Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Even with a freaking cone on her head and a huge incision on her leg, The Goose is still all smiles. God , I love this dog!

Store Policy Vs. The Customer Is Always Right

Believe me, I understand in business there is very rarely anything that is black and white; there are always multiple shades of grey in between. If you're in the retail/customer service industries, this means you need to ensure your employees are trained sufficiently to deal with these types of situations.
Here are two true life (mine) experiences, both occurring today within 30 minutes of one another which, I believe, illustrates my point.
I purposefully went to Target today in the late morning because I figured the store would be relatively empty. Why? Because I was attempting the dreaded "bathing suit search". All of you ladies completely get what I mean here, right? When looking for the ever illusive bathing suit that looks ok on you (read: does not make you want to run screaming from the dressing room), you don't want a lot of people around. You need to take your time while browsing the racks, checking sizes, pondering color schemes, and hoping no one will notice if you get the smallest size top and the largest size bottom. I was in luck (I thought) today because all of Target's bathing suits were on sale, and, a GOOD sale, too. Hey, I don't really need a new one; I still fit in my favorite two (one bought in Maui in 1997 and the other from Victoria Secret in 2000) BUT I am tired of them and thought something bright and snazzy for the cruise was in order. This is TMI, likely, but, I want y'all to get the gist of how much I'd thought about/planned out today's excursion.
As I'd hoped, there were hardly any folks in the store and only one other lady in the swim suit area. She moved on fairly quickly and I had the place to myself. I found several pretty things to try on except for one suit, I couldn't decide if I wanted the matching (print) bottom or a solid, bright purple bottom (Mr. B loves purple, BTW). So, I selected both to try and, armed with seven items, I went over to the dressing room where I promptly met the Godzilla of dressing room attendants.
First off, let me say that there was NO ONE else there, all the rooms were empty and it didn't seem as though she was overly wrought with her task of the moment (which appeared to be sorting the different color hangars that designate how many items a person has in the dressing room with them (a process that I was even surprised to see was still in use)).
She looked up and asked me how many. I counted just to double check, although really, who cared?
"Seven" I replied.
"Only six in the dressing room at one time" she shot back, taking the suits from me to count them and, I guess, decide for me which one didn't make the cut.
"Oh, c'mon!" I said in my friendliest tone; woman to woman, meaning, let me take one extra one in with me, for crying out loud.
"No. Store policy" she said curtly.
At which point, I lost all of the patience I've been holding close to the chest for the past several weeks. No, I didn't deck her, I just said (as curtly if not more than she) "Forget it" and stomped off and out of the store.
I stewed about this I continued the rest of my shopping errands. I mean, really. I guess I might have understood her refusal to make an exception if there had been tons of people waiting in line in nasty moods waiting to get into her dressing rooms OR if I'd been some young teeny bopper who just felt like trying stuff on with no intent to buy, but, seriously. She should have taken a harder look at me and realized I was a woman intent on a mission, I am in my forties, and why the fu$$ would I want to leave out one item, try on the other six, put my clothes back on, go back out, give her one of the items I tried and get the other?
I resolved mid way to the next store to refrain from shopping at Target until I got an apology.
I only needed a few items at the grocery store so I didn't get a cart. Then, as I was surveying the huge bags of dog food, I realized my error. No matter, I hoisted the 20 pound bag (on sale for $15.99 plus I had a $2 off coupon which is why I selected that brand (Lucy is not a picky eater)) over to the check out counter. The checker, a guy, rang it and my ginger root, celery, onion and a new toy for Lucy up. As I stood there watching the display, I noticed that the dog food rang up at $16.99. I said, "Wait, the dog food is on sale". Now, get this. He asked me, "Oh, how much is it?" So, I told him and he took off a dollar plus the two dollars for my coupon.
No questions asked. No scrutiny to ascertain if I was some disturbed lady who routinely goes into stores and quotes incorrect prices to save a buck or two. He just assumed I was right (which I was) and gave me the $1.
What a difference!
When I got home, I went to Target's website in a (what turned out to be futile) attempt to find a way to contact the manager at the store via email and complain. This is sort of funny; every time I entered the key words "complain to store manager" or "voice a complaint" or anything with the word "complain" in it, it returned as, "We found nothing for your search. Please try again". I guess they don't want to hear any complaints.
Seriously, I know I can pick up the phone and get in touch with the manager, or, send a complaint the old fashioned snail mail route. As I am writing this, I am wondering if this falls into the category of things I might better just let go as relatively trivial and who cares, anyway; I'll just go buy my new bathing suite somewhere else and that'll show old Target who is boss.
I do feel better having written this, and, hey, my Blog DOES attract people who do searches on Google, so, you never know, someone from Target may actually stumble across this, anyway.
Somehow, though, I just have the sneaking suspicion that one of those suits would have been "the one"; another that I'd keep for ten years. We all know what finds those are! So, based on that, I am going to boycott Target. At least for now.
Mrs. B

