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Christmas List

December 12, 2008

The retail industry has again failed me. Days and days of thrift-ing, bargain hunting, and stopping at all manner of questionable clothing establishments and my search for an ugly Christmas sweater has been for naught. Naught!

Back tracking a bit. While the boy works on a final paper and final prep for next week, I’m being the “good wife” and leaving him on his own to study and subside himself on dollar menu delicacies and other microwaveable fare. (Not being mean, but I truly hope that he avoids actual cooking. Last time he left the gas burner on and took several hours to notice a “smell that was making [his] head feel fuzzy”).

But while he’s in study mode, I am hightailing it down to Baltimore for some quality Rose, et al. time. If may be hard to believe of the city that brought us Ace of Cakes, Hairspray, and The Wire, but the biggest event of the season is taking place – the Ugly Christmas Sweater Bar Crawl. Yes, this occurs in various cities. Yes, while this isn’t as humbly and purely Baltimore-ific as, say, E. A. Poe (which Philly is trying to steal!!), it is my only excuse to go to the bar in comfty over-sized clothing sporting huge reindeer faces and glittery snowmen.

So, bottom line, this event was made for me. I have been lamenting the fact that Philly doesn’t indulge in these festivities this entire month. This is finally a decent excuse to stop whining and let me inner tackiness shine.

And with the advent of the Official Ugly Christmas Sweater Bar Crawl Map (there’s a map!) adding a level of organization that is usually lacking from my bar crawl experience, there’s really nothing to halt my fun-filled bar crawling.

THE MAP

Which brings me to my current and latest disappointment with the American retail industry.

Note to readers: This is advisably not a good time to mention that I’ve had 10 days to sweater shop or that I should take my own advice and dig through mom’s closet. If you’ve figured out a way to ask your mom to borrow an “ugly” Christmas sweater without unnecessarily risking your Christmas payload, more power to you, but some of us are counting on that subscription to Vanity Fair to keep us on the treadmill for an extra 10mins before giving up and reading in peace in a comfty seat.

Ugly sweaters in mainstream retail outlets have disappeared! There was a time when grandmom’s collection of snow-people frolicking across her chest could be increased each year. But now… now?! What is a girl to do.

Yesterday’s lunch break was the first opportunity (by which I mean first time I thought of hitting up the retail shopping mess).

So, first stop in the sweater hunt – dueling TJ Max and Marshall’s – yes, it is a wonderful world where a shopping maverick would decide to place a TJ Max strategically across the street from a Marshall’s. And normally both provide me with low priced, high quality quick-gifts for a label-sensitive husband. And had I been in the market for ugly Christmas pajamas, I’d have hit pay gold. Alas, I was forced to leave with two adorable winter-y sweaters but nothing deserving of the “ugly” label.

Onward then, to the cutesy thrift store. Cute, yes. Smelled like bodily fluids? Yep! Just a little. Had embarrassingly awesome sweaters? Nope! On then to, Walmart – still nothing but kind-of-stupid-but-not-entirely-ugly-Christmas-y shirts (not even realllllll sweaters).

Norristown Goodwill (the non-cutesy thrift store….*shudder*) which smelled like bolidy fluids a whollllle lot…. FOUND UGLY SWEATER! Not Christmass-y, but with cats. Lots of cats. How many cats? 13 embroderied cats. $2. I have bought this sweater on the off chance I can’t find anything else and need to staple 13 tiny Christmas hats to these 13 tiny embrodier kittens. But at least that’s a start. And the search continues…

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