In Which Emilie Talks About Travel, and Reflects On Her Mean Shopping Face


Thank heavens October is over. That was an exhausting month. I visited Juneau and Anchorage for work, and I really liked Anchorage. Also the air was dry so my hair looked amazing, and I am putting that on the back burner in case there is ever a chance to live there for a while. The food, however, is heinously expensive. It was beautiful, but I was a little disappointed at how much Alaska looked like Washington. Granted, I made it right before the snow started, so perhaps that would alter the landscape. I did eat reindeer!

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I got to see a Glacier in Juneau, and in Anchorage I was able to check out the Anchorage Museum, which was great! It had art, Alaskan state and tribal history, a hands-on station which was probably designed for Children but was my favorite part, and the best thing was they were having a bead trade show so everybody got in for free!

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I have always wanted to visit Alaska, so I can check the state off of my bucket list. I would love to go back and spend some time exploring farther north, see the aurora borealis, and visit the tourist trap at the North Pole. Also lots of hiking and nature!

After Alaska, I visited Boise, Idaho for the first time. I hate to say it, but Boise may just be the ugliest city I have ever seen in my life. The downtown was brown and unimpressive, and the surrounding areas were just blah. The attention to aesthetics in the city was extremely lacking, and honestly it made me a little unhappy to be missing beauty. Unlike Alaska where I walked around thinking, “wow, this is so beautiful” and consequently feeling at peace, in Boise I walked around thinking “ugh” and was relieved to fly back to Seatac. I did win a Mrs. Potato head at the fair, as well as eat ice cream cleverly shaped like a potato.

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Then on returning from Boise I rushed down to campus to refill on college fair pieces, go to class, meet about a paper with a classmate, and then drive down to Portland to be there for the fair the next day.

I was pretty exhausted by this point, but I had a great time in Portland. I presented at the National college fair which went well, was able to meet up with some friends for meals, as well as have lunch with my family before heading home. While in Portland I also discovered that the Starbucks mugs I have been coveting for months were finally on clearance, so I purchased eight of them to take home and replace the chipped mugs I have. I also finally bought the Martha Stewart chair I’ve been wanting for my office.

The desk was only available online, so I ordered it. In order to save time I will give the short version of the desk shopping fiasco: I ordered it online and the website promised it would be delivered on the 5th. It was not, and tracking information was suspiciously unavailable. The desk was finally delivered on the 7th. When I opened up the box I could not locate the desk legs right away, and after a moment of panic discovered them tucked inside the desk drawer. What was actually lacking from the box was even more infuriating–the hardware kit had not been packed inside the box. The next day I called the distributing company, and they informed me that it would take seven to ten business days to receive my hardware kit. He also mentioned that their database was down, so heaven knows if my order will even make it through. I was tired of waiting for my desk, so I marched over to Lowe’s to buy the eight bolts, lock washers, and flat washers that I needed. I found exactly what I wanted within a couple of minutes, but then some employee wandered over and asked what I was buying. I indicated that I had already found it, but then she insisted on knowing what I wanted it for. At that point she decided to tell me I had grabbed the wrong thing (because I had grabbed stainless steel as that had the size I needed and the cheaper options had not) and spent 35 minutes wandering up and down the aisle looking at different options and not letting me buy what I wanted. I told her the size of the bolt I needed, and was adamant that the bolt needed to be completely threaded. She gave me bolts that were only threaded for one inch, and insisted I needed to buy those. Also, while asking me about the desk, she kept referring to some imaginary “him”. An example: “what did He say you needed?” She acted as if I couldn’t possibly be looking for hardware without the instructions of some man. I found this shocking as she was a woman working at a hardware store, you’d think she would not want to perpetuate stupid gendered stereotypes. Rather than sticking to my guns, I was annoyed and hungry so in order to escape her clutches I bought the stupid wrong bolts, took them home knowing they were wrong, and was proved correct when they wouldn’t work because they were not fully threaded. Could I have been more forceful and insisted that she was mistaken, and bought what I wanted? Yes. And I probably should have. But for whatever reason in that particular moment it was more important for me to get away from the intrusive assistant than it was to buy the actual hardware that I needed. My desk is currently on the floor of my office, and as I had already appropriated the plastic rolling drawers I’d been using to supplement my old desk for extra organization in my bathroom, my printer is currently sitting on my office chair thus rendering my office completely unusable.

Reflection: I hate it when people are overly attentive, and I cannot stand it when people do things for me that I could be doing for myself, therefore extending a process. This is particularly true when I am shopping. When I am browsing, I take my time looking at every object soaking in the beauty and the possibilities, but when I am actually shopping with a purchase in mind I mean BUSINESS. I walk quickly, head straight to the aisle I need, search out my item, grab it, check out (preferably at self checkout) and am back in my car before most people get their shopping carts. I get this business look on my face (which I have heard makes people think that I am upset or angry or mean, and I feel is somewhat similar to my bar-face, which explains a lot) and the message I am trying to externally communicate is that I am efficient, I am on a mission, and am not to be bothered. Unfortunately this look is not successful as often as I would like, and when a poor shopping assistant ventures a tentative, “may I help you find something” I have to make a mental and physical effort to politely decline with a smile, rather than snap and snarl at them for derailing my trajectory. Inside my head, in addition to being efficient, I rather enjoy the process of figuring where an object is located, and feel cheated when some employee shows me where it is rather than allowing me to find it for myself. In short–shopping is a very private and important process to me, and I can’t stand it when others intrude in that process unless I’ve invited them in on a joint shopping trip. Now, let’s all look for pathology there!

For having to work on my Sunday birthday, I had a rather lovely day. Our open house went well, my boss and I were given matching tiaras, and our office ordered us cake!

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Now that I’m 24, 6 years from 30 I may add, I’m making a concerted effort to transition from hand-me-down broken bookshelves and cast-off SMU furniture that is synonymous with post-residence-hall living, and slowly replace my furniture with nice, matching, and chosen items. My desk and chair were the first strides in this area. The next purchases will most likely be matching bookshelves for my books, and someday will be followed by some solution for the crafting/sewing half of my back room. In case you haven’t figured it out, aesthetics are particularly important for me, and having actual matching bookcases seems like a logical transition from recent college graduate to young professional. Which I am.

The final note in this unabashedly segue-less update post is that if you are interested in seeing me on stage in the near future, your only opportunity is on November 22nd. I am filling in for one night only at the SMU One-Acts in Laundry & Bourbon (which will be in the first half of the evening). Go see it any other night to see the actual Hattie, but if you want to see me that’s your one shot until heaven knows, maybe I’ll find a summer production to be a part of. We’ll see how I feel homework-wise.

That’s all for now folks, I’ve got lines to memorize and dishes to wash.

Sincerely,
Emilie

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