high low holidays

Shopping drunk in a Marshalls was my high point.

I’ll admit it; my step wasn’t the sturdiest, and when I faltered—wiggling out of my winter coat, dumping it into my cart—I thought, Total ‘let’s watch the hidden camera footage’ moment. But there wasn’t shame for long. Ooh, where are the good hostess gifts?

ralph lauren herringbone

I was, without question, totally aware of my ineptitude. I couldn’t find price stickers on boxes, and if asked to walk a straight line down the aisle of Ralph Lauren herringbone highballs, I would’ve swerved, counted the number of remaining glasses that actually matched one another, examined one underside for a price, and announced that my sister probably found them cheaper at TJ MAXX. Is it my imagination or does every discount store in the country sell Ralph Lauren high and low ball glasses? My point, other than that astute observation—I was aware that the moment was equivalent to wearing sweatpants on any show featuring Tim Gunn.

“Is that really what you wear in public Ms. Klein? It’s an egregious abuse of fabric. We’ll do what we can to make it work.”

And somehow, I made it work. I was a happy mess. With two glasses of Pinot Gris in me, I managed to ignore all the soap/cream/candle sets, but a snort might’ve escaped when I saw bath salts tied with an oversized bow. That’s where they get you. You go in there for a bargain, just to look, see what you might need. See what you need. The irony was not lost on me; if you have to see what you need, you don’t need it. And no one, aside from Daryl Hanna, needs bath salts.

I found what appeared to be an abandoned cart, and in it, what else but the ONLY Thomas The Train backpack in the store. I did the obligatory double-shoulder-furtive-glance and swiped the sucker. Dee dee dum. Then I hauled ass back to the kids section and decided to get the Dora & Boots backpack for Abigail. Hideous. So damn cheesy. I already heard myself qualifying, "Only for playing around the house, along with your stained clothes and that darling fisherman’s sweater with the damn hole in it." But she’ll love it. 

When I made my way to the front of the store the abandoned cart was still there, untouched. No guilt. So, while I’m at it, hello Lindt Chocolate Truffles, assorted variety (what else?). And that’s exactly what I am, the assorted variety. I love living in the swing of moments and moods, being aware, living, stumbling, and stealing the last drop.

My low point was earlier in the day when I bought a Bowdabra. Sober.

A YEAR AGO: Deleted Scene, Straight Up and Dirty, Following Up
2 YEARS AGO: Details Not Included, Come On, Do It With Me.
3 YEARS AGO: The Story of Abigail and Lucas
5 YEARS AGO: Good Guys Finish Last



  1. What is a Bowdabra?…I often feel like I need a glossary when I read your blog. Moo cards, silkies, bumpits…and now Bowabra. To my credit however, I haven’t lived on U.S soil for the past two and half years, so I am pretty much that ‘living under a rock’ cliché. It will be nice to be back in the loop someday. But until then, please enlighten me on Bowdabras.

  2. Please tell me you live walking distance from Marshall’s. Or didn’t mention it in this story but Phil, who was sober and drove, was shopping with you and off looking at golf gizmo gifts in the men’s department.

  3. Can’t believe you lowered yourself to buying your kids Thomas and Dora stuff. Although they can only use them in the house …

    1. Oh please as a mother we buy all sorts of shit to keep our kids happy. Dora and Thomas are the least of a parents worry. I mean really.

    1. Excuse me, SRC, but whether it’s two bottles or two glasses, if you’re so impaired that your “steps weren’t the sturdiest,” you shouldn’t be driving. Whether SK was exxagerating or not, I took the comment at face value. Four days ago, our community lost a 5 year-old girl because a lunchtime wine drinker decided she could make it the three miles from the bar to her house. She didn’t realize the schoolbus in front of her had stopped, so she swerved up onto the sidewalk to avoid hitting it, and instead hit and killed the girl as she exited the bus onto the sidewalk. So pardon me for getting all soapboxy, but that was about the stupidest goddamn comment ever.

      1. Are you from Ga? We had a tragic accident right outside of my best friend’s neighborhood that sounds suspiciously similar to this. then again, Holidays mean an increase in drunken fools who think they are fine and can drive. So sadly, maybe not in my state but another tragic accident in a different state. Anyway. Just wondering.

        Cab it up, peeps:) Cab it up!

        So sorry, I know emoticons are not welcome on this site.

  4. Nikki and Sallie and now I want to know how you got to Marshall’s and how you got home? Please please please tell us your “happy mess” of a self did not get into a car and take to the roads when you couldn’t walk a straight line down the aisle. Not funny. Not funny in the least.

    1. I was driving. The night’s itinerary was as follows-

      5PM- McCormick and Schmicks for happy hour and dinner where a glass of wine was $10 or the bottle $38 and what you don’t finish you can take with you. We took the bottle.

