Tag: Money

How to Buy Awesome Christmas Presents Without Breaking The Bank!

shopping

I have a lot of friends and family members that dread Christmas for the simple fact that it is a financial drain that sucks them dry clear into February.  And that’s sad.  Because Christmas should be such a fun and happy time of the year.  No one should be a grinch because they dread buying presents.  So, I thought I would give you some quick tips on how to buy awesome awesome presents without breaking your bank account or pretending that you do not have bills for the entire month of December.

  • Start early and shop often

This may be the single best advice anyone can follow to avoid going completely broke the month of December.  If you buy a gift of two every paycheck it makes the December gift buying frenzy much less painful.  I bought my first gift in September and a lot of my friends made fun of me.  But now, I’m almost completely done Christmas shopping and don’t have to worry about not being able to pay my bills in December.  Plus, I’ll have extra cash to do something fun, like go see a Christmas show or go ice skating.

  • Keep alert for sales

Check out sales even if they are months from Christmas.  I bought an awesome present for my mother during a labor day sale for $14.99 that would have normally been $84.99.  Labor day sales, Columbus day sales, and Veterans days sales are all sorely overlooked.  Also, stores going out of business are awesome for scoring super low cost gifts.  We recently has a Sears going out of business and were able to pick up shirts for as low as $4 a piece!

  • Know what to wait on for Black Friday or Cyber Monday

Some sales are awesome, but some items are just better off waiting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  For example, most clothing stores have amazing black Friday sales the whole weekend that are even available online if you don’t feel like venturing out (most have free shipping during those sales too).  Appliances are another thing that it might be worth waiting on.

  • Utilize outlet stores

Outlet stores can be your best friend, especially for the big brand name lovers in your life.  I recently bought a $45 brand name item for $20 at an outlet store.  Be warned though, not all outlet stores have awesome deals, so make sure to do your research before getting excited about a sale that might not be such a good deal.

  • Learn the art of ‘Pile Building’

Inevitably, you will have someone on your Christmas list that loves big piles of gifts instead of one big ticket item.  Building a pile of gifts can be really intimidating and seem like it can cost a lot of money, but realistically you can build an awesome pile of gifts without breaking your bank account.  The secret is to spending the bulk of your budget on a more expensive gift and then spend the rest of your budget on smaller, thoughtful gifts that the recipient may not have requested, but will make their life easier or make them smile.  Bottom dollar is one of my favorite stores for pile boosting.  It has awesome, useful, and fun gifts like books, nail polish, scarfs, shirts, games, art and fitness supplies, that are all under five dollars.  It takes a little creativity and soul searching to really know what will resonate with that particular individual but sometimes those types of gifts end up more well received than a high dollar gift card because they have thought put into them.

  • Ask store associates

Store associates have the in on when certain items go on sale.  Try asking an associate if there is a particular item you are waiting to go on sale.  You can also ask when the store has its best sales.  Chances are, they know.

  • Shop around

Shopping around has never been easier.  Have an idea for a gift?  Google it and click the shopping tab.  See what the prices are at different locations.  With smart phones, even when you are out shopping you can compare prices in store to prices on the web.  Sometimes what appears to be a great deal isn’t as good as it really could be.

Maybe its a little early for the holly jolly.  But planning ahead can save you some serious money and anxiety closer to the Christmas season.  Plus, its always fun to find an awesome gift for someone and know that it was a great steal.

What are your tips for smart Christmas shopping? Please share in the comments below

*Excerpt taken from The Handmade Hippie.

Wait A Minute, Money Can Buy Happiness!

We humans spend a lot of time waiting in lines: People queue up for days in order to get their hands on the latest iPhone, or what feels like eons for a table at that hip new brunch place.

You may be better off spending time and money on the latter. A growing body of research has shown that experiences tend to make people happier than material possessions.

And even anticipating an experience like a concert, a ski trip or what better be a really great brunch makes us happier than purchasing the latest gadgets, according to a study published Tuesday in Psychological Science.

The study, cleverly titled Waiting for Merlot: Anticipatory Consumption of Experiential and Material Purchases, tracked how about 100 college students and over 2,200 randomly selected adults felt about material goods and experiences.

