My pants were on backwards

Yes, that is what I said. My pants were on backwards. Chris and I were heading home from a little vacation up north in Vancouver, British Columbia. On the way home we stopped at some outlets, as I wanted to start some Christmas shopping BEFORE Black Friday, and all the crazy world is out getting the deal of their life. We just happened to be driving by some outlets on our way home. Not usually the destination I pine for, but we saw, we shopped, we conquered.

Well, maybe not conquered. We left with a t-shirt and another top, and some baby gifts, so not a crazy shopping spree, but for me just going is enough. Before we left, I kept thinking my pants felt funny. I kept having to pull them up in the back, again and again. It was not until I went to the bathroom that I realized my pants were on backwards. Of course, I had tried on pants at a few places, but who knows how long I was walking around with my pants on backwards. Now, let me tell you I was wearing black Nike Pro tights, so it was not like it was as obvious as it would have been if I was wearing a pair of jeans backwards. But still, my pants were on wrong. Maybe I am getting old, or maybe I just need a vacation, some turkey, and some sleep.

Has that ever happened to you? It reminds me of those days when you get to work and you think, did I put on deodorant and brush my teeth? Or when you wake up from the dream where you went to work without a bra and if you are at all endowed like me that would be quite a nightmare. Sometimes I think when we have those dream/nightmares it is our body and mind telling us that it is time for a break and some rest/relaxation.

When was the last time you had your pants on backwards?

An interesting way to shop online

A few weeks ago, I found a cool website that displays boutique products as though you are virtually in the shop itself. ShopStoree is the namesake, with the tagline: “Every shop has a story.” When you hover over specific products, you have the option to then purchase them online. It is a great way to merchandise products mixed with other items, rather than a conveyor belt option of items in silos unto themselves.

Each photo is of a different shop, and when you see the black dot, click on it and it will give you the name, price and link to the online shop of the boutique. You also can click on “About this Shop” to learn about the online or brick + mortar boutique. ShopStoree says: “We believe an amazing retail experience is not confined to a physical store.
 It transcends that. It is about the joy of discovery. And we believe that kind of discovery can be experienced in a digital world.” I have to agree with them. It takes online shopping to a whole new level. I can experience a boutique in Cleveland I have never been to, or explore one in Portland and see if I want to venture there in person.

It looks like they have an assortment of shop styles to explore. The only caveat is that you can look at a photo and find that there are many other things on that table that you want to purchase but does not have the black dot. Eye candy you cannot have! But, I guess if I saw an item in a photo that was not for sale on ShopStoree, I could always contact the specific store and ask them for more details on a that product.

Interested? Check them out!

She remembered.

We all want to be remembered. We want to know we matter. Sometimes we are remembered and we are in awe of the individual that remembered us. I often have blog posts about customer service, the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly. I still have wide eyes after this experience, and yet you might consider it mundane.

At the end of last week, I went by a Nike store to return a few items. The last time I had been at this location was in mid-September when a good friend was in town. We had spent a bit of time there looking for clothes and shoes for her, her husband, little baby girl, and step-son. During that visit I had a shift of thought. Nothing ground breaking, but a shift nonetheless. You see, I can sometimes get addicted to something and not want to try something new. I mean that in the form of the running shoes I wear. I’ll tell you what happened.

My friend and I started looking at running shoes. She asked me what were the best for the different kinds of needs of a runner (over pronation, flat foot, under pronation). While discussing each potential option for her, the sales associate (Nike calls them Athletes) asked if she could help us. We asked her a few questions, and she asked me what I run in. I told her the LunarGlide 3 and that I had a stash of them in my closet because once I find something I like I want to make sure I can keep using them. This is a tough thing to uphold when you wear a Nike running shoe, as they innovate so fast. The Athlete said to just on the LunarGlide 5’s for her. I resisted for a while, and she persisted. Finally, I grumbled, and gave in. I tried them and I was hooked immediately. I bought a pair (as did my friend). I began running in them the next day, and have not once touched my 3’s.