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Gala Last Night

Ready to go!
Messing around in the bathroom trying to get the hair just right!

We got all gussied up for a the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation gala in Raleigh. Actually, we were filling in for Mr. B's boss/wife.
Boy, of all the times I've been to formal events since moving to Durham, I've always felt a tad overdressed. Not so last night. We were fine; dressed appropriately, but, man; so many of the other women were dressed to the nines. Dripping rich. I found myself fascinated by the many different dresses, shoes, handbags, and jewels. I felt downright plain in my stand-by beaded black floor length sheath dress (but I am happy to report that, after over 10 years, it still fits like a glove and looks great; ok, folks are right, you can never go wrong with basic black).
Anyway, there were dresses of vivid hues; purples, bright blues, reds, startling whites, emerald greens as well as pastels. And, all the different styles! Long, short, fitted, loose, billowy, long trains, bare backs, high waists, no waists, sequined, shimmery, beaded, sheer (sleeves).
Lovely wraps and handbags to match and OH THE SHOES! Mine were a bit dowdy, I felt; good thing they were basically hidden by my dress! But, I saw strappy sandals, stilettos, peep a boo toes (with all shades of the rainbow on painted toes), silver, red, black, gold, white, dyed to match gowns...on and on.
The event itself was high class, as well it should have been for $120 per plate. All drinks and food included; decently stocked bar, waiters passing flutes of Champagne or glasses of wine and a special station where I think chocolate martinis were being made. I didn't get to taste all of the passed appetizers but the mini chicken Wellington I had was excellent.
For dinner, a nice salad with citrus and asparagus. For the main course, filet mignon and....lobster tail. Yes, Mrs. B actually ate a good deal of it (many of you are aware of my lobster phobia). I must admit, it was tasty, if a bit rich. Plenty of white or red wine with the meal, followed by a dessert of molten chocolate lava cake with berries and fresh cream.
The gala was in essence both a fundraiser AND an event to honor a particular family who has done much to aid the foundation in both time, effort and money. This family happens to be a client of Mr. B's boss (hence why we were there in the first place). In addition to the speakers and honored guests, there was both a live and silent auction (I know how much work this is) and a raffle for a trip to Maui ($100 per ticket...a bit rich for our blood).
Anyway, it was not something we'd expected to do and we were not all that thrilled about it beforehand, but, it turned out ok and, obviously, it was for a very good cause.
Now time to go find some new duds for the cruise. Ok, maybe not. Well...maybe a new pair of shoes...
Mrs. B

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Margot!!!!!

