The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2010-10-31

Hobonichi Cousin Planner

Friday, November 5, 2010

duly noted and forwarded to the appropriate individuals

I have another customer service letter.   In October I wrote to A & P Supermarkets and I'm going to be honest, I don't remember exactly what I said because it was one of those fill-ins - not an email - but the gist (as I recall) was despite the hoopla they are making about The Lower Price Project, their prices are far from the lowest - even far from just lower.

And then I got off on this tangent which ended up being my main point.  Kelly Ripa.

I think she's bubbly, adorable and very, very likable but every time I look at her on their home page I see that Electolux kitchen of hers in my head that cost more - in my imagination - then my house and - in my imagination - she got it for free.

And so, there she is on the A & P Supermarkets home page, a Lower Price Project Grocery Bag slung over one wrist like a bangle - in skinny designer jeans, and not - a really expensive looking - blond hair out of place and the kicker - stilettos.

Because I know I always shop in stilettos. 

And my tangent - as I recall - was,  What about that image would make me want to shop there?  Besides the fact that she is indeed appealing.  Granted.  As I said, adorable.  But relatable - To me. Oh.  No.  Just no.

I suppose they are appealing to a modern, young, multi-tasking professional mom but um, have they been to their stores lately, I asked.  At least I think I asked.  In any case the question begs to  be asked.   I shop there every week and have never seen a single person in stilettos shopping there - Or working there. 

I just think they missed the boat.  You know what  multi-tasking is to the average mom, A&P?  

- It's trying to find three minutes to sit on a toilet by yourself without a toddler so you can write a shopping list, get your coupons together and make sure you don't have to tweeze any chin hairs...

-  It's making a dinner everyone will eat (HA!) in a kitchen way worse then an Electorlux one, while making sure three kids don't kill each other, dismantle the entertainment center, put a crack through the new flat-screen that everyone will say, He did it! about,  and make sure the oldest one doesn't talk the youngest kid into going out the front door... 

-  It's kind of like when my son was a baby and I would stand on the deck and breast feed him while throwing the frisbee for two 60 pound dogs while doing weekly menu planning in my head.

Of course now that he's nineteen that doesn't apply so now  it's more like I walk around the lawn in golf shoes to aerate the soil while picking up dog doody and listening to some classic literature I downloaded for free because free - Now that's  a lower price project.  

  The economy is killing people and no matter how likable Kelly Ripa is - and again, she is - people don't need adorable, they need relief.   Relief is really what I can relate to. 



This was the response I got - and I wouldn't call what I said  constructive criticism to be honest. Constructive Criticism implies I was kind about it and I was probably more frustrated and I think it also implies the other party will make changes - which I also don't think.  I felt this response was a bit canned and I thought a month about answering back and just decided to answer back  in another way.  

Dear Ms. Reinhardt,
Thank you for your recent correspondence, we were sorry to learn of the problems that prompted you to contact us.

We are always pleased to hear from our customers and are especially pleased when customers take the time to share their positive comments with us. However, we are equally concerned when customers may have been dissatisfied with their shopping experience in our stores.

Please know your comments have been duly noted and forwarded to the appropriate individuals in our Company for their information and attention.

Constructive criticism is a great aid in making improvements and facilitating changes - we appreciate your input. Once again, thank you for contacting us and giving us the opportunity to address this matter.

Always a pleasure to serve you,
Consumer Service Representative
Ref. #552853

I took out the person's name but left the ref# just in case they want to follow up on themselves because my comments were apparently how did she put it - duly noted and forwarded to the appropriate individuals in our Company for their information and attention.

So if they need to find the person who duly noted and paid attention they now can. 


 *As an FYI -  the stilettos in the picture on the home page - They look quite a bit like a pair of Balenciaga black patent leather platform pumps which retail for roughly $700.  Now, you can't see them very well and the photoshopping is dreadful so I'm going to err on the side of good taste and believe in my heart that no one would deem wearing a pair of $700 shoes in an ad touting lower prices was a good relatable  idea and  forever think to myself that Kelly was wearing a pair of really uncomfortable heels that cost five bucks or less from the shoe place in the strip mall down the road... and call it a day *



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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Toddler Pull-Up Yellow

The floor install is going well but you want to know something odd.