Fast forward to the end of last week (remember, I was returning a few items). I am quickly scanning men’s shoes with Chris to see if there was anything new, and this Athlete looks at me and says, “How are the LunarGlide 5’s?” I was flabbergasted. I stared at her a minute, as a zillion things crossed my thought. “She remembered me. Wow. That is amazing. That was over a month ago. I only met her once. How did she do that?” I slowly regained my focus in the present and said, “I love them. I recently purchased a second pair.” I pointed down to my feet. As I walked away to find Chris and tell him what happened. It was not until I was home that I thought to get her name. I should have. She made me think about the power of remembering, of caring. If only we treated everyone that way.

#sheremembered

Childhood, Nightgowns, and JCPenney’s

Over the weekend, I finished reading: “Still Points North” by Leigh Newman. A memoir about Newman’s Alaskan childhood. When I read this line, my mind wandered to my own childhood, my grandma, and JCPenney’s:

“Only then do I realize about her nightgown. It’s bunched around her chest, almost to her neck–a classic Nana bed garment; creamy JCPenney satin with a froth of French lace at the neck. She has drawers and drawers of them; they’re her trademark, along with the kimonos and martinis and hot-silver hair.” page 202

I do not know how many of you grew up with a JCPenney’s in your town. When I was young it was always exciting when the JCPenney’s Christmas catalog came in the mail, where you could go through pages and pages of toys and see what you might want to add to your Christmas list. Looking back though, I am not sure I ever really received anything from the catalog, but I guess it was always the dream of it.

What I remember most about JCPenney’s was my grandma and her nightgowns. She always wore a specific kind. It was silky soft, and usually was a subtle pink or blue. Nothing too exciting, but she always purchased them at JCPenney’s. It is funny as I look back how consistent my grandma was, how even, and routined she lived her life. I see a lot of that in me, and yet, I also like to try new things. Sometimes because of the adventure, and sometimes I do not have a choice. You know what it is like when your favorite t-shirt is no longer made or the company makes it but not out of the same fabric? So you have to move on and try something new. Sometimes the new version you find is actually better than what you were stuck to, and other times you never find a backfill that will ever compare.

My grandma would also wear these atrocious cotton robes. Although, she called them housecoats. They were hideous. I would never have wanted to be caught wearing one. The cotton felt harsh on your skin, but it was what she wanted. She would get up in the morning put the housecoat over her nightgown then put on her slippers and often wore that outfit for a good part of the day. Until she decided it was time to put clothes on, or because she was leaving the house.

Each time Chris and I would visit her, we would make sure to make a trip to JCPenney’s to pick up a new nightgown and housecoat for her. I knew I could never buy them anywhere else as she would not wear them. It would either sit in her drawer, or she would berate me to return it right away. Even when she was in the last few months and weeks of her life, Chris and I made the trip to JCPenney’s to see what we could find for her.

I have been to a JCPenney’s once or twice since my grandma died, but not for my usual grandma sleepwear purchase. Chris and I found that they have a great blinds section. Even so, anytime I see a JCPenney’s ad I think of my grandma and her nightgowns.

Have you heard of “City Target?”

On Sunday we were driving in downtown Portland and I saw a sign for a “City Target.” Have you heard of them? Upon researching further, it looks like there are City Targets in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, that opened in 2012. The store in Portland is set to open in July 2013. At the moment the windows are wrapped with “City” and the Target bullseye logo.

I know many people have mixed opinions when big box stores come into urban areas (even if it is with a smaller footprint). I am not a huge fan of Walmart, so I am part of that mixed bag of differing ideas. I do, however, have a spot in my heart for Target. Maybe it was because I grew up going to Target. I try not to go often because it is too easy for me to leave with too many items. Their specifically designed furniture, housewares, and sometimes even clothes are more my taste than a comparable item at Walmart.

I do not live in downtown Portland, so going to City Target will not be a big deal to me, but when I lived near downtown Portland, I would have been thrilled to see it open up. It means for so many that they do not have to find transportation, use their gas and drive out to the suburbs just to stock up on items. Take a peek online and see if one is opening up in your area.

#excitedforurbanPDXers