Tag Archives: postaday2011

The Shopper’s Eye: A Tale of Desperation

My sight grew numb. I didn’t even know that could happen.

An excerpt from the Drevets Log:

“Target: The Shopper’s Eye”

27 December 2011: 15:55

Very tired. Need coffee and Digestive Biscuit.

I wander a vast retail wasteland. Memories of my life before Target fade.  Numbers, letters blend together. Nothing has meaning.

Sister has developed discount psychosis. I fear for her safety. The damage may not be reversible.

Humanoids pace the aisles, eyes glazed, drool tracks on their cheeks. The management has used the color red to hypnotize its prey. Mutters emanate breathily from their mouths. They cannot understand they say nothing. Meaningless. All meaningless.

My humanity burns within me. I must leave this place. The cardigan I search for is not here. Long sleeve crew neck tees choke my being. Everything has a cost, and still the danger grows. We will not sacrifice our souls in order to fulfill our quest. My sister weakens. My own resolve becomes faint.

I have contracted the dreaded shopper’s eye. Items are indistinguishable from one another. I sense my thinking grow clouded. I clutch ill fitting shirts of garish colors. Perhaps I will wear them to parties where glasses will clink and muffled laughter will sound from the other room where a rabbit plays the piano.

I better try on just five, no six, no eight more. Eight more blouses. These jeans don’t look like the cardigan I need. I need to try them on.

Dressing room attendants, here’s a number thank you, walk left right left slam, fluorescent lights, mirror, action. I cannot recognize myself. This is the only reality. Everything is a box, beginning here in this box in the Target box in a boxy suburb, in the box city, in the universe box.

My cell phone goes off. “Mother” is calling. What is mother? Memories stir in the deep. I remember mountains, dancing, Christmas lights on snow.

ESCAPE!

I tear out of the dressing rooms. Sister stands, mesmerized by a promotion display, her consciousness wasting away. I slap her. “WAKE.” I say. “WHAT THE CRAP.” Says she. “RUN.” I say. I grab her hand. She’s irritated. I know this. She cannot understand I seek only her good. I will receive her thanks later.

We sprint up the aisles, burst into sunshine. Winter rays warm our mortal flesh.

“I need to pay for this, Emily,” sister says. She holds a pair of jeans.

“You were taking SO LONG.” I insist. “I have saved you.”

“No, Emily. You haven’t. Wait here. I’m going back inside.”

I watch her re-enter. She will thank me yet.

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Dear Santa, You Suck

Santa Claus is a bad dude

Hey Santa! Yeah you, ya big stink. What the nark is wrong with you?? You think that just because you’re your own boss and don’t take no orders from nobody that you can stomp on my Christmas wishes, and leave me a freakin’ pile of junk?

Did you even read the letter I sent you? What about my tweets, facebook messages, or emails? Did you not see the comments I left on your blog? Surely you must have gotten at least one of the numerous text messages or missed phone calls I gave you. I even SKYPED with Mrs. Claus and told her exactly what I wanted and still you come and dump wrapped up garbage beneath our evergreen.

You know what? You suck. I’m not sure if you’re incompetent, lazy, or mentally impaired, but you certainly are not fit for my future children to worship.

Look. My request was not unreasonable: The only thing I wanted was the very same 16 oz. jar of Teddie Crunchy Old Fashioned All Natural Peanut Butter that was taken from me as I was going through security at the Boston Logan International Airport on Wednesday, December 21 at approximately 11:15 am, and the security team that had confiscated it after briefly arguing with me to be punished by you stealing all their toilet paper.  But you ruined everything by being awful.

Even if my request had been over the top, which it wasn’t, I still thought the pieces of trash I found under my tree were completely uncalled for. What kind of mean-spirited old crank leaves Dunkaroo wrappers and beef jerky bags with bows on top of them? And as for the box of Ritz s’mores, well I thought there was actually something in there until I opened it and you had replaced my favorite road trip treat with dog food. You’re just a bad guy. I hope the years of tax evasion finally catch up to you and you’re sent to a minimum security federal prison where you meet a whole new crop of lap sitters.

Wishing you a nasty case of shingles,

Emily

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For a Very Special Christmas

This is actually a man covered in pine branches. Now that’s special.

As the years drift by, it gets harder and harder to bring back that Christmas feeling you had as a child. The special aura surrounding the holiday, fueled in part by parentally encouraged delusions of a certain chubby man and his mysterious night journey, begins to fade.

Gone are the days when parents had no flaws, school consisted of Christmas parties for an entire month, and the entire world glowed with happiness because of the presents you were going to get. As we reach adulthood (and I know it’s a stretch to call myself an adult), we see the other side of the coin: the glow is actually just white hot Christmas rage, the Santa Bill needs to be paid personally, and family must be tended to.

How can you bring back the incandescent Christmas days of old, when today seemed like a day apart from all others, a day to look forward to, a day worthy of a countdown, a day of expectation and joy that ended in the ashes of wrapping paper scraps. Here are some tips and suggestions that can make this Christmas the best one of all.

Ways to Make this Christmas Special:

1. Play “family member hides.” Everyone votes on the family member they like the least, and then that family member has to hide for the rest of the day while the others search for him or her at their leisure.

2. Give the youngest members of your family bb guns, making sure they know there are no restrictions on where to use them.

3. After the Christmas feast, sit down with your loved ones and point out one another’s flaws.

4. Everyone loves singing! Give everyone a 3-5 minute solo to prepare and then go sing them at the mall in front of the movie ticket lines.

5. If you haven’t seen them already, rent the first two Alvin and the Chipmunks movies before going and watching the third one in theatres during a daytime showing. Nothing spells Christmas cheer like shameless exploitation of formerly beloved characters set to the tune of wailing toddlers.

