Macy’s Doth Murder Sleep!

Thanks to Linda, who gave us all a lovely gift in the comments section of yesterday’s post with a link to Clyde’s excellent Thanksgiving Day essay from 2011. Sometimes the oldies are golden indeed!

I’m going to take a cue from Linda and do the same for Black Friday, in part because the newest B.F. trend seems to be finding a way to make it easy on yourself – witness the uptick in people who hire surrogates to stand in line for them.

In this post from 2010, we explored the Shakespearian potential of the annual Black Friday drama.

Methought I heard a voice cry “Sleep no more! 
 Macys does murder sleep,” the innocent sleep, sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of Ladies Charter Club Cashmere Crew-Neck Sweaters, only $39.99 before 10 am on Friday alone!

What do you mean? Who was it that thus cried?

It was the owl that shriek’d, or some Tribune. The Star, perhaps, or the News of Duluth, formerly the Herald. It was a sorry sight.

A foolish thought to say a sorry sight. Such sales will make us mad! Summon again the page!

All great Neptune’s ocean will not wash this ink clean from my hand. I am afraid to think what I have seen. Look on’t again I dare not.

Infirm of purpose! 
 Methinks the doors are already open and the surfeited clerks do mock their charge with snores. Give me the plastic daggers. I’ll gild the aisles of Macy’s withal; 
 That which hath made them drowsy hath made be bold; what hath pinched them hath given me fire. Hark!

What is your greatest shopping drama?

52 thoughts on “Macy’s Doth Murder Sleep!”

  1. Good morning. In all of my years of shopping there must have been some rather dramatic shopping expeditions. The first time shopping at the Mall of America probably was a big deal. I don’t even remember when that happened. I think going to Ikea for the first time was another big shopping event for me. I have no memory of that.

    I have a little memory of being in the LL Bean store for the first time in Maine. Now I can shop at the LL Bean store in the Mall of America. I do remember my first visit to the MOA LL Bean store because that store open only about a week ago.

    The new LL Bean store is, of course, not as folksy as the original one in Maine. However, it does have all of the LL Bean products on display with the vast majority being clothing. There is good selection of camping gear and other outdoor activity stuff which is what I was interest in seeing when we visited their Maine store many years ago.
    These days I am not buying a lot of out door equipment so I don’t mind the emphasis on clothes.

    I was at the MOA Bean store on opening day and could not believe the very long line of people waiting at have their purchases rung up. That was almost as crazy as those long lines waiting for stores to open for black Friday. Whey do people do that?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Morning all. I detest shopping – on our way back from Andover yesterday we could see the Walmart from the highway – the line of cars was wrapped around the store and out the parking lot. Dreadful sight.

    Since I detest shopping, almost any shopping experience is filled with too much drama. Last month, after 2 months of research, Teenager and I headed out to purchase a Playstation 3 (we’ve never had any kind of game box, so this was a biggie for me). It’s too long a story, but suffice it to say that we came home with a Playstation FOUR and a new television. Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Online shopping is going to be the death of many a brick and mortar store
      Amazon and eBay are unbelievable. The prices are crazy and shipping is fast and free


      1. I don’t understand why the Mall of America seems to be going so strong with all pressure put on brick and mortar stores by online shopping. I never cared much for shopping there. I like smaller local stores and hope most of them can keep going and not fall victim to online shopping and big box stores competing against them.


  3. I remember being in Dayton’s with my mom at age 3 or 4. I was amazed by the people and the racks of stuff. We had recently moved from Brainerd and my mom being an experienced downtown Minneapolis shopper was taking me on the first big trip to the bright lights. I was having a great time people watching and taking in the sights when I reached up to grab my moms dress and discovered it wasn’t my mom. I felt that rush of adrenalin and panic set in as the cold shiver ran through me. The lady whose dress I grabbed tried to help me find my mom but no luck. It took a couple of minutes to find her and I was stressed out as a 3 year old can be. The same store that was amazing and inspiring was suddenly cold and foreign and keeping me from being with my mom and I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much. My mom circled back around and told me to pay better attention. I have come to realize since that she has a little trouble focusing and am grateful that she didn’t lose a sibling or two somewhere along the line. I used to enjoy shopping for folks at holiday times when knick knacks and trinkets,were fun to find
    Gabberts used to fill the store with little things on the bookshelves and desktops that were wonderful and interesting and reasonably priced. The people in the stores were always so delighted to see I had discovered a secret world of wonderful bargains that no one else ever saw. When you are buying a couch you never notice the terra cotta snail scotch tape dispenser on the desk next to it for 6 dollars or the hand made pewter and brass felt lined box that had a wonderful design, weighed a lot more than you expected and had a tag of 9 dollars, add a Maltese falcon statue for 8 bucks ( who wouldn’t want a Maltese falcon) and the shopping day was a success. People would look oddly at me and wonder why I selected this obscure item for them and I told them when I shop I walk along waiting to be inspired by something that speaks to me on their behalf. Today it’s iPhones and ugs. Dollars instead of inspiration. I must be a grown up. Or maybe it’s time to figure out a way to get back to the good feeling of the season if I can. I’ll try. Maybe I’ll go to gabberts or somewhere like that. I need inspiration.


