Friday, December 31, 2010

Saint Kathryn

So, I did virtually all my holiday shopping online this year.

Okay. Correction: I did every last bit of my holiday shopping online. There’s something very Zen about shopping online…the ambiance…the comfy chair…the glass of wine. Maybe this explains why I took things a step further and even bought some much-desired-but-certainly-not-necessary-for-survival items, just for ME. I mean, it’s my Christmas, too…right?

In the spirit of the season (and before I pull a 180 and get to the true meaning behind the title of this post), I wanted to share a few of my favorite, must-haves. (Guys: Feel free to scroll down past this boring girly stuff. Just don’t leave. M'kay?)

Sephora Smoky Lash Mascara
When I walked into Sephora and said I wanted a killer mascara that would make my lashes long and curly (they’re naturally short and straight), I wasn’t expecting much. What I got was the best mascara I’ve ever used. It’s pricey at $22 (compared to drug store brands), but this is one of those cases where you get what you pay for.

Smashbox Primer
Also at Sephora…this primer goes under your foundation and makes your skin look flawless and feel like silk. Not a bad combo, right?

The Body Shop-Body Butter
Watch for sales on these body butters from The Body Shop. The “shimmer” feature makes your skin look dewy…great for anyone with dry skin like me. And the scent reminds you of Coppertone and being at the beach. The 7oz usually goes for $20, so I tend to stock up when I find a sale.

Spanx Bra
Seriously. A Spanx bra. It is uber-comfortable. This is from Bare Necessities and the great thing about this site is that you can search by style and size. They've got a huge selection.

Please understand that none of the above recommendations come with any compensation to me (I wish!) but they are all amazing…so I thought you’d wanna know.

Guys? You can start paying attention again…and get that glazed look off your faces. (GG: Don’t look so horrified. It won’t bite.)

Anyway. My online purchases start showing up at my door. Almost every day, I come home to a new package on my doorstep. It was like freakin’ Christmas! (Ha.) One day, I come home to two boxes…a BIG box and a little box. I wrestle them both inside and dump all my work crap to check ‘em out. That’s when I realize that the BIG box is not addressed to me, although it is my address. I don’t recognize the name but I call the landlord to see if it’s a prior tenant…or maybe it’s the landlord’s second cousin once removed on his wife’s side...and he’s using this address to smuggle illegal drugs into the state, disguised in a Direct TV box. It feels suspiciously light…and hey, ya never know. Landlord claims he’s never heard the name…and we marvel over how stupid someone has to be to not know their own address for a Fed Ex shipment from Direct TV.

Landlord says to just leave it outside…not my problem. I decide to set a good Christmas example (otherwise known as paying it forward) and call Direct TV. After ten minutes of trying to weave my way through their voice-system…trying to explain that, “No, I’m not currently a customer. Nooooo, I don’t want to be a customer. Just give me a customer representative, dammit! AGENT!AGENT!AGENT!AGENT!” I finally got a living, breathing person who informed me that the box was meant for the recipient to “return their equipment”, which may have been code for something dirty...but I gathered it meant that basically, the box in question was empty. She said she’d flag the account and that eventually the customer would call them when it didn’t show up. I was a little annoyed that they weren’t going to immediately reach out to this person, since they obviously had his record pulled up. The rep said she could not explain why said person did not know their own correct address and seemed disinterested in discussing it further.

After disconnecting, I carried the box back outside. As I’m putting it down, I notice a phone number on the shipping label…and it’s a local number. Sighing deeply, I carry it back inside and dial the number.

It rings and rings and rings and then a machine picks up and a gravelly female voice says, “’Sup. Whattya you want? Say somethin’ and maybe I’ll talk to you. Later.”


I thought, “I don’t need this crap, bi-atch”. I hung up and brought the box back outside. Ten minutes later, my phone rings. God, I hate caller-ID…can’t even hang up on a machine anymore.

Unknown caller: “Did someone call me?”
Me: “Uh. (Long pause) Did they leave a message?”
Unknown caller: “No. Caller ID says someone called.”
Me: “Oh. Sorry…someone must have mis-dialed…”
Unknown caller: “Oh, Okay. Well, Merry Christmas to you.”


Dammit. So now I feel bad. So, I debate for about ten seconds and then I call them back…and it goes to voicemail. Again. I lie my ass off leave a message saying that I hadn’t realized my son had called to tell them that a box was errantly delivered from Direct TV to us…and to call me back for the details. Obviously, they have the number…

It’s been two weeks. The box is still here. So much for trying to do the right thing….or not. Much ado...for nothing. Do I still get points for this? Anyone need an empty box?