People got excited about both things and events. But they tended to feel more positive about experiential purchases, and their feelings about material purchases were more likely to be tinged with feelings of impatience.

“I think one aspect of that has to do with the nature of imagination,” says Amit Kumar, a doctoral student of psychology at Cornell University and one of the researchers behind the paper.

“If you’re waiting to buy an iPhone, you know exactly how many megapixels the camera on the new phone will have,” Kumar told Shots. People often get really creative while planning out a future vacation, he says, and just thinking about all the things they’ll be doing and all fun they’ll be having can boost their mood.

Plus when it comes to experiences, money isn’t as much of an issue, the researchers hypothesize. People may be competitive when it comes to keeping up with the Joneses, but tend to be less competitive about spending on experiences.

And as people age, they tend to find more joy in ordinary, everyday experiences like walking or gardening, compared to that trip to Fiji, another recent study found.

One reason may be that experiences give people the opportunity to bond and socialize, Kumar says. Even when if you aren’t guaranteed a ticket to a concert or a taco from the cool new food truck, people often enjoy waiting in line. “While waiting for concert tickets, people reported singing songs together, or people would be playing games with each other while they’re waiting,” he says.

And we’ve got proof of that right here at Shots. Editor Scott Hensley says he could buy tickets online for the Old Ebbitt Grill’s annual Oyster Riot, but he much prefers going downtown first thing in the morning and waiting in line with his fellow oyster aficionados.

That sounds a lot more fun than those Black Friday scuffles over flat screens and Xboxes. Indeed, Kumar and his colleagues compared news reports about people waiting in line and found that long waits for material purchases were more likely to end in violence.

We bet nobody’s gotten into a fight while waiting for that oyster party.

vacation

*Article originally published on NPR.

 

Do Bigger Weddings Equal Bigger Marital Bliss?

Eloping at city hall may seem like a sign of love so true and everlasting that there’s no need to muddle it with elaborate wedding plans, but new research points to another finding: that having a formal wedding — the larger the better — may lead to a happier marriage down the road.

“We know from social psychology research that people like to be consistent, so making a public declaration of commitment may help people follow through on their commitments,” Galena K. Rhoades, co-author of the study, released by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, told Yahoo Health in an email. “This finding may also reflect that couples who have stronger communities and greater social support tend to do better,” she said.

The study, co-authored by Rhoades and Scott M. Stanley, both University of Denver research associate professors of psychology, was based on new data from the Relationship Development Study, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. They looked closely at 418 new marriages, analyzing the history of the relationships, prior romantic experiences, and the reported quality of the couples’ marriages.

“Most of the individuals who married over the course of our study, 89 percent in all, reported having had a formal wedding. Those who did reported higher marital quality than those who did not,” the researchers wrote.

In the study, having more guests at a wedding was associated with higher marital quality. To illustrate this association, researchers created groups of those who had weddings with 50 or fewer, 51 to 149, or 150 or more guests. Of those with 50 or fewer attendees, 31 percent had particularly high marital satisfaction; those percentages rose to 37 percent in the 51-to-149 attendees category, and 47 percent for those who had had 150 or more people at their wedding.

“Small or large, wedding ceremonies also reflect and enhance the community context of marriages. Weddings, after all, are public celebrations involving family, close friends, and often a wider network of people around a couple,” they added. “Emile Durkheim, the celebrated sociologist, is famous for arguing that community, and the rituals associated with collective life, give meaning, purpose, and stability to social life. The association between having a wedding and having a stronger, happier marriage could reflect two dynamics in this context. First, weddings may foster support for the new marriage from within a couple’s network of friends and family. Second, those who hold a formal wedding are likely to have stronger social networks in the first place.”

A formal wedding with many guests was not the only formula for success, though. Among the other findings:

• Those who had had more romantic experiences, such as having had more sexual or cohabiting partners, were less likely to forge a high-quality marriage than those with a less complex romantic history — which might seem counterintuitive. “It is surprising,” Rhoades said. “In most parts of our lives, more experience is better, but here we found the opposite. We think that more relationship experience may give people a greater sense of what the alternatives are, which may make them more likely to compare their marriages to past relationships or experiences. More experience in relationships also means more experience breaking up, and so it might set up a mindset that future relationships are also more fragile.”