    1. My wife commented the other day that there is a person like you, huh I said.
      Someone who remembers stuff from when they were 2 or 3.
      I guess she finds it odd that I really have the memories. It doesn’t come up often but she still has a hard time believing I can remember that stuff.


      1. tim, I have learned that many people don’t have the kind of recall that you and I and many other baboons have. For the most part, people who come here seem to have vivid memories reaching way back. But I had a friend who told me–with no irony or humor–that the past was totally lost to him. He said he had no memories of his high school days! That kind of thing blows my mind.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Like so many things, shopping ain’t what it used to be.

    It used to be an event about preparing for an event: the start of school, a dress for the Christmas program. Usually accompanied by a dining experience (the only time I could have chocolate cream pie was at the Bishop’s Buffet in Merle Haye Plaza-the rest of my family hates chocolate for the most part).

    Now it’s all about settling for what enough other people want, cheaply made and designed to be worthless once it’s yours.

    For me, tim, it’s the Maker movement combined with the internet that makes selling your own products profitable that has killed my desire to “shop” in a brick and mortar for much beyond food.

    Basic supplies I can get in the course of my usual travels.

    I did at one point in my career have to shop for work.

    You have not lived until you have hit the mall in search of Dickensian shoes fir the various and sundry urchins in a large production of Christmas Carol.

    We would do a cattle call to see what we had from past years that would fit(another fine adventure), then draw up the list and hit the mall.

    Malls really need an express lane to get you past the people just cruising.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Shopping” and “drama” are two concepts with little intersection in my life. I’m not much of a shopper, and avoid the busy times. When I do go, it’s pretty low-key.

    I’ll probably go the the megamall some weekday in the next month or so. It’s not that busy on weekdays, it’s festive when decorated for the holidays, and I like to go there to have a bite to eat and write my Christmas cards.

    Here’s a tip for anyone who goes to the mall – there is a place called the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the lower level of the Forever 21 store. They are usually not very busy, and I don’t think they’ve been discovered by most of the mall shoppers. Friendly people. A nice alternative to the usual Starbucks/Caribou shops if you are the sort of person who likes quiet spots. I believe this is close to the new L.L. Bean, though I haven’t been there yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Many years ago I was exasperated by the l-o-n-g list of people I had to shop for before Christmas, many of them nephews or nieces whose names I scarcely knew, but here I was with this long list of semi-strangers to get Christmas gifts, with instructions of what they would like to get from me. I was chasing around from one depressing mall to another, trying to find the specified toys (which would be lost in the chaos of opening too many toys anyway). One toy was proving elusive. When I finally found it I felt triumphant, ready to do a little victory dance, and I thought, “THERE! That takes care of THAT little sonofabitch!”

    That’s when I had one of those moments when you hate yourself and your culture and Christmas and materialism. I realized that my mood was not something you’d see in a heartwarming Hallmark Christmas movie. I took myself to the woodshed and gave myself a nasty lecture. Then resumed shopping.

    Starting with the next Christmas i begged off on becoming a purchasing agent for people I didn’t know well. Instead I concentrated on buying meaningful, carefully chopsen gifts for the people I really loved. And a good Christmas for me now is one with not a single minute spent in a mall.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Steve – you have just reminded me of how happy I am that I make almost all my gifts these days and don’t have to venture out at all if I don’t want to. Like Linda, I do like the festive decorations, but not having an agenda really frees you up to enjoy them. Nonny, Teenager and I are off in a bit in search of this year’s perfect tree. We’re taking our vegetarian hot dogs to roast over the fire pit while we’re there!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. We have pretty much decided that we will enjoy sharing the holiday with our furry little delinquents by not getting a tree this year.

        I am contemplating how we could easily suspend a little artificial one we have from the ceiling.

        Love the idea of bringing your veggie dogs to the fire pit.


        1. The year we were in Married Student Housing, when Joel was almost two, there was no room for even a tiny tree – plus, all the ornaments were boxed up back in Winona, where we would be returning the following year. I bought a yard or so of green felt and some small colored pieces, cut out an evergreen shape and plastered that thing on the wall over the couch. Made the place look Christmassy, didn’t shed needles or need watering, and did the job for that December.