Happy New Year, everyone! ROCK ON.

Lauren said...

I would have been flustered and probably done the same thing. Over half the random/awkward things I say are said because I'm flustered. I did a lot of online shopping too and got some amazing book deals. Love it when the packages start showing up too.

.end transmission. said...

You lost me at butter. I was trying to figure out if someone wearing that tastes like a Mounds bar if you lick them.

Anonymous said...

You get points for trying. Also, buying yourself Christmas presents = awesome idea. Your genius never fails to amaze me. Seriously, who better to give you presents than YOU. You get EXACTLY what you wanted and you don't have to write a thank you note since the person that got you the present lives with you. Happy new year Kathryn!


Vince said...

Happy New Year. Atthrynbabe.

On the spanks bra. Soooooo, you've decided that which once peeped boldly like bald twins has had their freedom and should now be locked up and strapped down max-security style.

allison said...

I wonder if people realize the opportunities they miss out on when they sound obnoxious on their voicemail greetings.

Also, Kudos on the Spanx. I could have definitely used some of their stuff myself tonight (trying to squeeze into fancy New Years dresses from 4 years and at least 10 lbs no avail).

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Kathryn, I love that you pointed out favourite products and I am going to try the mascara for sure. See, that's the kind of stuff you really want to know. When I go into the drug store to buy mascara, I'm like, OVERWHELMED, so I wind up buying Cover Girl because I always have and always will. And I don't trust advertising (HA! cause I'm in the business!) but it's awesome having you spilling on what you like. It's like shopping with a girlfriend. I think we should all do stuff like that. It's like Oprah's Favourite Things only we're not Oprah. Sigh. (It would be nice to be Oprah).
Laughed at your box ordeal. You did the right thing, if it's any consolation!
Happy New Year, by the way!

Gigi said...

That is what Christmas is all about - giving. And why not give to yourself? I do it all the time! ;-)

And the box thing? Yes, you get major points for trying to do the right thing. That customer service rep - she gets a black mark against her name on Santa's list.

Happy, Happy New Year, my friend!

Unknown said...

Happy New Year Kathryn!

RE: the Spanx bra ... why are the things we were underneath our clothes always the most expensive?!

Oh, and I bought myself a couple things for Christmas also.

I believe you went above and beyond what most of us would have done with the box. So, yeah, you get points. :)

Our UPS driver messed up locally a couple times. One day he delivered a package to us that belonged to our neighbor that lives behind us. The next day I'm out shoveling snow and the other next door neighbor brings me a package that was supposed to be delivered to us. Geez! That temporary Christmas help! :)

Thaydra said...

The way I justify my own Christmas shopping (for myself), is that I have to fill my stocking. So, I do.

As for the box.. it's probable that they purposely put the wrong address on it. Maybe they don't have the equipment anymore (or it's damaged), and the wrong address thing is a good excuse. In any event, YOU did what was right, and yes, you get brownie points for that.

kathryn said...

Lauren: I always have that moment when I pause, right before I hit the "Purchase" key...'cause it seems But I'm never sorry I did. That woman totally flustered me. I wonder if she misses her empty box.

.end transmission: I knew I'd lose males with your short attention spans. No coconut taste on the body butter...but you get it with their lip balm, so...yum!

Fierce: You are so wise for one so young. As I'm reading your comment, I'm getting more and more hyped, thinking, "Yeah! She's RIGHT...why shouldn't I buy myself some presents? Who knows what I like better than me?? I think this will be a new annual tradition.

kathryn said...

Vince: Right back at-cha, Vincedude. Oh, honey..."da girls" have been locked-down for quite some time now, in one fashion or another. It just so happens that this particular product is actually less...restricting...than others, despite the reputation of the name...(which I'm sure means nothing to you, as a guy. You guys are so freakin' lucky.)

Allison: Ha! You're so right...that voicemail message is like the first impression people don't realize they're instilling. And yeah...four years is a long time to try and stay with the same body shape. I know *I* couldn't do it.

Cathy Webster (Olliffe): I'm so glad you like the idea...'cause I do too! I don't want to keep these things a secret 'cause they're wonderful! My friend Margarete turned me on to the trick of buying a cheap toothbrush and using that after mascara to remove any errant clumps. I don't know what's in that Sephora brand but it totally rocks. I think I'll also start doing some posts with "tricks" (makeup/fashion or otherwise) that have worked for me. I hear what you're saying: it's great to pick up/try something when someone's already had success with it. We'll spread the looove...

kathryn said...

