Ocean City Today

Shopping with no clue

The Public Eye
By Stewart Dobson | Dec 07, 2017



printed 12/08/2017


Now that it’s time to think about Christmas from the gift-giving perspective, I have crossed over into the DMZ of the shopping world.

No matter what salespeople, gift advisors, family or friends might suggest, it remains that I have entered the Dumb Me Zone.

It isn’t that I don’t pay attention to what she might say, because I do, depending on what’s on TV.

If I’m watching a good game, for instance, I’m likely to fall quietly into a transcendental state (she calls it sleep) that causes me to respond to her every utterance in Hindu or something.

“You know what I’d like for Christmas?”


“I’d like four calling birds, five golden rings and a Perdue Oven Stuffer partridge.”


“Or maybe the entire petite clothing aisle in Nordstrom’s.”

“Om, om, om.”

Personally, I think she enjoys messing with me.

Anyway, the truth is I don’t listen as much as I should because no matter what I’m told, I’ll have trouble finding it — in her size, in her style, with the right number of gears and doodads, the correct power supply or something  else equally vital.

“This is really nice,” she says, “but what about the armor-piercing rounds?”

Just kidding. I have never purchased a weapon of any kind as a Christmas gift, not counting the Ping-Pong ball bazooka that drove the dogs crazy that one year.

Over the course of time, however, I have bought her blazers, sweaters and shirts, all of which seem to have been made for small, long-limbed tree-dwelling creatures or, possibly, people of highly unusual proportions.

While these things might fit properly in the shoulders, waist, etc., the sleeve length is always out of kilter more than somewhat.

If the police were to tell her, “Show me your hands!” they’d have to enlist a search party to find them, or shout, “Come out! We know you’re in there!”

And then there’s jewelry, which is off limits because she makes and sells the stuff.

I committed that faux pas a couple of years back when, hard-pressed to find something, I discovered the significant difference between something being “extremely different” rather than “flat-out ugly.”

“But it’s an antique frog pin with big buggy eyes created by an ancient master craftsman,” I protested.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean that,” she replied. “What I meant to say was, ‘it’s really old and flat-out ugly.’”

Oh, and absolutely no shoes, slippers or boots. Apparently, she had her feet bound as a child, so nothing fits, or everything that did fit has been bronzed and put on display somewhere in the home, possibly as a table lamp.

In the interim, I have purchased every high-tech and low-tech tool, gadget and gizmo that she might find useful in her studio.

I have no idea what all that stuff does, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the crack of a lightning bolt one dark and stormy night, followed by a voice coming from the recesses of her workshop, “It’s Alive! Hahahahaha!”

And so, here I am at the critical juncture of holiday shopping with no idea how to proceed.

Luckily, there’s a game on, which means I can meditate on it for the next couple of hours. I’ll still be clueless, but I’ll at least be well rested as I go forthwith, with uncommon bravery, into the DMZ.


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