• Spouses who had kicked off their relationship by “hooking up,” reported slightly less marital satisfaction than those who had waited a while before having sex — something that jibes with other past research, such as a 2012 study that found that women who waited a whopping 182 days before having sex with their partner reported better intimacy and social support in their relationships.

• Couples that “slid” into living together rather than talking it out and making a conscious, definitive decision about cohabiting had slightly lower marital quality later on.

But all is not lost, Stanley noted, if you’ve already set up your present marriage to be seemingly less successful than it could have been — at least according to these findings. “No one is doomed because of their past,” he told Yahoo Health. “Anyone can start going a bit slower, and start making decisions about important aspects of relationships — especially important relationship transitions — and improve their odds of making an existing relationship better, or finding the best partner for themselves in the future.”

Who Knew? A Bigger Wedding Could Equal a Happier Marriage

(Photo by Giphy.com)

*Article was originally posted on Yahoo.

The Myth Of Wealthy Men And Beautiful Women

In one illustrious study of love (“human sexual selection”) in 1986, psychologists David Buss and Michael Barnes asked people to rank 76 characteristics: What do you value most in a potential mate?

The winner wasn’t beauty, and it wasn’t wealth. Number one was “kind and understanding,” followed by “exciting personality” and then “intelligent.” Men did say they valued appearances more highly than women did, and women said they valued “good earning capacity” more highly than men did—but neither ranked measures of physical attractiveness or socioeconomic status among their top considerations.

People, though, are liars. Experiments that don’t rely on self-reporting regularly show that physical attractiveness is exquisitely, at times incomparably, important to both men and women. Status (however you want to measure it: income, formal education, et cetera) is often not far behind. In real-life dating studies, which get closer to genuine intentions, physical attractiveness and earning potential strongly predict romantic attraction.

While people tend to prefer people similar to themselves in terms of traits like religiousness or thriftiness, when it comes to beauty and income, more is almost always seen as better. On these “consensually-ranked” traits, people seem to aspire to partners who rank more highly than themselves. They don’t want a match so much as a jackpot.

The stereotypical example of that is known in sociology as a “beauty-status exchange”—an attractive person marries a wealthy or otherwise powerful person, and both win. It’s the classic story of an elderly polymath-billionaire who has sustained damning burns to the face who marries a swimsuit model who can’t find Paris on a map but really wants to go there, because it’s romantic.

All you need is money or power, the notion goes, and beautiful lovers present themselves to you for the taking.

When Homer Simpson once came into a 500-pound surfeit of sugar, his id instinct was to turn it into fortune and sexual prosperity. “In America,” he said—half dreaming after a night spent guarding the mound in his backyard—”First you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women.” That’s an homage to Scarface (in the movie the quote was “money” instead of “sugar”), and it’s where both Simpson and Tony Montana went emphatically astray.

University of Notre Dame sociologist Elizabeth McClintock has done exhaustive research on the idea of people exchanging traits. Her work waspublished last month in American Sociological Review, looking at data from 1,507 couples in various stages of relationships, including dating, cohabiting, and married. “Beauty-status exchange accords with the popular conception of romantic partner selection as a competitive market process,” McClintock wrote, “a conception widely accepted in both popular culture and academia.” She referred specifically to the gendered version, “in which an economically successful man partners with a beautiful ‘trophy wife,'” as commonplace.

But McClintock found that outside of ailing tycoons and Donald Trump, in the practical world it basically doesn’t exist. Where it does, it doesn’t last. The dominant force in mating is matching.

What appears to be an exchange of beauty for socioeconomic status is often actually not an exchange, McClintock wrote, but a series of matched virtues. Economically successful women partner with economically successful men, and physically attractive women partner with physically attractive men.

“Sometimes you hear that really nice guys get hot girls,” McClintock told me, “[but] I found that really nice guys get really nice girls. [Being nice] is not really buying you any currency in the attractiveness realm. If the guys are hot, too, then sure, they can get a hot girl.”