          Liked by 5 people

  7. l’m very unhappy. l’ve been typing up an Xmas story in great detail, then had it disappear suddenly. l then wrote the story out a second time and it vanished as well. Both were fun and funny, but l just don’t have the heart to try this a third time 😦 Maybe later today l’ll feel motivated to capture the story, but l doubt it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a good idea except l hadn’t finished either story when it vanished. Guess what? l did try it again last night for a 3rd time – and lost it AGAlN! l figure that the Universe is trying to teach me a lesson?


  8. Nope. Not a one. Like couple people here, don’t “shop” beyond necessities. I do kind of like being in malls, to people watch and estimate the state of our culture. A trip a year to Huge Dale is enough, on a regular old weekday, say in March. Towards the end of her two-legged clear-minded life, we brought my mother to the MOA just to see it. We pushed her all over, ate at some basic restaurant, had coffee. She said nothing much while there or after. I guess in shock. Disappointed me because my mother’s observant mind was worth the attention.
    No shopping this year. Only gifts we are giving are one large one to each of the older grand kids, sharing cost with their parents, and some small stocking stuffers. Then a box of gifts to one-year-old grandson. Nothing to each other. Money going to support family of friend of Mr. Tuxedo and another family in Washington. The local family is being supported by several people. They kids will basically get new wardrobes as well as “toys.” Grand kids are excited about shopping for the family, two girls and two boys. So grand daughter will buy the clothes for the girls. Mr. Tuxedo with his parents will do the same for the boys. They are very excited about this. They will shop here in Mankato on a weekday afternoon, being excused form school for it (small towns do have their pluses).
    Small town story for you: my daughter lives in one town and serves churches in that town and one north of a second town. My son-in-law serves a Lutheran church and a Methodist church in the second town. The mail sent to all four churches is all brought to their house. The postal authorities would go nuts about I am sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You may ignore the comment Clyde but I am amazed by the value at the goodwill stores on a Tuesday. It is colored tag day where anything blue tag or whatever color it is that day is 1.99 or similar
      It may have to do with the location as to the quality of the donations but I am super impressed with the beautiful things available for such a reasonable price. Lots of stuff is new with tags samples form clothing stores and sales people. Savers is in the news with scandalous contributions to themselves rather than the charities they were being presents to look after, not so with goodwill. Might be worth checking. The values are astounding.


  9. I am at work today, as we must have coverage in our department just in case someone needs an emergency Rorschach or IQ test! (I am being cynical). I volunteered, as I am taking all of Christmas week off, and the other member of the department can cover December 26th. No shopping for me today. I also volunteered to work January 2nd. Full slate of clients and paper work. I think the day will go fast.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I saw the movie clip about the guy who was shown multiple Rorschach tests and his reply to each one was sex the next one …sex… next one …sex, he saw the people looking at him oddly and responded , don’t look at me ,, you’re the ones showing the dirty pictures.


  10. Morning–

    I’m not a fan of shopping. I know it’s necessary for things but please, let me just get in and out. Well, unless it’s a hardware store. Or Menards / Fleet Farm; I will browse more in there.
    I was agast at our Rochester newspaper yesterday BRAGGING about “5 pounds of ads!” Honestly… what a waste.
    And the poor paper delivery people!

    I will never get over the drama of the crashing Waterford Crystal display.

    Son mentioned last week they were out doing their wedding registry. I wished him luck and told him to avoid the crystal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Husband saw in a catalog (one of the zillions we have received in the last few weeks) crystal glasses that have lines on them showing how much to fill to get to a certain note. One octave of glasses was something like $150 – that’s crystal I could get behind…though conversation might get silly if you serve wine in those glasses and people start giggling about your “D” cup…

      Liked by 3 people

    2. ben have you ever been to a harbor freight store? they have one in blaine or fridley in minneaolis and one in appleton wisconsin and other places around the country and they are similar to nrthern tool but more so. how about axman? thats a good one. kind of odd but very cool
      stores for the tool shed kind of guy


    3. Isn’t shopping strange? When we read the comments here it is painfully apparent that many baboons suffer through shopping. But many folks just love it! If I were king, I’d try to set up the world so folks who grind their teeth while shopping wouldn’t have to do it and folks who whistle gaily while shopping would do all the shopping.

      I didn’t want my erstwife to know this, but I loved grocery shopping. I preferred that she think of it as something I put up with as a contribution to the family. But as I bought grocery items I was happily anticipating my wife and daughter enjoying what I would cook for them. That’s the way shopping should be 🙂


  11. To borrow, and to borrow, and to borrow,
    Creeps on this shopping pace on Black Friday,
    To the last ringing of the mall chimes;
    And all our credit cards are blighted tools
    That lead to busted debt. Just, just, brief chattel!
    A shopper but a walking shadow, a dour player,
    Who struts and frets for hours in a rage,
    And then turns into a boor. It is a sale
    Held for an idiot, full of gush and hurry,
    Saving nothing.