      8PM I dropped off Stephanie at Marshals looking for stocking stuffers while I went to another store a few doors down.

      8:30PM To Crate & Barrel for wine glasses.

      8:45PM To Marie Callendars to pick up Blueberry and Lemon peel muffins for the morning.

      9PM Home to Norma and the kids. Wrapped gifts, played with Bikini, Fought about who was the worse gift wrapper and what to watch on DVR /why we aren’t watching the Netflix which have been here for weeks.

  5. I felt like such a geek, the whole time I was reading I was hoping you had a Designated Marshall’s Driver too :p Guess I wasn’t alone though

    I don’t know if I would ever go drunk shopping… I would worry about dropping things like herringbone highball glasses! It might be a good way to shop for yourself for the holidays though… that gift to you would really be a surprise for once! haha

  6. Just do NOT go to a Ross.. I went to one in a visit to Philadelphia recently and saw a fight break out about the lines snaking around..where it ended, who was first.. it was awful. Bright lights, deafening xmas music and scattered cheap clothes all over, a mess.. total hell on earth. BUT! you go for the little hostess gifts/stocking stuffers and that can be managed. I spend too much in the bath dept. all of the salts, soaps, etc meant for hostesses and I keep them. Kind of defeats the purpose of going. And I went to a Marshalls last week and after getting soaps and shit like that I got a giant Lindor truffles (white, dark and regular) mix bag too. Ha.

    1. Ugh. Ross is just the worst. I thought the first one I went to (and last) was the only one to have a fight break out inside.

  7. why do people assume that if you’ve had 2 glasses of vino in public that you’re obviously DRIVING DRUNK ALL AROUND TOWN afterward?!!?!

    here, we have a mall, a huge mall, where there are restaurants that also serve (gasp) wine!

    after two cocktails you can be tipsy in the first store or two, but after 5 plus hours of shopping there, a pretzel from the pretzel place and a huge coffee with lots of sugar you’re probably good to go.

    it takes about an hour to absorb a glass (5 oz) of wine, so for two, it would take two… and i know for a fact that i can spend at least two hours shopping, especially when bows and bath salts are involved :)

    amen stephanie for having a little fun and blogging about it. it seems “moms” aren’t usually allowed to let loose for a moment without explaining the befores and afters to everyone.

    1. Please see my comment to SRC above. You’re about as dumb as a box of rocks with your totally scientific logic there, Smartypants. So you’d get behind the wheel if you’re “probably” good to go? Good to know that you care so much about yourself and those you share the road with. As for “letting loose” and “explaining the befores and afters”, I’d like to hear your take on that after reading the story I posted above. “It was just two glasses in two hours…I just didn’t realize the bus had stopped…I didn’t mean to kill her…”

      1. Kris,

        It seems you’re hear to fight with your name calling and whatnot, I have no interest in that.

        To each his own. I’ll stand by the fact that a person is not wasted and unable to drive hours after consuming a typical amount of alcohol. But in terms of lowering to your standards of name calling, that’s not my style.

        As for my opinion on the story above, (which you posted AFTER my comment, I might add) it is a tragic story and one that happens all too often.

        But this post wasn’t about Stephanie making excuses for getting wasted and hurting someone, it was a post about being tipsy in Marshalls.

        And for the record… knowing that TIME is what is needed to metabolize alcohol doesn’t make me a “smartypants” exactly, that’s more or less common knowledge to anyone over the age of 12.

        1. Yes, Chrissie, I am here to fight, and since a harmless and sarcastic “smartypants” (did you tell your mommy on me, too?) got your feathers all ruffled, I obviously need to speak to you directly since you seem to be a person who harbors a careless, irresponsible, and yeah, STUPID view about drinking and driving. You’re obviously someone who has never lost a friend or loved one to someone who had a “few” over dinner and decided they could make it home. Since that’s happened to me, and with a job as a paralegal in the insurance defense industry, I guess I’m a little sensitive to it. I’ve seen way too many photos of horrific accident scenes and I’ve poured over way too many medical records of toddlers who’ve sustained closed-head injuries or who have lost limbs – all because a guy had a few beers over a few hours and was only a little buzzed when he went home to his wife and kids. I guess you can say I’ve been scared sober, and when I read about a situation where it’s not clear how an admittedly drunk person got somewhere, you better believe I am all over it. I’ve become an unwitting advocate, and I think this time of year is a perfect time to address it. As we say in the legal world, Stephanie opened the door…and you can bet your I’m going to walk through it.