Because people of high socioeconomic status are, on average, rated as more physically attractive than people of lower status, many correlations between one partner’s appearance and the other partner’s status are spurious and misconstrued.

“Women spend a lot more time trying to look good than men do,” McClintock said. “That creates a lot of mess in this data. If you don’t take that into account then you actually see there’s a lot of these guys who are partnered with women who are better looking than them, which is just because, on average, women are better looking. Men are partnering ‘up’ in attractiveness. And men earn more than women—we’ve got that 70-percentwage gap—so women marry ‘up’ in income. You’ve got to take these things into account before concluding that women are trading beauty for money.”

The study concludes that women aren’t really out for men with more wealth than themselves, nor are men looking for women who outshine them in beauty. Rather, hearteningly, people really are looking for … compatibility and companionship. Finding those things is driven by matching one’s strengths with a partner who’s similarly endowed, rather than trying to barter kindness for hotness, humor for conscientiousness, cultural savvy for handyman-ship, or graduate degrees for marketable skills.

At least partly because physically attractive individuals are treated preferentially by the world at large, they enjoy improved school performance, greater occupational success, and higher earnings. So these variables can be hard to isolate.

“It would be very hard to separate out class and attractiveness,” McClintock said, “because they’re just so fundamentally linked. I can’t control for that—but I don’t see how anybody could.”

Past research has found that both physical attractiveness and education “help a woman achieve upward mobility through marriage (defined as marrying a man of higher occupational status than her father),” McClintock noted in the journal article, “and help her marry a man of high occupational status, in absolute terms.” But these studies regularly excluded any evaluation of the men’s physical attractiveness, and so didn’t address the simple fact that it might just be two attractive people being attracted to one another, probably in attractive clothes in an attractive place, both perpetually well slept. Any “exchange” was an illusion.

McClintock has also found that the pervasive tendency toward rating higher-status people as more attractive seems to perpetuate itself . “Because of that,” she said, “there’s a bias toward seeing women who are married to high-status men—who are themselves high-status—as being more attractive. It creates this self-affirming circle where we never even stop to ask if we perceive the man as good-looking. We just say she’s good-looking, he’s high status—and she’s good-looking in part because the couple is high-status.”

“Assuming that the importance of beauty and status is gendered may cause researchers to overlook men’s attractiveness and women’s socioeconomic resources,” Eli Finkel, a psychologist at Northwestern University, told New York magazine, praising McClintock’s work. In so doing, scientists misidentify matching as exchange.

“Scientists are humans, too,” Finkel claimed, “and we can be inadvertently blinded by beliefs about how the world works. The studies that only looked at men’s (but not women’s) income and only looked at women’s (but not men’s) attractiveness were problematic in that way, as was the peer review process that allowed flawed papers like that to be published.”

“Controlling for both partners’ physical attractiveness may not eliminate the relationship between female beauty and male status,” McClintock wrote, “but it should at least reduce this relationship substantially.”

Even as its pervasiveness in popular culture is waning, the gendered beauty-status exchange model is harmful in several insidious ways, McClintock said. “It trivializes the importance of women’s careers in a social sense: It’s telling women that what matters is your looks, and your other accomplishments and qualities don’t matter on the partner market. The truth is, people are evaluating women for their looks, and they’re evaluating men for their looks. Women are as shallow as men when it comes to appearance, and they should focus on their own accomplishments. If women want an accomplished guy, that’s going to come with being accomplished.”

So this is just one more place where upward mobility is, it seems, a myth. But in this case, no love is lost. Within the gendered beauty-status exchange model, physical attractiveness “might enable class mobility for women,” yes, McClintock wrote, but not without ensuring the women’s economic dependency on her husband and anachronistically ignoring her valuation of his physical attractiveness.

“It also sets up this idea of marriage being mercenary,” McClintock said, “which doesn’t fit with our usual conception that we kind of like our spouse and we want someone that we get along with. It’s not just this trade of his money for her beauty, and he’s going to dump her as soon as she starts to get some wrinkles around her eyes.”

 old pretty

*Article originally published on The Atlantic.

