Dude looks like a Junie

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I made it all week on my remaining $10, and then payday came and hello mortgage, but still, we got Christmas bonuses this year and you guys donated $10 apiece to celebrate my 10 years of blogging (oh, did you know it was my anniversary of blogging? I never mention it), so I finally had cashola to Christmas shop.

Say, there was a sentence, sentence-maker. Also, thanks, y'all!

I really don't have many people to shop for. My cousin Katie and I have been exchanging good deeds each year in lieu of another shitty candle. She can totally afford to buy me things, and I totally can't, so she's being nice plus also she's that type of hippie who prefers doing good deeds to a gift. I can't get behind people who think that way.

So I did one deed for her and may do another to round it out. It'll be like I got her a shitty candle and also a shitty Christmas ornament. Hey, book club gifts.

That leaves my Aunt Mary and Uncle Stuart, my mother and stepfather, and my stepgrandmother, who always wants something perishable or usable, as she has had enough shitty candles for a lifetime. Lifetime, Shitty Candles for Women.

I hate being a woman. I mean, I don't, because I don't ever want to get drafted or be expected to spit or reign in my emotions. But I hate being a woman in this society. Every woman friend I have, all two of them, are outside the norm. One might even say we're a tad cold, in comparison to the hugging, saw-this-and-thought-of-you, gift-bagging, inspirational-card-giving regular women in the world who, you know, nurture.

Nurturing sucks.

Am I weird? Don't answer that. Also, please don't think about my un-nurturing grandmother who I'm turning into.

"If you're turning into her, why don't you just stop yourself?" Ned asked me in a conversation not long before our terrific breakup-and-a-cab-ride finale.

Yeah, that's easy.

I have been poised over the keyboard for a minute, here, stopping myself from further comment.

Moving on.

What I like about myself is I still haven't even made my first point, which is that I could finally afford to Christmas shop, so last night I started.

Last night I finished.

When my Aunt Mary was here visiting this fall, I took her shopping, as that is her joint, and she wanted to go in this kitchen store you'll be stunned to hear I've never even noticed. Oh my god that store was da bomb! All of a sudden I felt I needed teensy teapots and La Crouton or whatever they are products and knives, oh knives and also avocado pitters. Okay, I actually really could use one of those. I eat a lot of avocado.

Why so chubby?

So what I did was, I memorized the things she picked up and admired, and then I forgot them, and then I went back in there yesterday and remembered some of them and Dear Aunt Mary, don't read this post.

I saw some things for mom in there, and I really admired these blue-green coffee mugs, and I wanted to buy one for her and one for me, which is something my Aunt Kathy always does when she buys gifts, but I did not because $21 apiece for a goddamn mug.

Aunt Kathy had kids of her own. We've never exchanged Christmas gifts. But sometimes she sees things and thinks of me. Then thinks of her.

Mom had specific things she wanted for Christmas, and while I was searching, I met this nice woman from Europe who's just moved here and is cold. Cold cold cold. I could tell she was lonely, as she was the one who started talking, and after we were done it occurred to me I really should've slipped her my digits.

I didn't because I feared she might be nurturing. Then I'd be stuck with one of those women who send you little things all the time and tag you on Facebook with cutesy sayings and then I'd spend all my time wondering how to get out of this European debacle like I was America in 1776. Hand me my fife.

The point is, I got my shopping done in an hour, everyone bought for, and then I came home and took 7 hours to wrap everything, because cats are assholes and also because I have no skills. None. I can't wrap a simple box without it looking like I had it wrapped by the Nubs for Hands Society.

Then I put everything in boxes and today I will assault the guy in the mailroom who already hates me because when you guys send me gifts it comes to work. "Another reader gift," he'll say, floomping a package down. It's always, like, Edsel food or an anvil or something. It's never a gift of air.

The point is, I'm a dude. I mean, I'm a dude in every way with the shopping and not nurturing and explosive temper and dick. The only way I'm not a dude is I can't fix anything.

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This is for everyone who says, "Iris is faking it. She's not blind." She's faking it really well, then.

Look at S Dan, just plotting his next dick move back there.

So, another part of me being broke this month is that I was out of conditioner. I use this specific kind for curls, and it's expensive, so I washed my hair Sunday and then decided I could just deal with it till Thursday when I could get conditioner.

Yesterday when I was done shopping, I remembered the conditioner, so I went to Ulta, which as you can imagine wasn't crowded at all 10 days before Christmas. I was in the forever line, like stamps without the nice picture of Kwanzaa, behind this man with a cute paper shopping list. Like, what is this, 1972? He was crossing things off it, and I saw him glance back at me, and because you know how I am, I was all, I must be lookin' HOT.

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Then I got home and saw my no-conditioner hair. Holy god. He must have been hoping the authorities were on their way. My hair is an octopus.

Also, that nose. You guys. That nose. GODDAMMIT.