Gigi: Happy, happy '11 to you too, sweetie! I'm so glad you're in agreement with both my me-gift idea and my getting those brownie-points for trying to get that box delivered. What a freakin' production! Yikes.

Kimberly: Yeah...I think you're right on both counts: Those part-time delivery guys are not always so reliable and sometimes, the bottom coat is more expensive than the topcoat! Altho, in all fairness to the delivery guy (in my case) he brought it to the address printed on the label. I can only assume that the rep at Direct TV had the house number wrong? Hard to believe but...anything's possible. Happy New Year, sweetie!

Thaydra: Wow. I never even thought of that! I'll bet you're right. The ppl probably figured this would buy them some time. The rep at Direct TV did say that she'd assumed they would eventually call, saying that if they didn't return the equipment, they'd get charged eventually. I'll bet these ppl are annoyed I was being so conscientious...well, too bad for them!

Betsy said...

With caller ID now no one ever listens to their voice mail anymore. I bet that lady saw your number on caller ID and assumed it was a wrong number again without even listening to the message. Her loss. You did the right thing.

ToBlog today said...

Happy New Year!

I love your "favorite" things! Did you know Oprah is leaving and no one is doing "favorite things" anymore, could be an opening for someone. Just saying.

This year was the first Christmas I actually bought something for myself, wrapped it in beautiful paper, and put it under the tree. Hubby " I didn't know you wanted that." Me, "No worries, I got it covered."

If only they knew how much trouble you went through for an empty box, huh. You are a saint. I got what obviously looked like a cheque in my mailbox, wrong address, and wrong name. I took it directly to the post office and asked that they put it in the correct box. I could have 411 the person and told them about it being it was the weekend, but I didn't . My bad, maybe next time b/c you inspired me.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Umm...thanks for the 'heads up' about the girly section of your post. I went right to the Direct TV story. Man, a girl tries to do the right thing and that's how she's repaid. You're always doing these nice things and its really doing a lot to dispell those notions that the rest of the world has about New Yorkers. Well done!

Climb2Nowhere said...

It's so hard NOT to buy stuff for yourself at Xmas! Impossible. Online shopping is the best! You are so nice, why do these things keep happening to you? LOL! Have a great 2011!!!!

Kristy @Loveandblasphemy said...

I love getting packages at the door! Even if it's for other people or socks. Yes, I will at times buy socks online. I like to always have something coming on its way!

Jayne Martin said...

Thanks so much for the great mascara recommendation, and I've been looking at the Smashbox primer, too. You and I should go shopping together sometime!

And if I ever lose something, I hope you're the one to find it. ;)

Mark Price said...

What a rude answering machine message. I think I may have been the clinic calling with unfavorable test results...ha ha

"Merry Christmas and the gift you got from your boyfriend? Not exactly what you were hoping for!! Thanks and have a nice day!"

Hope the holidays were great Kathryn.

Straight Guy said...

I did MOST of my shopping online, too. You might assume it would be less stressful, but in those last few days you get stuck trying to guess shipping speed and rates and just hoping for the best. I've been burned before. UPS made my day with multiple deliveries on the 24th, though.

I know, the solution is simple, just get another week ahead in the process. But, let's be real. Never gonna happen.

Unknown said...

You are a good doobie - you went much further than most would! It's sad that when we try to help people out these days, they're often suspicious of us... or just plain rude. But it's all worth it when you get that one person who is really appreciative of your efforts!

On a less do-gooder note... is that mascara smudge-proof? I'm always looking for a good mascara, but HATE raccoon eyes...

Full-On-Forward said...


Oh--is this thing on again--tap-tap--Damn--Busted!

Great Post- and You can not only watch TV--now you can DIRECT someone else's TV! Great Post!


Anonymous said...

I love Body butter from the Body Shop...I need to try that bra...Looks so comfy!!!

Happy New Year!!!

JP said...

Yeah I skipped the first part... Sorry too much testosterone in me.

So yeah according to postal regulations if something is mailed to you unsolicited... it's yours. You've done your noble duty and TRIED to tell them but if they don't want to listen that's their problem.

Mrs Ryan had a Pandora bracelet mailed to her. She tried to tell them that she didn't order it and no one she knows ordered it. But they didn't care. We did the math on the bracelet and it ended up being like a $300 bracelet (that was ugly as sin, but still SOMEONE must have liked it.)

Runnergirl said...

I sometimes try and do the right thing, and usually karma comes back... maybe something good will come to you...

Jerry said...

I started paying attention when my eyes floated across the bra picture. Yes, yes, your a saint with a box...a boxed saint...uh, anymore bra pictures?

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