    Liked by 9 people

  12. A favorite shopping experience comes from the other side of the counter. After a year or two of “retirement” from my street character at the Renaissance Festival, I got called by a pal to help out in her booth selling her wares. New costume constructed, off I went to sell goblets and jewelry and trinkets. It paid better than my street character gig had, and I was in out of the rain. So far so good. Occasionally we would get a kid who had saved for something or had just a bit of allowance to spend on their own – getting that unicorn necklace or dragon with the crystal meant a lot to those kids. One day, quite near the end of the day, a woman and a couple of children came in (assumed mom and kids), clearly worn out from the day. Kids, it seemed, wanted *something* to remember the day, but it was clear there wasn’t a whole lot of money to be spent. I pointed out some little glittery baubles that sold for I think about $5 each – assorted colors, enough to say “Renaissance Festival” without breaking the bank. Some discussion occurred that was, I’m guessing, negotiation on what could be purchased and afforded – since they were speaking Russian, I didn’t understand most of it, but did catch some talk about colors and numbers. My meager 3 years of Russian was finally coming in handy. Colors were selected and I have memory that i may have gave them one for free – it was the end of the day and it wasn’t going to break the bank to give away a $5 trinket. Managed to squeak out a thank you and “good day” in Russian – the look of surprise and pleasure on that woman’s face at hearing her own language was clear. Best sale I ever made there – and I don’t think they even spent $20. Ochen xhorosho – spocibo.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. From the Menard’s “Black Friday” ad –

    “Flying Stuffed Monkey, $1.99.
    Plush monkey with slingshot arms.
    Every time monkey is released, it lets out loud monkey calls.”

    This is verbatim from the ad. It sounds a little nightmarish to me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have seen this monkey in a children’s catalogue and always wanted to get one. They are exceeding loud. I fantasized getting one and launching it across the waiting room toward a former secretary who was really jumpy and who didn’t like my child clients because they messed up the magazines on the end tables. She retired before I could commit the dastardly deed..

      Liked by 5 people

  14. One of our most memorable family Christmas celebrations happened at a time when there were about five or six youngsters. Someone bought them the same gift for all, so they were told to open this present all at the same time. Each child got a whoopee cushion. Kid after kid opened the mystery present and began sitting on the rubber thing, making farting noises. I think some of the kids weren’t even sure why this was so funny, but it was, and even the little ones knew they were making a rude noise and getting big laughs for it. The soundtrack for that Christmas was just what you would imagine, with kids all over the room repeatedly plumping their butts down on whoopee cushions. We laughed until it hurt.


  15. Hey Baboons – give me an A for persistence because l’ll make my 4th attempt here!

    The only drama of each Xmas holiday for me is doing all my shopping in one day at the mall in my Ms. Santa costume. Little kids rush me to say what they want. Parents beg for pictures. For me, this just provides an excuse for getting attention and showing all those old farts how to inject joy into shopping.

    We had 50 Xmases in the cottage until the late 90s, at which point my daughter, Mary, took over hosting. l don’t decorate and barely cook, so it was a relief for me. She has five kids, so not hauling all of them, along with gifts and food, made sense.

    Then Mary takes over, she REALLY takes over. The first Xmas there she decided that everyone should make home made gifts. That was tough. The second Xmas, we were to buy gag gifts based on her chosen theme for the day. This girl’s Martha Stewart’s clone times two! She’d mail each of us a clever hand made item portraying the theme. Once, she mailed crystal clear tree ornaments with colorful dots and a splash of glitter. We were all to bring gifts based on polka dots. Worse, the gift had to be gender neutral because she had us play the “steal my gift” game!

    The next Xmas, we just drew names out of a hat for one other adult, while all of the kids received presents from everyone. This made me pout inside because l’ve been accustomed to mounds of gifts my whole life until mom and dad were gone. One gift?? Only one gift??? Being the so-called matriarch, shouldn’t my three kids at least go in together to honor the oldest family member? l’ll confess that this hurt my feelings every year.

    We’re now at a place where all five of her kids have jobs and four of them own cars, so it occurred to me that they should damn well join the one-gift-only club. When l brought this up with Mary on T-Day, she said, “Why don’t we just skip gift giving from now on?II”

    Excuse me?! Now my one gift is looking more compelling than no gift at all. l guess that l’ve never quite gotten over the incredible abundance of being over-gifted all those years by my parents. l really miss the way it was.

    Liked by 1 person

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