6. Instead of fussing over a big meal, let everyone choose their own microwave dinner and heat it up themselves. Then watch television in silence!

7. Indoor bonfire, using the tree as fodder.

8. Hire someone wearing a Santa suit to come and take everyone’s presents away from them after they’ve finished unwrapping them.

9. Have a real-time response to Christmas gifts from people who aren’t in the immediate vicinity. Call ‘em up right away and tell them how you really feel about the Jar Jar Binks soap dispenser you got!

10. Go door to door preaching against capitalism. Have younger family members wail in order to remind people of child labor in sweat shops.

11. Encourage the little cousins to try to get onto the roof of the house, climb a tree, or fit into cupboards.

12. “Accidentally” misplace the remote control.

13. As you sit around the crackling fire with your family or friends, laughing about times gone by, bring up a deep seated grudge from years ago.

14. Instead of complaining about gifts you didn’t receive, speak with dripping sarcasm and spit vitriol while insisting nothing is wrong.

15. Give used toothbrushes as stocking stuffers.

Merry Christmas!!!

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Turns Out I Hate Crafts

The first of thousands. Literally thousands.

Having recently arrived home, where my nuclear family lives, including one bride-to-be, I have been confronted with some uncomfortable realities. One of these is the fact I don’t have my own room. Another is that there countless people (5) saying good morning to me in the  early hours when I would rather hear only the sweet hum of my aging computer. The most pressing one, however, is the fact I will physically have to do things to help my sister in her wedding preparations, and it is going to be much more work and much less glamorous than I had previously supposed.

Though I spoke boldly about how much I was looking forward to the wedding stuff and being a best maid, etc. while stationed abroad, I had no concept of what that would entail. At a distance from the nuptial hubbub, I played to my talents, which are blogging. While at home, however, I can no longer blog it in. My blogging in no way, shape, or form helps my sister. If anything, it’s a distraction and a nuisance.

Oddly enough, what my sister actually needs are people to work like indentured servants on a variety of craft projects, since she’s into the “make it right the first time” movement. It’s also cheaper than buying things from Martha Stewart. Currently we’re making big yarn globes, which will look pretty cool whenever we’re finished with them. But that’s not the point. The point is that I don’t like crafts. I’m also not very good at doing them. Consider this: the most artistic thing that I do regularly is doodle, and I only do that when I’m incapable of focusing on something else. I never choose art or crafts as an activity in and of itself, and almost as soon as I start one, I wonder when I can stop.

Here’s what’s going to happen: as soon as we start making another one of those globe things, I will instantly regret being a part of the project and begin counting the minutes until I can leave. This will to lead to me doing a poor job, which will in turn lengthen the project as we drape and re-drape strand after glue-soaked strand of yarn over the balloon. Secretly I’ll hope that by doing such a poor job you will never ask me to help out again. I recall all my former valiant words with chagrin as I’m faced with these simple tasks that prove too taxing for my attention span, which barely rivals that of a goldfish.

Instead of pretending I’m capable of attending to detail or caring about any aspect of a craft project except for finishing it with speed, from now on I’ll only do the most mindless of tasks so I will be free to distract others. This is my true gift to the wedding enterprise. My hands may be clumsy and my mind distracted, but my comments and interruptions are endless.

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I Plead Ignorance

I know nothing

Dear People of the United States,

I do not know what’s going on in Egypt. I was mildly aware of the political environment while I was there only because my friend practically lived in Tahrir Square and I am in a program with people better than I. There was also the occasional article I accidentally read because it was sent directly to my inbox and I clicked the link thinking  it was going to be a funny montage of fuzzy animals, babies, or Republican presidential candidates.

I realize it’s tempting to think I might know something about the political situation, since I just returned from living in Cairo for 6 months. I can see how you might guess I had picked up a newspaper every now and then, engaged in some political activism, or even absent mindedly absorbed the news on television, which would require nothing besides turning the device on and sitting in front of it. But, again, I have to insist that your guesses and assumptions are erroneous, and any attempt to get a short political analysis of the “sitch” will embarrass both me and you. Me, since I will be once again confronted with my staggering political ignorance, and you, since I will decline to admit that openly and tell you something which may prove to be wrong.

Therefore, upon hearing that I have been studying in Egypt, please refrain from asking me, “Are they going to pull themselves together?” or “What’s going on over there?” or “What about the women?” Though your guess to these questions is not as good as mine, both our guesses are equally likely to be wrong.

Worse still, please do not try to talk to me about your own political analyses that you’ve compiled by reading a few articles in the New York Times. The mere fact that you’ve done this will embarrass me and I will be forced to act like I know what you’re talking about. Please don’t make me do this. Your analyses are also likely wrong, but I will be unable to tell you that since I’ve done none of my own research. I might say something like “if 85% of Egyptian people don’t know what’s going on, how am I supposed to?” This statistic is a lie, but it feels right to me considering how much confusion I’ve felt about the situation, and I refuse to stop using it.

I agree with you it’s a shame I don’t know more.  To that end, I’ve resolved to become more informed on Egypt’s internal politics from now on. But that means that I’m a student, just like you, and hate being interrupted when I’m studying. So…if you  have an urgent question about Egyptian politics, if you and Jerry made a bet at the office Christmas party on which presidential candidate was going to be the subject of a smear campaign courtesy of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, then I recommend you read Al-Masry Al-Youm and Al-Ahram for starters, in addition to the New York Times. If your thirst has not been slaked, you could continue onto read political analysis from Foreign Policy and Jadaliyya.

After reading every article, please send me a short summary, making sure to include the central points and main conclusion. I thank you in advance for helping me educate myself on the country that I’ve been living in. This is, after all, a group effort.

Best,

Emily Drevets

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