Okay, I gotta go. My hair is wet, because you'll be stunned to hear I decided I'd better do something with it.

Nurturingly,

Jooooon

77 thoughts on “Dude looks like a Junie

  1. I think of you and your downsizing of stuff every day. I am struggling bigly with this for myself as well as helping my dad with same now that my mom is in the nursing home. He lives 4.5 hours away, so I don’t have much time to help him and between work and regular stuff, don’t seem to have much time to help myself, either. I am overwhelmed but remind myself that it took you some years to do it and it is my number 1 and almost only NY resolution for 2017.

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  2. This is great, Amish! Enjoy your peaceful Christmas!
    I find it all so stressful with the coworker gifts, anticipating who will buy something for me so that I will have to have a corresponding gift. I am so appreciative of the thoughtfulness, but, like June, I do not have that gene and it is a true struggle.
    This year, it all seems to be a struggle, actually.

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  3. I hate shopping for anything and do everything possible online. I think I’d literally never leave my apartment if it weren’t for sometimes having to go to work, get groceries, and walk my dog. I am curmudgeonly by nature and it gets worse and worse the older I get.
    Shitty candles! They probably make shit-scented ones now if they’ve run out of pumpkin spice.
    Fife!
    You’re more girly than I ever will be. I’m hetero but wear flannel shirts, no makeup, Birks. However, I do have long hair and I like nice earrings…so…there is that.

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  4. I actually like shopping, but otherwise I’m kind of a dude, too. When I was in the Navy I got used to hanging out with guys, and being one of them. So much so that I shocked my husband’s family the first time we visited them by going out back to hang with the men and smoke rather than cooking in the kitchen with the women (ACK!) They just didn’t understand me.

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  5. To my kids and their partners (all are adults), I told them I was not buying presents, I was buying them experiences. Neither one cared or seemed surprised as husband and I have been on this path for four years now and it seemed a natural progression. They literally just said oh okay, cool. If I had just shared out-of-the blue one day with no context, they would surely think something was up my butt though and would have copped an attitude maybe, I don’t know.
    To my family members, I stated that we were not going to buy presents or receive presents or participate in any exchange this year, that we are focusing on relationships and good food, good wine, good times only and not things. Again, I did not have to explain too much as they all know this has been the path we have been on. MIL was not happy at all but I was firm in my resolve. Sister was kind of pushy saying she was buying anyway and I said no you’re not, I will not accept, instead we will meet up a couple times a year for lunch and blow our wad of money then, then she understood it really is about relationships and not ridiculous, redundant things.
    I do realize this is all easy for me to say and do because I don’t have little kids at home. If I did, this would not be so cut and dried at all, I am definitely aware of that.

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  6. I love the wrapping of the gifts! It’s all geometry and precision and very satisfying when it comes out right. Especially the fancy paper that has the grid on the back to make it easy peasy to cut straight lines. Woohoo!!
    I am going to do less and less gifting in the future. Right now 90% of my gifts are homemade. Or handmade. Or whichever word you want to use that makes them sound nicer. I really value a handmade gift and the time and thought and effort that goes in to them.

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  7. Dodging, ducking and fancy footworking myself away from a liver slap.
    Dollar tree has mugs and hot oil treatment (hair).
    Christmas cards 14 pack , sock caps, coloring books , crayons.

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  8. I have not done any Christmas anything yet, so I am jealous of those of you who are all Christmas-cheery. I will be Christmasing all weekend so hopefully by Monday I will feel less stress and will have more of a holiday spirit. I am also a terrible wrapper, and I have a disability when it comes to tape…even others have agreed with this sentiment. Gift bags are how I roll.
    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  9. “I can’t wrap a simple box without it looking like I had it wrapped by the Nubs for Hands Society.” Fluff, fluff!
    This entire post cracked me up, hilarious. I hate those scented candles. I hate to wrap gifts, that’s why gift bags were invented.
    Hilarious comments and some great ideas for in lieu of gift giving.

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  10. Karen, have you asked them if they would like to go snowmobiling. That is SO MUCH FUN! You do not get cold, believe me, those snowmobiles have heaters on the handle bars and on your feet. I think you would enjoy it and I bet your kids would as well.

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  11. So happy your children are going to have a great Christmas and that stress has been taken off of you. Merry Christmas, my dear.

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  12. AA, you are my hero. Years ago I decided I was no longer going to spend my time and energy to shop for gifts that they didn’t like. I gave them money, it was always the right size and color and they never complained about it! In my family when you graduated from high school you were off the gift list.
    I had much rather spend my time preparing good food to share with those I love.

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  13. My niece was whining when she was young that she couldn’t cook, I asked her if she could read, she replied, “yeeess.” I told her, “then you can cook if you can read.” Your comment made me laugh right out loud.
    Birds of a feather flock together, I don’t have a nurturing, shopping or creative gene. I’m right there with you browsing through antique and vintage shops. But now, I see so many things in antique shops that I received as wedding gifts!