11 Things Men Don’t Know How To Do Anymore

According to a survey of random Americans, which asked, “What makes a man a man,” 31% responded “strength,” 7% said “arm strength,” 24% said “leadership,” and the rest responded with a similar variant (“has physical strength,” “can fix things”). The survey, informally conducted by Esquire, really leaves only one thing to be said: What?

While we’re somewhat in the nice-guy-metrosexual-Ryan-Gosling-is-the-new-ladykiller generation, many men still view masculinity in pretty black-and-white terms. And the terms are kind of ridiculous. The “Do you even lift, bro?” meme is a joke, but only sort of. After all, arm strength apparently defines masculinity to one out of every thirteen people, and the notion that barbecuing, woodworking and hunting comprise manliness are still ingrained in the male psyche.

There’s nothing really wrong with this exactly, but we’re an evolved species, so the way to a woman’s heart or to personal fulfillment is no longer through brute strength and the ability to carve a turkey with a knife you fashioned out of spare wood (although I guess that’s pretty cool).

So in addition to working on your biceps and turkey-carving techniques, bone up on the skills that will help you charm, attract and accomplish. There will be times when you need to open a jar and all that arm strength will come in handy. But, in the meantime, reassessing what it really means to be a 21st-century man might be a better bet.

1. Understand the Difference Between Being a Man and Being a D-Bag

It’s a surprisingly thin line. Take the idea of strength training, for example. It’s manly, even gentlemanly, to hit the gym a few times a week in order to stay fit, build up some strength, and become a better athlete. It becomes douche-y, however, when you become a protein shake aficionado and see working out as a) the most important thing in your day and b) as a direct route to getting with women. This applies to all sorts of daily activities, but the realm of sports and eating are the most classic battlegrounds (good job, you eat a lot of bacon, please tell us more). The best way to walk the tightrope across this treacherous chasm is by being secure with who you are. If you’re not a hyper-masculine dude, no worries. The numbers on your weights don’t decide your masculinity.

Dbag

2. Have A Signature Dish to Cook

The days of the hunter-gatherer are gone which means bringing home food – any food – isn’t going to cut it anymore. Have a go-to dish, whether it’s something as simple as pesto chicken pasta or as complex as coq au vin in your repertoire. That way, you can whip it up while when you’re the dinner party host or on a stay-in date. Keep a bottle of accessible red wine (perhaps a Pinot Noir or Malbec) somewhere around the place to. Lord knows you’d have to offer a Budweiser with your mushroom risotto and send the whole thing to hell.

cooking men

3. Be the Leader of Your Friend Group

This one might seem a little rude or overly aggressive, but respect breeds respect. If women, coworkers, even other men, see that you’re the go-to guy in your friend group, they’ll be drawn to you for both the security and popularity you can provide. It may sound a little too “middle school,” but social capital is among the most powerful forms of currency. Plan nights out, make the necessary phone calls and texts, and be a generally approachable, kind guy. Perhaps it’s a slight bit of work, but like most long-term endeavors, it will pay off.

leader of the pack

4. Know How to Lose an Afternoon

Oh you’re really busy and constantly stressed? You must important. C’mon now, nobody likes that guy. The coolest men maintain a balance of self-seriousness and capacity for a little play. Adrenaline seekers may go for skydiving or the shooting range, but the ability to push your quotidian worries aside for a little reading, writing, painting – whatever you like to do when you’re not on the clock — is as important as any. Having no life outside of work isn’t going to charm anyone but those interested purely in your career success, which means you’ll only be popular with the other work-obsessed zombies and any nearby gold diggers. Don’t be a gold digger guy yet. You’re not nearly old enough for that.

Kill an afternoon

5. Learn How to Speak Money

You’re going to want to have some money to fall back on if life presents a large speed bump. So too you’ll be desiring some cash when you’re looking to buy your first house, car, or a respectable rock for that wedding ring. Put away at least ten percent from your pre-tax paycheck and see that nest egg slowly grow. While you’re at it, learn about basic investments. Creating a diverse portfolio as early as possible is a sinfully easy way to earn money. Not everyone is in a position to start saving and investing, but once a job comes your way, whether it’s as an “ice cream scooping artist” or hedge fund manager, it’s best for some of that money to be tucked away for a rainy day. This is the twenty-first century too after all, so money-managing technology like Mint.com are simple ways to track your spending and earning.