          When I drink, even one glass, someone else drives. Period, end of story. It’s not worth the risk! If you are in a minor fender-bender on your way home from a two-hour dinner where you’ve had two glasses of wine, or two beers, or one strong margarita, you will be asked by the law enforcement officer if you had anything to drink twelve hours prior. Now, you can lie about it (which most people do, because, hey, nobody got hurt, and it’s all about them, right?) and perhaps get away with it, or you just might get an officer who recognizes the signs and decides to give you field sobriety test or worse, a Breathalyzer. In some states, if you refuse it, you automatically go to jail – whether you were drunk, buzzed, or stone-cold sober. Anyone over the age of twelve needs to realize this…

          Anyone over the age of 12 also needs to realize even after your first glass of vino, you’re impaired – not my judgmental opinion, it’s a scientific fact. Not in a “driving the wrong way down the street” fashion, but maybe “I think I can make that left turn even though there are cars coming…oops” fashion. While you are correct in saying it takes time to metabolize alcohol, to make a blanket statement like “it takes about an hour to absorb a glass (5 oz) of wine, so for two, it would take two…” is irresponsible, considering that everyone is different when it comes to metabolization. If you were speaking about yourself only, I apologize, but it seems you were making a generalization.

          So to you out there who are all “bottoms up, now let’s drive ourselves home” – I pray that you don’t kill or seriously injure someone as a result of it. As for yourselves and a one-car accident involving a tree, one can hope…(for all the morons, that there was a little thing called sarcasm – Webster’s has the definition for you).

        2. Kris calm down. All chrissie was trying to explain is that by the time you’re done shopping after 2 glasses of wine your BAC would not exceed the legal limit. And yes, the human body processes alcohol at about 1 drink per hour.

          And yes, you would stay under the legal limit if, for an avg. sized woman, you don’t consume more than 1 drink per hour.

  8. First a Bowdabra, then you’re BeDazzling. Next thing you know your picking out themed wall paper boarders for every room. Stay strong!

  9. Phil – As a fan of the blog who works in public safety, thank you for clarifing. Making that choice showed respect for you and your wife’s wellbeing, and the safety of your community. Good call. I hope it inspires others to do the same!!!

  10. Hmmm… But Phil doesn’t mention if he partook of the wine as well! Did you Phil?

    Chrissie – I agree with you whole-heartedly… We often have dinner/glass of wine at a restaurant adjacent to a mall in suburban DC, then walk around for a few hours, shopping and ending at Barnes & Noble for a coffee. Crazy reckless of us huh?

  11. OMG, shut up and get off of her! Two glasses of wine and everyone is bitching at her like she is some drunk jeezabel. Driving the wrong way down the road. Then Phil has to put a response just to shush everyone up.

    Must be exhausting for Stephanie and Phil to listen to some of the horse shit comments I see on this site.

    Merry Christmas to you. Bottoms Up!

    1. Yeah, and the rabid OMG GET OFF HER comments are equally annoying. We get it ,she is not a drunk driver. That was established in the first several comments. Read the comments before posting and getting riled up. And ‘horse shit’ comments or not, honestly do you think they get upset about them? More comments means more hits, more web traffic. SK is not a fool she knew full well the maelstrom (and high number of comments/in fighting over this hot topic) that would ensue. Look at the big picture before playing a fiddle.. they’ll be fiiiine. Good God.

  12. Marlee- I’m glad you understood the point I was trying to make, that alcohol doesn’t always mean drunk driving and being reckless, sometimes it’s just part of a bigger picture and a busy day!

  13. And I am embarassed to admit this, but I too have a Bowdabra and it’s the biggest peice of crap! Or maybe I’m just too stupid to understand the poorly written instructions – who knows? Don’t waste your money…or your sanity!

  14. ***i just wanted to clarify that i am aware of the fact that i used the wrong form of the word “here” in the above comment, i hate when i write too quickly and don’t proofread.***

  15. Seriously? Kris10 you need to seriously back off the subject because you are just making a further ass of yourself. Maybe you don’t have the intelligence she has by eating, knowing her limit (2 glasses you freak) shopping with her husband for christmas while it wore off but maybe you have a personal experience with drunk drivers. Why don’t you try getting out and living life and not memorizing the webster’s dictionary.

  16. I’ve officially ditched my goblets for highballs, the same way I use mugs for ice-cream, not coffee. So now I am on the hunt for a killer set of highballs.

    And just out of curiosity, if you ventured into the fitting room while tipsy, was the putrid odor that is synonymous with those outlets less noticeable?

  17. Oooooh. Now I want to go drunk shopping…maybe I’ll make my husband take me tonight. ;)

    I bet it’s AWESOME. I wonder if I should bring a (drunk, of course) friend too?

  18. Wow…You guys can’t just seem to read a blog and enjoy it for what it’s worth. Too bad for you I guess. Hope you had fun Stephanie. It’s always fun to be a little tipsy and shop for a few things you need, or maybe don’t! Enjoy the holidays with Phil and your little ones!

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