In this season of hyper-retailing, Bliss is whipping out a mash-up, a sort of palate-cleanser amid all the shopping you’ve got going on this month.
Instead, Bag Lady is all about bugs, murderous summer camps and future shopping opportunities. You know, just an average day in the life.
Let’s fa-la-la-la-la get to it!
Hobby Lobby: Two weeks and counting
The timing of the announcement of its arrival was a wee unfortunate — “Great news! We’re getting that craft store that’s arguing in front of the Supreme Court over its right not to cover contraceptives for employees as part of their health insurance!” — but for a very long time that was all Bag Lady knew about the Twin Cities’ latest retail addition.
Now that it’s nearly here, opening Dec. 26 in a gigantic store next to the Auburn Starbucks, according to Hobby Lobby, Bag Lady decided it was time to embark on some deep research. That basically entailed asking a good friend who had been there before. Her take: Hobby Lobby is very A.C. Moore meets Jo-Ann Fabric.
“HL is like the best of both of those stores combined. Plus, their prices are good so they tend to be like the Walmart of craft stores. Everything for crafting, hobbies, baking, etc. all in one place. My favorite part of HL is that it has lots of home interior decorations you don’t find at many other craft stores. My dear husband hates to go to craft stores with me, but he had no problem perusing the man cave decorations at HL.”
That last bit goes a long way toward explaining the “men’s resin and ceramic decor” and “men’s metal and wood decor” on sale in its flier this week. If they have metal mustaches, for Bag Lady, it will be love.
It looks like Hobby Lobby, which is also in Bangor, is generous with the printable coupons. This week it’s 40 percent off one item at regular price. Also looks like they’re closed on Sundays.
Since this time of year the “littles” can add up — gifts you pick up for your children’s teachers, your mailman, your hairdresser or your office secret Santa — I paid a quick visit to Dollar Tree for gifts that truly don’t look like they cost a dollar.
Buy, save, repeat.
* Lemon Verbena bath and shower gel, 13.5 oz
With a pretty, classic label and just-lemony-enough scent, surround it in tissue paper, pop on a bow and you’re done.
* Brain Dead grow a zombie body part
Choose from head, arm or foot — I know, decisions, decisions — for a quirky glow-in-the-dark gross-out that will have your giftee smiling.
* Musical holiday necktie
In seasonally tame red plaid or “Hello, Christmas!” snowman. Press a button and it plays a jingle. Don’t press it and the wearer just looks festive.
* Lindt chocolate truffles, three-pack
In a shiny, palm-sized red bag, these are little-gift perfection. It’s chocolate. It’s delicious. No one is going to ask where you bought it.
Ladies be buggin’
The Bag House always turns into a lady bug sanctuary this time of year, but this season seems worse than most.
Also, “sanctuary” is a word used loosely; mostly they come inside to die, and in a variety of tragi-comic ways, like some invertebrate version of “Sleepaway Camp.”
Splashed down the drain when they’re creeping around the sink and we wash our hands in the middle of the night. Punted by a dog. Bag Lady even had one sneak into her food processor, only to be discovered after pureeing a breast of chicken for soup and finding a little orange-red carcass at the top of the pureed heap.
Anyone know how to keep them away? I’ll trade you a 40-percent-off coupon at Hobby Lobby …
Now that Mark LaFlamme has written about the amazing, full-contact shopping experience that is Goodwill’s Buy The Pound Outlet store in Gorham, I believe Bliss is contractually obligated to write about drug dealers, prostitutes or lessons gleaned from youth.
So, note to my pre-teen self: Don’t watch “Sleepaway Camp” or ANY of its sequels no matter how much your very persuasive best friend wants to, because you will never, ever forget the scene in which the one camper is buried up to her neck and run over with a lawnmower.
It’s the sort of thing that will just stay with you. Like, try not thinking about it for the next five minutes.
And, um, happy holidays!
Bag Lady’s true identity is protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who got to eat the lady bug’d chicken breast and were thinking, score!) and the customer service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.