All of us in the B household are hoping you have a fantastically wonderful birthday! Lots of love!
Mrs. B

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Doggie Dissing

You know, we just don't understand the ways in which dogs communicate with one another. And, on top of it, we attempt to impose OUR standards of how to behave in polite society on our pooches when we think they are acting up when they see another dog walking down the street.
Such as.
I'm with Lucy and we're heading down our road. All's fine; she's got her nose to the ground sniffing away, tail wagging to and fro. Then, she spots another dog either ahead of her or coming towards her and she immediately starts this behavior of sorta huffing and puffing (posturing); her hair goes up on her back, ears are straight up, and, if the other dog is getting closer, she might start to strain at her leash. My usual reaction is to tell her to stop it.
If the other dog even remotely looks at her, she might lunge towards it; if the other dog lunges at HER, she will most certainly lunge back while growling and/or barking. Once this happens, she usually gets a very stern snap to the collar.
Yet, I got to thinking about this a few weeks ago and realized maybe I just don't get it. I mean, for all I know, the other dog, while approaching/passing may be communicating in some doggie way the following:
"Ha ha ha you dumb blonde! You can't catch me and your momma's mean and you've got a fat butt!"
"Hey, you, yeah, you! I can take you! Yes I can! You want a piece of me? You wanna PIECE of me? Good luck, Blondie!" You couldn't find your ass with all four paws!"
"You're stupid. Every time I see you, you do the same thing. When are you gonna get a clue? You're on a LEASH, you moron!"
So, maybe I'll give her a little bit of a break from now on. I mean, how would I feel if, if the situation was reversed?
Mrs. B

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Recent Trip to Alexandria/DC

Mom and I went up to Alexandria/DC last Sunday to visit with sister Kathy for a few days. All in all, we had a really nice time (despite the fact there were "health" concerns regarding loved ones back home). It was great seeing Kathy and having her as a tour guide. She definitely knows her city!
Here are a few pictures from the journey (with a bit of commentary).
Mrs. B
View from our table at Ristorante Geranio Sunday night. The car out the window is a "Hip Hop" car. I'd never seen one before! It pulled up to the light, stopped, and flipped over onto its side.
Apres dinner. The food was decent enough, especially the calamari!
Kathy and Mom inside the Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress. Mom was there to get a CD of her Uncle Andy's interview for the Veteran's Project. We finally tracked it down although it was a comedy of errors. The volunteer staff need a bit more training, me thinks!
There was a special exhibit at the Library of Congress on the Gershwin Brothers, George and Ira. Here is George's piano. I didn't realize that he'd passed away so young (38) while Ira lived into his 80s.
Mom and Mrs. B in front of the Capitol. Yes, we do look a like (identical shirts not with standing!)
Sisters. What a lovely day! Kathy drove us around DC (since she knew where she was going and that way, I didn't have to attempt to parallel park!)
In front of the Washington Monument. I'd say mid-April is a good time to visit DC. Not too many tourists and the weather was mild. It was a beautiful day Monday! It did rain quite a bit on Tuesday, however.
Hanging out in our room at the Sheraton Suites, Old Town Alexandria. The hotel was ok; the location its strongest point (convenient to everything, including Kathy's apartment).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Guilty As Charged

This topic has been floating around in Blog-world; thought it would be an interesting self-reflection/know thy self exercise. No particular order here; just ten things!
Ten Things I Am Guilty Of:
1. Starting projects that I never complete. For example, right now, there is the cookbook of favorite recipes that's been on my desk top since last Fall, compiling another "The Best of Mrs. B's Blogs" book, and creating a template to produce Astrological charts for people. Also included in this category is beginning Blog series that I write one or two entries and never finish; such as "Flawed at the Core" and the one about how I ended up with five cats.
2. Listening to the answering machine when someone calls and not picking up the phone, even if it is someone I know, because I don't feel like talking. Ditto to looking at who is calling on my cell phone and deciding if I feel like talking to that particular person at that particular moment.
3. Buying little gifties for Mr. B when the mood strikes me but getting my feelings hurt when he doesn't do the same thing for me. We just don't think the same way in this regard, I guess; and, this could easily be solved if I just stopped buying him gifts, right?
4. Being a tad obsessed about calorie counting/not gaining weight.
5. Taking an immediate dislike to certain people, even though they have not done anything to really deserve it.
6. Slacking up on Lucy's discipline when Mr. B is not around. I mean, who really cares if she goes up the stairs before I do? I'm getting to the point with her that, as long as she generally minds her manners, that's ok by me. I'm tired of constantly making her follow rule after rule.
7. Being very petty when it comes to Mr. B's ex; whether it be about how she looks, behaves or what we can do to make her life difficult. I KNOW this is not right; more importantly, I know that this is not worth MY time. I think I resent her more than he does at this point.
8. Getting overly agitated about things that don't matter (see above), but also, truly, little things. Such as, the hotel not leaving us sufficient coffee, someone throwing a beer can in our yard every so often or smudges on the hard wood floor from where the cats have been playing. I am seriously attempting to work on this one; it's just not an effective use of my mental resources!
9. Being blunt and/or belligerent with people if they are getting on my nerves.
10. Holding a grudge. Not withstanding #5, I'm usually fairly forgiving of people that I know, especially family. However, once someone pisses me off/hurts my feelings, I tend to secretly harbor a grudge against them, even if I am nice to their face. Sometimes it might resolve itself, but, usually, not. Then, I ignore/avoid them. Not right, I know. Not mature, I mean.
Mrs. B