DSC03192

I've lived here since '96 and never noticed that the tub surround isn't white until last night.

I mean, I've seen it of course - Almond, I'd think.  But I never gave it another thought because the rest of the fixtures are almond, too.  It wasn't until I looked at the toilet mocking me from the bathtub that I realized, no.

toilet

The fixtures - read: potty - are (make that is) white. 

In fact everything is white. The vanity is white, the sinks are white... The tiles started out white.  Everything except maybe the crappy builder's grade paint (that was perhaps white for three seconds) is white.

And now a century down the road I notice my tub surround is, oh.  Not even off white.  It's the color you'd find inside a used Pull-Up. 

What, they couldn't dig up a nice Vintage Lace Ecru?


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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Anyone have a spare bathtub they aren't using?

The bathroom floor install started yesterday morning and hmmm, not without a few annoying glitches but yeah. I think construction is like that.

The most absurd migraine inducing moment was the call from Home Depot wherein they inform me, The tile guy is here to pick up your tiles but hey! We wrote up the bill  wrong and the install for the tile you picked is a couple of hundred more because it's so much more labor intensive...

Here's a picture of my tile as it sits in my living room...

floor

Near the ever present guitar cases...

DSC03187

(My kid had some work this week...)

A couple of hundred more?  Hundred?  As in.....  HUNDRED?

Plus tax, she says...

In the end the tiles are here although I was going to say, You know what - Keep the tile and the excess labor charges plus tax.  How 'bout them apples?  I was more then a bit .... miffed.

Tile guy comes, started the work and will be here around eleven today.  I knew that my bathroom would be semi-unusable for a few days...

bath

And it was kind of freaky to see the sub-floor but I in no way was ready for this...  this...


 toilet

... amputated stump where the toilet used to be. I thought they were going to tile around it.  Which shows how little I know about ...anything.

Which brings me to the real freak out.  

toilet


Because if we are being totally honest - in totally crazy unmediated OCD way - I don't even drink bathroom water. So how will I ever reconcile taking a bath in a tub that had a toilet sitting in it because I have no earthly idea.  And really don't even answer that because I know already - I won't be able to reconcile taking a bath in that tub again.  I just freaking know it. So if any bathroom renovator is looking to do a tub giveaway, I'm your gal....

Unless anyone has any souped up cleaning ideas for a tub that's had a toilet in it - pass them my way.  And also that floor - I bought it and it's being installed but I have no idea how to clean a natural stone floor.

So any cleaning hints on that - Throw them my way as well...



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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rip off on Retro Tuesday

I had really high hopes for a great new find this Retro Tuesday. The find of all finds...  There is a shop in Cape May that I kept missing, it looked like a junk shop and every time I passed, it was closed.  That place was my mission this trip.

And that'll teach me.

So I get there and finally - FINALLY!- It's open!  I jump out of the car, run in and yep, it looks like every estate sale called a 'digger's delight' - What I mean by that, if you've never gone to a digger's delight, is that it was dirty, dusty, it looked like you had to dodge spiders if you wanted to find any treasures.

And I'm not kidding, after one digger's delight I was picking spiders out of my van for weeks.  So.

The first thing I see is little (make that Little with a capital L) jars of buttons for oh, way, way too much money and I know I'm in trouble.   One small jar - and it was a crappy jar - a quarter full of junky rhinestone buttons for are ya ready for this cause I wasn't...   TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS.  I almost vomited.

No. I  really I did.  I ate way too much the whole time.  So much so that the last night when the waitress set my New England Clam Chowder a foot from my face I had to leave.  I seriously thought I was going to toss a lunch monkey on my unsuspecting dinner companions... And then I thought I would heave in the elevator and for sure all over the room...

All in all not a good night.

So I was half ready to puke from night one anyway - Night one was the seafood buffet where I ate my weight in fried shrimp and clam strips -  and seeing those ten crummy buttons for twenty-five bucks almost sent me over a pukey precipice.

