Category Archives: shopping

You Can’t Have Everything…



Interesting word.

It SOUNDS all-inclusive, doesn’t it?

Someone should explain that to the people at Loft.


I think the actual meaning of the word “everything” is lost on those people at Loft.

Though I guess “50% Off ALMOST Everything” makes somewhat less compelling copy.  Don Draper would never approve of that.

This is just one example.  The frequent use of such imprecise language (or shall I say complete misuse of what used to be precise language) has caused others to resort to, what we call in our family, “over-precision”  — the use of too many words to say what one word could (used to?) say.  Actually, over-precision is when you correct someone who is not exactly wrong, but yet not precisely right, just for the pleasure of correcting them.  For example, if someone says “I LOVE  cake” and someone else (their brother or sister perhaps) says “You don’t LOVE cake.  You LIKE cake.  You don’t want to marry cake, do you?”  This sort of over-precision (usually proceeded by the words “Well, actually…”) is very irritating, and clearly a topic for a different post.

Well, actually, by their use of the word “Everything” to mean “NOT Everything” those Loft people and their kind have forced a very enthusiastic, emphatic kind of  advertising (I really, really mean it) like these e-mails:

J.Crew Factory <>

Subject: Bye, March! Extra 30% off absolutely everything


And this…

J.Crew Factory <>

Subject: Hello, April: extra 30% off every single thing


Thank you for your clear, over-precise language, J. Crew.


However, I am still looking for an asterisk somewhere (*Excluding all regularly priced, sale priced or any other items currently for sale.)

Oh well.


In the words of Steven Wright….You can’t have everything.
Where would you put it.


What Have You Been Up To?


You might think, based upon the title, that this blog entry is going to be an explanation of what I have been doing in the period of my 6-month plus radio silence.

You are wrong.

Instead, I am going to talk about two of my least favorite words in the English language.

Up to.

These two innocent words can be so sneaky when used together.

Up to.

You see, I like to shop.

No…I LOVE to shop.

My husband does not understand this at all.

To him shopping is not a pastime.  It is a necessary evil.  Like pumping gas or standing in line at the post office.

He just does not understand.

He does not understand the thrill of the hunt.  He does not understand the heart-pumping excitement of finding an item that one has been stalking for months on the (be still my heart!) CLEARANCE RACK!  Marked down!  And with a big sign that really gets one’s blood up – 50% OFF!   Fifty percent!  50%!   5-0! OFF!   One of the BEST  phrases in the English language!  Why, they will have to practically pay us to take the object of our hunt!  WE CANNOT LET THIS GET AWAY!

My husband just does not understand how this experience feeds some primitive need — serves some primal instinct.

Like the lioness on the African savannah, we circle our prey, slowly, stealthily, careful to not alert any of the surrounding predators of our target.

And then …. we pounce. We have it!

We have captured our elusive prey!  We have winnowed out the weak member of the herd!  The one that is 50% off!

We proudly carry our catch up to the cashier (well, not in our mouths like a lioness, but still with the same air of satisfaction in having achieved our ultimate, inborn, carnal purpose).

And then … up to.

Not 50% off.

UP TO 50% off.

We have been outflanked.

Our prey is not the weak, 50% off link we had thought.  Our prey is a decoy.   It is only 25% off.  The prey gets away (because there is no way we will make a purchase at less than 50% off), like a gazelle bounding away across the plain, free to be stalked again on another day.   And the lioness prowls home to her den, empty-handed,  muttering “Up to! Grrrrrr.”

This is why I hate the phrase “Up to.”

And still, due to my long absence you might be compelled to ask, “What have you been up to?”

Isn’t it obvious?

I have been at the mall.