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Old Geezer Dude Part Deux

Remember I blogged about the old dude at the eye glass place who took forever and a day to get his thoughts from brain out of mouth? Well, I ran into him again today when I swung by the store to pick up my new glasses/sun glasses.
I walked in, saw that he was the one working and almost walked back out again. But, I really wanted to have the new specs for my trip to DC, so, I squared my shoulders and marched up to him.
OMG. OMG. OMG. Not only was he just as slow as ever, he asked me AGAIN how long I wear my contacts and if I was interested in hearing about his method (tried and true; been doing it over 35 years, blah blah blah) of cleaning them so that they'd last two or even three months. He got out a piece of paper to write down his instructions but I told him, politely but firmly, that I really was not interested. I mean, c'mon! Who do you think I'm going to trust with my peepers? My eye doc or this guy who couldn't even remember I told him last week I didn't care.
So, he had to clean both pairs of glasses (ten minutes) and then fit them. The sun glasses were a bit floppy, so, he took them to another station to tighten them up. Then, he had to clean them again because he got his big fat thumb prints on the lenses. ARGH. I didn't notice a case for the sun glasses so I asked if there was a case. He must have been mad at me because he snapped, "I'll get you one, I have to clean your glasses first, ok?"
Here is the funny thing. After we were done, he shows me on the receipt where they ask customers to go to their web site and rate their in-store experience. He said, "So, if you give me all 5s, my grandchildren will write you a thank you note. If you give me 1s or 2s, I'll send a contract (person) to your house. I couldn't believe it. He was joking (I think) but what a stupid ass thing to say.
Needless to say, I'm going to complain about him. I'm not worried about him sending a hit man to my house, of course, since he'll never remember what he said, who I am, he was kidding (I think) and any hit man he attempted to hire would probably do the hit on him after about 10 minutes of talking to him.
Mrs. B

Friday, April 9, 2010

I'm Still Alive

I've been distracted by life of late and haven't had much chance to ponder ponderous thoughts and Blog about them.
So, to my admiring public, I apologize, but, I'm sure you don't want to read nonsense, right?
In the meantime, here are cute kitty pictures (when all else fails, post pictures of pets). These are newly surfaced ones of The Little Kids back when they were all of 6 weeks old.
Off to DC for a few days and then, hopefully when I return, I'll have tons to say!
Mrs. B

Zeus and Ares. Even I'm not 100% sure who is who, but I think Ares is on the right
I know that's Ares; recognize the expression! With Apollo
The Greek Gang Apollo, Zeus, Athena, Ares and Hera. Yeah, gross pix of cat box, but, when they are that small, they cannot climb into the big hooded ones!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Toothaches and Allergies and Coke Bottle Glasses