Speak money

6. Create Something for the Long-Term

Be it a business or a book, create something and see it through to the end. You don’t have to find great financial success as a result, but the act of creating something that will forever have your name attached to it lends purpose and deep satisfaction. In our age, so much of creation isn’t really satisfying. Rather than working away on longer-term projects, we expend our creativity on writing short things like a clever Facebook status or Twitter post. None of this affords the same kind of big-time satisfaction as completing a project you’ve really invested yourself in. So find your niche, identify your skillset, and start outlining for that long-term project.

long term

7. Read Hemingway, Nabokov and Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald was the original Ryan Gosling. Sensitive, smart, and always working on that hair part. Although he and Hemingway allegedly compared… baguettes… in a café bathroom and his wife, Zelda Sayre, complained about his inability to sexually please her, there’s still much to be learned from this man’s insight on women. After all, he was so good at understanding women in his own life that he used them to create some of literature’s most dynamite female characters, like Daisy Buchanan and Rosalind Connage (based on Ginerva King and Zelda, respectively). Nabokov’s Lolita is likewise a must, and Hemingway’s sparse prose of war and death are as serious — and manly — as they come.

Read men

8. Learn How to Tie a Tie

You’re going to need to know how to do it sometime, even if it’s just for the occasional wedding. Be self-sufficient and get that half-Windsor knotted.

tie a tie

9. Look Good

Individualism is crafted in a variety of ways, but the easiest way to cultivate it — and the way noticed most quickly by everyone else – is through personal style. The word “style” unfortunately conjures images of department store catalogues and fedoras, but it needn’t have to. We men have it pretty easy. Clean, simple, and well-tailored are pretty much the only fashion tenants we have to pay attention to. Pick a shirt, pick your trousers, and try your best to match your belt to your shoes. Skip the ostentatious “flair.” No need to be a walking TGI Fridays.

look good

10. Master the Three C’s: Charisma, Conversation and Charm

Charisma isn’t something that anyone inherently has. It’s something that’s given you by those who respect you and what you have to say. Earn this charisma not by talking everyone’s ear off but by listening and contributing thoughts both clever and deep. Eye contact, name repetition, and a genuine interest in others can get you surprisingly far.

charisma

11. Be Interesting and Interested

Be well-read, able to quote when appropriate and discuss when others are interested. Be well-traveled and have a variety of stories on hand. Be generous, able to see that no matter your situation there are always those who are worse off than you. Be fit, for the ability to take care of yourself is indicative of how you’ll take care of others. Be kind. Be engaging. Be decisive and be pensive. Know how to take care of yourself. If you’re feeling less than intelligent, read a book. If you’re feeling less than attractive, hit the gym. If you’re feeling less than inspired, study the lives of those you most respect. I’ve always thought that if one had to choose between wealth and interestingness, you’d have to be brainless to pick the former. There’s nothing manly about a guy who leads a dull life.

interesting

*Article was originally published on Thought Catalog.

There’s Voodoo at Target, Ya’ll!

Seriously, there has GOT to be some sort of voodoo at Target. That is the only explanation for how that place traps the most innocent people into these marathon shopping excursions that result in overdrawn bank accounts and hurting feet.

Target 1

First of all, going to Target on a Sunday is the worst. You get there and every single space in the mega parking lot is full. ARE PEOPLE CLUBBING IN THERE??? Is there a drink special??? Am I underdressed in these Uggs and sweatpants? Do I need a neon green wristband to get in? Why is it so full at 11am on the Lord’s Day??? “Club Target” is POPPING!

Then you play “scope that spot” and find one (after losing 3 to people who can turn sharply faster) and you end up at the farthest end of the lot. You walk the three blocks to the door, dipping and dodging cars that are coming both ways to play the same game you just finished, and finally enter Target.

What greets you is chaos. It’s a shopping amusement park. And if you weren’t high on whatever oxygen they must pump through the vents to keep you on a high, you’d turn right around. But you don’t. We don’t. We never do. They must pump the same air they pump into casinos in Target. I just know they do. We go right in, jolly, because Target has got voodoo.