Being a trooper I forged ahead, stopping at the glassware.  But honestly - by that time I knew I was cooked and the kindly old lady behind the counter counted on the vacationing rubes to make a living.  When I saw what she was selling and for what I was ready to laugh out loud; kind of a sort of cross between the noise a cornered, deranged hyena would make and something much more darkly psychotic. 

I've blanked out most of it but you all know this pyrex set....



Well she didn't have the whole set.  She had the green bowl - Poor pitiful thing that it was, all scratched and beaten.  I almost wept. 

Twenty bucks.  That kindly grandma wanted twenty bucks for the green bowl...  Poor thing.  The bowl, not the grandma.  Grandma, despite appearances to the contrary, was not poor.

And next to the Pyrex was some Jadeite, just a few pieces and in better shape but no.  Just no.  I only looked at one coffee cup and it had a price tag of Twenty Bucks too.  Clearly they only had one price there.

It wasn't $20 Jadeite either....  just in case anyone was wondering...

I looked around but it was a really laughable experience.  I saw a cool but trashed vintage chair that I would have maybe taken home and tried to fix if it was five bucks and not OVER A HUNDRED.  And two vintage pole lamps without prices;  one with the coolest shades in orange, turquoise and white but they were just trashed.

So all in all it was a success because I don't have to go on thinking about that place anymore but a total failure because what a disaster.  Plus all that nausea has finally subsided.


If you want to check out some bloggers who did much better then me recently - Scarborough Seashells found the dining room set of my dreams...  And Vonlipi found a sofa to die for.  And Martin from Fine Estate Sales who has blogged here and has treasures on his site.

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Dunkin' Donuts Holiday Coffees.... Mmmmm's all around...

A few weeks ago Mom Central asked if I wanted to try Dunkin' Donuts Holiday Coffees....

...and I was all in.

I wanted to because well, I never tried Dunkin' Donuts coffee - I don't even know why; it's more economical then some of the coffee I buy.  Wait, scratch that. Make that most of the coffee I buy  and I love flavored coffee; it's all I drink.  Plus Dunkin' Donuts Coffee is available at grocery stores locally and there are at least two Dunkin' Donuts within three miles of my house - Don't even ask how I know that - so I can find it easily.

I just got back from a long weekend in Cape May and  I never go anywhere without a coffee pot - and that's  for real.  Here's a shot of the kitchenette all set up as the coffee bar.

kitchen

I brought my Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

kitchen

And played barista.


All of us (we went with another couple) have major coffee love going on and tried all the flavors.   I got an assortment of creamers (some plain, some flavored) because while I have an insatiable love of flavored coffee creamers some of the people saddling up to the kitchenette didn't want their Vanilla Nut Coffee with  another added flavor...  

The consensus was, Mmmmm....   The flavored and non-flavored coffee drinkers all enjoyed their morning brew and I think I know why - The primary essence is coffee... with a twist.

As someone who drinks and loves flavored coffees, enjoying a delish Mocha Mint Coffee can be a wonderful thing if done well - Done badly mint coffee is like sitting in front of a steaming cup of toothpaste -    Flavored coffees are great but there is a delicate balance and more isn't always better.  

The Dunkin' Donuts Coffees all had a nice balance with the flavor playing off the coffee but not overpowering it.  If you want to try these, what are you waiting for?  They are seasonal and won't be around for too, too long.

“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Smuckers and received necessary products to facilitate my review. In addition, I received a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

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Monday, November 1, 2010

And the stress returns...

Got home from Cape May, NJ yesterday...

dunes

...and it's been non-stop since then because tomorrow I have that bathroom floor install and even though technically all I have to do is remove anything that's on the floor do I really want dust on the toothbrushes?

Not to mention there are oh I dunno, a thousand bottles of nail polish sitting around.

Give or take seventy-five.

So today before I take everything off the floor which is pretty much nothing I have to move other stuff into my room to make room for the Beauty Supply Store that has become the Master Bath.

Of late.

dunes

And really, I should have dealt with that prior to vacation but it took five coats of primer to cover the faux finish in there and I'm not totally convinced that once I start painting it's going to stick but I can't even go there right now.  That's a faux finished bridge I'm not going to cross unless I have to.

But it's all making me tense.  And big time wishing I was back on that balcony at dawn...

dawn



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