I went to the dentist Wednesday for my routine cleaning and exam. Everything felt great in my mouth and I told them so as I plopped down into the chair. The hygienist informed me that my right back molar was likely going to require a crown at some point because a very large filling (and probably pretty old) was starting to deteriorate and it would be too hard to try and put a new filling in there, hence, the crown. Hey, this happens. I already have three of them due to the same reason. Also, they reminded me, the tooth next to it may flare up at any time because the root canal done on it years ago wasn't done very well. When/if it flares up, I'll get to go to a specialist so they can repair the damage. But, anyway, all of this was stuff to worry about another day. Or, so I thought!
Why IS it that your teeth feel fine when you go to the dentist but then you get a toothache? This is what is going on with me now. The problem is, I am not sure which tooth it is, the root canal tooth or the huge old cavity tooth. In any case, my mouth started throbbing but good Wednesday night. My typical pain killing plan of action, Aleve, did nothing to alleviate the discomfort. Thankfully, Mr. B has a stash of REAL pain killers left over from various back problems he's had. I took a Percocet and it knocked me out. I woke up yesterday feeling a lot better; no pain at all (albeit I did wake up an hour and a half later than I usually do).
I decided to go to one of those eye vision places to get a pair of cheap glasses since my good pair broke almost two years ago and I've been wearing a pair that I got when I was still married to my first husband. As an aside, cheap glasses do not compute for someone who is as nearsighted as I am because I have to get the high index lenses plus get the edges of the lenses brushed so I don't look as though I'm wearing Coke bottles and my head doesn't continually drop forward due to the incredible weight.
Anyway, I walked into the glasses store and encountered two of the slowest customer service employees I've ever met in my life. Both of them were old (as in "older than me"). The first one, a man, got off subject and started asking me questions about my contact lenses (this when I said I only wear glasses in the evening when I take my contact lenses out). He wanted to know how long I wear them, how long they last (meaning weeks), and why do I take them out when I take them out? Add to this irrelevant conversation the fact it took him three times as long as what I consider normal to get words out of his mouth and he kept squinting at me and holding his head as if he were about ready to drop dead of something, well, I started to get a tad antsy.
One personality trait I'm trying to develop in myself is patience. Seriously; it's on my "To Do" list to work on my impatience/hot temper flare ups. Well, yesterday was an AFOG moment, let me assure you, what with Old Geezer Dude going on about contact lenses when I was there to get glasses (HELLO); then, his counterpart, Old Geezer Broad took forever to type in my order once we'd finally settled on the glasses (and the sunglasses, thrown in for free). By this time, my mouth was back in full throb mode and it was taking the entire measure of my resolve not to blow my top.
After I left, I drove straight home (even though I'd planned on running several more errands). I contemplated popping another Percocet but decided I'd wait to see if I could tough it out. I did call the dentist office to make an appointment for Monday morning to get this checked out (they are closed today for Good Friday; I figured I could tough it out over the weekend, especially since I've got "The Stash" if I need it). Amazingly enough, the toothache went away for about three hours. I mean, it vanished. I was pretty jazzed until it returned for a command performance right around the time Mr. B got home from work. He was probably wishing I'd popped that Percocet because I was fairly grouchy.
Anyway, the bottom line is, I took another P-Pill last night before bed and, as of 10:15 am, I'm doing ok but I can sense that the pain is lurking, waiting for the effect of the P-Pill to wear off. I'm sort of house bound now because I don't want to be driving while this is in my system. I don't feel impaired so much as I feel a bit ditzy. So, happy Easter weekend. Yey.
On top of it all, my allergies are bothering me. My ears hurt and I feel like there are bugs crawling on me (I have no idea why I get this particular reaction to seasonal crap, but, I do). Oh, and it's now tick season and I keep thinking I'm seeing ticks everywhere (which doesn't help with the creepy crawly feeling).
One final note before I sign off from my little bitch fest here; I have NO idea what is going on with Pete, but, the entire time I've been writing this, he's been out in the sun room "talking". He hasn't shut up. I can see Lily laying on the couch with her eyes scrunched closed as if she's trying to sleep and tune him out; he's just going on and on in that weird Maine Coon way; something between a meow and a coo. It's hard to describe. In the meantime, The Little Kids are tearing around the house like the little hell on wheels that they are and Lucy is outside pacing because she wants back INSIDE.
Mrs. B