You walk into Target with your shopping list ready. You’ve written down 10 things you need. YOU ONLY need 10 things, you’ll pick them up and you’ll leave. That’s the plan. But it fails. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

You go into Target sometimes just because you need some glue and you walk out with a new cabinet, a dorm refrigerator and 4 new lamps. But you forgot the glue and you have no explanation for it.

You GOTTA pay your bills before going to Target. Otherwise you’re gonna be homeless with a nice body pillow and 3-tier clear cart. It is NOT a game!

I once went to target for a travel size toothpaste. I came out with hair oil, shoes, fruit roll-ups, tape. And forgot the toothpaste, of course! I got home like “CRAP! Now I don’t have toothpaste for my trip!” I had to buy toothpaste when I got to the airport. BUT I HAD TAPE!

But you haven’t seen temptation until you’ve gone to a Super Target. You try not to spend at least $200 under that pressure of a Target that is laid out like the bricks of the pyramids. Those Targets are TWO or THREE floors. You walk in, breathe in deeply and whisper “I’m home.” You get a cart and start dicing between the aisles like the pro you are.

When you’re done with floor 1, you gleefully place your cart on those cart escalators and clap your hands like a drunk seal because it amuses you so much. And then you proceed to do damage on floor 2. Four hours later, you walk out with a bank account that’s $500 poorer and tons of time that you can’t account for in your day. And you get home to find that you just bought a new computer chair, 15 2-pocket folders, a wrench, several picture frames and a bucket hat. Then you put your face in your palms and tell yourself this will never happen again. And you go back the next Sunday for a repeat and cry on your couch again about how you’re such a failure.

This is me every time I walk into Target:

Lord Is Testing Me gif

It’s just such an experience that we seem to enjoy failing at. One day I went into Target rocking a red shirt and tan pants. Someone asked if I could help them pull something from a shelf. And I did. I even told them what aisle to go for the next thing they needed. Listen, when in Rome… be helpful. Or something like that.

And since Target has restaurants in it, when you get hungry you ain’t don’t have to leave. I LOVE getting a personal pizza from the Pizza Hut there. I sit down, reload and start shopping again. This is how one trip becomes a full day event. I walk in at noon and walk out at 6pm wondering what I did with my life.

TARGET HAS VOODOO, Y’ALL! That red sign with a bulls-eye is a conspiracy to hypnotize us and make us do things like spend all our money and time. You can’t tell me otherwise. (-__-)

Ugh. I love that store and I can’t help myself.

So, am I the only one? I’d love to hear your Target stories below.

Target

*This article was originally published on AwesomeLuvvie (edited for brevity).

Is He Cheap Or Does He Just Have Bad Taste?

I’ve gotten some pretty good gifts from my ex-boyfriends and the men that I’ve dated. Everything from clothes to jewelry & everything in between. I’ve mostly enjoyed them not because they were free but because they were things that either reflected my personal taste or were things I actually needed. With that said, I’ve also received some pretty bad gifts ranging from household appliances to gift cards (more about why I think that’s a bad gift in another post).

Now it’s not so much that the gifts themselves were horrible, it’s the fact that it seems as if the men who gave them to me didn’t put much effort or thought into what they gave me. It’s as if they didn’t know me very well since they were gifts that I didn’t really want or even like.

Some gifts that were given to me were just in poor taste. Who gives a woman dishes & kitchen appliances as a birthday gift? And tacky ones at that? This screams tasteless to me. What about a used gift? I’ve gotten some of those before – the wrapper was gone, the edges were already crinkled or there was already some “mysterious” stain on the gift. What is that about? This makes me think that the men who gave me these gifts were just plain cheap. Too cheap to buy me something new or original. They know that they have to buy a gift but they don’t want to invest their money in getting something nice for me. I think a lot of men try to cut corners by getting “imitation” gifts. Surely, some of you women have received these gifts. If you don’t think so, just grab a magnet & test that ‘so-called’ solid gold jewelry of yours.

I thought the whole purpose of a gift was for the recipient to enjoy their gift. Yes, gift giving is about thought. But men, next time please think of what I’d like not what you’d like me to have.

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