man removes his wallet from his pants and sits back down. I know never to get excited and expect a quick exit from the two ladies lunching because when the check comes they’ll get out paper and pen. Each one pays for their lunch and not a penny more. Mary will be made to pay even for the soggy fry (which she didn’t like) that Peggy offered her.
If they were at Café Ziferblat the only thing they’d have to calculate is their time. That should motivate them to move along.
A picky eater will buy a box of Fiddle Faddle and eat only the Faddle, leaving the Fiddle. A child doesn’t eat the lion from a box of animal crackers because they don’t like lions. You eat linguine and clam sauce and pick out the clams. You’re mystified by the person who orders onion soup without the onions. Is it called onion soup if it has no onions?
January is national soup month. I love soup. I love that a hearty soup (like chicken soup) is a whole meal in itself. I love that the one pot makes for easy cleanup. And who doesn’t love easy cleanup? My husband also loves chicken soup. I found it odd that until he met me he never had chicken soup with chicken in it, seemed odd since the main ingredient is chicken. If there’s no chicken then all you have is noodle soup. It’s not the same. Talk about false advertising.
Even though my husband and I agree on the fact chicken soup is better with chicken, we disagree on two things: the proper soup temperature. I like my soup piping hot even if a few taste buds on burned while slurping my soup. My husband likes soup and everything he eats at room temperature. My husband’s a busy man without time to spare blowing on his food. Why, he doesn’t even have to time cut his food. Give him a steak and forget the knife – he wants his food and he wants it fast. No time to cut and blow.
The second thing we disagree on is when to eat soup. I’ll eat soup year round since I love it. My husband says he can’t eat soup in the summer since it’s hot (outside.) Since he drinks cold beverages when it’s cold out, his reasoning is illogical to me. And since he eats his soup at room temperature, what difference does it make? I would think none.
When I was young I used to eat Lipton Cup-a-Soup. For a kid with absolutely no culinary skills whatsoever this was the perfect invention. No adult supervision required. No chopping onion or carrot necessary. No hacking up a chicken. All I did was boil water and WaLa I had instant gourmet soup in a cup. Even though I never saw any chicken I was convinced it was there. It had to be – the advertisers told me so.
Hey, now that I think of it – maybe that’s the only chicken soup my husband ate before he met me. It would make sense. He’s never been a picky eater.
Don’t want to buy jeans – now you can rent them at RentJeans.com. Don’t want to commit to buying a tie – now you can rent one at FreshNeck .com. I could see renting a tie – wear it once and then rent a different one – it’s like NETFLIX – watch a movie and rent another one. Renting jeans is a different story as there’s an emotional investment. Every woman who has tried on a pair of jeans asks the same question, “Does my butt look good in these jeans?” Rented jeans have been pre-shaped by someone else’s butt. The prior owner’s butt may have looked great, but your looks like a sack of potatoes.
Don’t want to buy designer duds for your kids – now you can rent clothes for kids at KiddieCouture.com. This is an online kids store where shipping is covered, outfits insured and accessories available. With a designer onesie when your baby messes it by going poop now you can clean it and send it back rather than keeping it. The thing is – the baby who messes it up doesn’t know if it’s designer wear or a hand-me-down. It makes no difference to them, unlike their parents. I’m guessing the kids wearing designer duds (even if rented) don’t wear hand-me-downs.
As the youngest of four children I wore hand-me-downs. It wasn’t until later in life I learned clothing could be bought new. My mother was our own personal seamstress. The magic she performed on a piece of cloth was no less than miraculous. She would take a pair of pant and tuck a little here, let out a little there, add some lace, move some buttons and presto, you had a new dress. The woman was Houdini with the magic she performed. When the clothing could be worn no more, it got a second life – as a rag. Our rag bag was made from real rags. There were no designer rags or designer duds for us.