Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The bad wife chronicles: holiday neckties

So I go against ALL my principles today and go into the MALL. The mall! In December! Why on earth would I do that? Because SOMEBODY wanted a holiday tie to wear to his festive casual holiday party tonight (again, I ask, what the hell is that?).

This isn't even ABOUT how I'm intimidated by well-dressed stay-at-home mothers traipsing around the fancy malls, three BOB strollers wide, so much so that I want to faint. Nor is it about how the crowds make me want to pastry-eat myself into numb oblivion. It's really about the stupid tie.

Aren't holiday ties like EVERYWHERE? And wouldn't you think that in Seattle, especially, where nobody wears ties, like EVER, that there would be a boom in the market for holiday-themed ties? Especially in Seattle, where all the ironic ex- and future-barista songwriters masquerading as software engineers bust out the festive casual once a year? I would have thought a nice Santa tie over a consignment-store bowling shirt at the ol' work holiday party would be all the rage. I am wrong, so wrong.

I went to the consignment shops yesterday. Not a single holiday tie to be had anywhere. Not even a candy cane. Which made me even more convinced that the fancy mall must be full of them. Holiday ties are so popular that nobody gives them away! Ha. Ha ha, Nora. Loser.

At Macy's they just looked at me like I had three heads. The temp holiday help guy (prolly a songwriter) sends me to the other guy. That guy sends me to the head lady, she wants to know if we have holiday ties. The lady is all, we really ummm don't. And then she's all (and I can tell it pained her to say it) I think you have to get those at bazzaars and Christmas fairs and things. To be nice, or possibly to humiliate me, she sends me down the hall to the "young men's" section where there is a scraggly display of ties with fire-breathing dragon designs.

Then there is a CHRISTMAS STORE. Even the Christmas store people looked at me like I had made a faux pas. The guy's all, no. That's all he said. No. Meanwhile there are women's sweaters adorned with glitter all around me. Dude.

Nordstrom is my last bet (and closest to the parking lot). Ha ha ha ha ha. I couldn't even find someone to ask. By this point a blog post is already forming in my head, so I resolve to find someone to ask just so I can tell yall what condescending thing they would say, but it was not to be. Nary an associate in sight. Also nary a (*&^ holiday tie in sight. Not even a tasteful small-business-made one with Christmas tree ornament theme.

On the way home we stopped at Walgreens. WALGREENS! And the lady is giving me my photos and trying to sell me batteries and I'm all what I really want is a stupid holiday tie. And she's all, we have some! And she takes me to the Walgreens Holiday Tie Department and I practically kiss her in gratitude and then get a stupid Charlie Brown Christmas Tree tie for $6.99.

But then it was much less fun, because I'm all my mate is going to wear a Walgreens tie with a PRESS HERE button (plays Jingle Bells) to a fifty million dollar house and our songwriter irony will be completely lost on everyone there who will be in tasteful royal purple ermine-lined festive casual robes and the word gauche will be on everyone's lips like in that Dr. Who episode when he says don't you think she looks tired and brings down the UK prime minister.

I just hope they have those little quiches tonight, that's all I have to say.


smalltownmom said...

Seriously, it plays music?

Vanessa said...

Sometimes the most trying experiences make the best blog posts.

Mrs. G. said...

You know the store that I have seen with the most holiday ties? Goodwill!

Have fun tonight.

Rima said...

Oh, no, no, no! You NEED a tie like that when you go to a fancy schmancy festive casual holiday party! It's a conversation piece.

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The Finely Tuned Woman said...

That tie was meant to be yours. Fate willed it so and I think it is kind of cute and innocent, even if it does play music. You can't go wrong with Charlie Brown. At least your loved one is willing to wear a tie. My ex would not wear one under any conditions. I bet your loved one was the best dressed one at the party. At least the most cheerful one.

Marketing Mama said...

That is seriously hilarious. Especially the Macy's part, and that you found your salvation at Walgreens. You gotta love Walgreens.

I've bought a few holiday ties at JC PENNEYS, by the way... with music. :) Hope you have a great time.

phd in yogurtry said...

That is a smashing tie and I bet it will be the hit of the party.

So..were there quiches? Or anything wrapped in bacon?

susan said...

I'm just laughing away with you! I hope you had a wonderful time.

We used to have a cheesy holiday music playing tie, but it was turned into fort-building materials like all the others did when we moved to Seattle. Hmmm...I wonder if it's still at the bottom of the dress-up box...

Jen Anderson said...

I usually go online for novelty ties. (My Dad loves tacky ties (Chili peppers, or the Tasmanian Devil wrapped in christmas lights). I have chosen to accept this and embrace it as an opportunity to buy him a gift he'll actually use.)

But that requires advance notice. With no notice, I'd be all, hey, I'm a gonna take this here tie with a stain on it and glue cardboard cutouts of christmas tree on it, mmkay?

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You are a good and dedicated wife.

A 50 million dollar house and you can't wear your shoes inside? Do they not have a cleaning lady?

Have a great time and I'll keep my fingers crossed for quiches.

Anonymous said...

Ok THAT is an awesome tie. I can't wait to hear about this festive extravaganza.
And I'm not surprised that Nordstrom didn't have them. They really have no clue about kitschy taste. Do you think that's how to spell kitschy?

Anne-Marie said...

I love a Charlie Brown Christmas... great tie!
You're right, there's nothing worse than condescending salespeople. I was recently told by a snotty young salesguy at an electronics store that they hadn't stocked what I was looking for (a non-cordless phone) in 5 years, when I know I saw one in that same store a month ago and they still have them on their website...
(I was curious: Macy's has at least three holiday ties on their website, but much more expensive and less cute than your Walgreen's tie...)

Mama Goose said...

How awesome is that tie?! Sorry for the pain you endured to get it though!

see you there! said...

What an experience. I'd have been cutting the tie off of one of my holiday aprons and passing it over. "Here, pin this on the front ofyour shirt. No one will know dear". Hahaha.


Rebekah said...

No holiday season is complete without a) humiliation b) HORRIBLE salespeople c) some kitsch you THINK you'd rather be dead than embrace, until you find, for convoluted reasons you must. I hope there was LOTS of egg nog there at ermine masion!

racheld said...

Having been a lifelong recipient of the foot-below-the-eyes stare WAY more times than I'd like, I'm not one to keep looking at a person's chest. Not at all.

But on a recent Sunday, I found myself mesmerized by the tie of a man facing the person to my right---thank goodness not in front of ME, because I couldn't tear my eyes away.

It had a lovely green background, and white writing---the Entire 23rd Psalm---I think, for the print tapered smaller and smaller as it went down into the point of a rather long tie. I made myself move on, out of sight-range, as I felt myself beginning to squint trying to read the tiny calligraphy.

And I'd guess that a squint at a chest is even more rude than a stare.

Lisa Milton said...

Have a great time tonight. I can't wait to hear more.

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Mac and Cheese said...

Did Susan try to sell you car insurance, TWICE???

I can't wait to hear what everyone else actually wore.

Katie said...

Oh, the ticky tackyness of a holiday tie. That plays music no less....eat a tiny quiche for me too.

Hope the tie is a big success.

Claire B. said...

This is quite possibly my favorite blog post of yours--ever. Update, please!

Keith Baron said...

You know the more I think of your title, "The Bad Wife Chronicles" and the more I ponder of your sarcastic but witty writing style the image of cable series with the byline line, created by Nora Beidler comes to mind.

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