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  14. Yay! Dollars donated to a program like that is so impactful because the organizers can buy in bulk or buy direct, they can do more with one dollar than with material donations. It’s all about purchasing power. This two minute video changed everything in how I donate now. Even though the video is specific to food pantrys (at first I typed pantys), it’s so relevant to almost any helping organization people donate to.

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  15. Unfortunately I think it’s too late for me to ship you my packages to wrap. I asked my parents and kids if we could take a ski trip this Christmas instead of buying gifts. This truly was a gift to them as I hate all things cold and cold plus snow really is hell for me. Everyone except the middle child thought it was a great idea. So, because of a 21 year old stubborn hard headed middle child who has no idea what she wants for Christmas, we are staying home and unwrapping loads of things that we really don’t want or need. Sigh.

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  16. June, at least you WRAP the gifts. I have been known to put the gifts I’ve bought for my husband on the bed, each one covered in an old kitchen towel.

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  17. I love your idea, AA. My family has adopted something similar for Christmas, the past few years. We only buy major gifts for the younger kids. None of us adults really need anything, so we get a small gift for each other – something under $10, and then we pool our money to make a family donation to a local charity in lieu of buying big gifts for each other.
    Each year, we take turns on who gets to pick the charity that we are donating to. This year, it’s a charity that provides services to the area homeless – they have a mobile soup kitchen that goes out twice a week and collect blankets, coats and scarves, gloves, etc. to hand out.

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  18. I just about spit Diet Pepsi all over my screen, when I saw your hair picture! Maybe your tentacle hair was beckoning to the guy in the Ulta line?
    Your nose is perfect. You’re the one who doesn’t like it. The rest of us think it makes your face, your face!
    I call my cats dick all the time. Because they are. Especially when I am Christmas wrapping. My Maine Coon Dick ate about 12 inches of ribbon last night before I could get it away from her, and then promptly horked it right back up on top of a Christmas present. Yeah….that was nice.

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  19. I love that you’re doing that, AA!
    Experiences are what we’ve done for the boys’ Christmas gifts since the littlest one was five and old enough to value the experience over the toys. We do still do stockings (and I am a KILLER stocking stuffer chooser, if I do say so myself), and they love those. Every year we ask if they want to change to “regular” Christmas gifts, and every year they vigorously decline.

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  20. Ahhhh! Thank YOU! You are raising good kids in some incredibly difficult circumstances. I would love to see pictures of your kids Christmas but totally
    Understand if that is too big of an invasion of privacy. I will be thinking of you and your kiddos on Christmas Day!

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  21. I lack the wrapping gene. If it fits in a gift bag, I can add tissue paper and it looks presentable. But the wall calendars I give to my Mom and siblings each year require actual wrapping paper. Once wrapped with nothing-magical-about-it-yes-it-shows tape, I stick a bow on and call it done. Nothing fancy about it, but you should see how clever my sisters are with wrapping gifts. Their gifts are too pretty to open. They not only have the wrapping gene, they got my share, too.

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  22. I honestly thought the picture of your hair was a “my hair was looking goooooood” picture until I read what your wrote underneath. To me it looks like salt-water waves or whatever teenagers spend a million dollars on salt-water spray at Ulta to achieve.
    I’ll concede that I hadn’t noticed that one rogue tendril at the top that would probably get photoshopped out of a magazine ad, but otherwise I think your natural waves look really nice.

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  23. I think the people that make the tape actually cackle with joy at the thought of unsuspecting gift wrappers thinking their product will make things go easily and quickly.

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  24. I think ahead to the death bed (because fun is what I am) and what I’ll relish at the end. Laughing with my kids, hanging out with my husband, the dogs I’ve had who have made my life so full of love, the cats that I report to that are such an important part of my life, the people I’ve cared about. No matter how pretty or expensive it is, I know if I had it I couldn’t take it with me. So on my death bed on want those memories, and I want the people I have had them with to remember those.

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  25. Thank you, Mother. The older I get the more I’ve realized all we really have at the end are memories. I’ve tried to change my life over the last four years to pare my life down to mainly relationships and experiences. It’s a journey though, not necessarily sure if there is ever a destination. It’s provided focus and has shined the spotlight on those things most important to me. Musings by AA, sorry for the schmarminess. The squiggly red line is telling me that’s not a word but it’s apropos. Sheez, now I hope I used THAT word right.

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  26. As usual… Joonie… you are a tripster! Love your blog… love you.
    Glad you got your shopping done. Me… no. I don’t shop like I used to but… I got a big kick out of… Aunt Kathy buys one for herself… oh that is so me! lol
    I try not to… but usually, Debbie and I… end up with one of the same! 🙂
    Your hair definitely needs conditioner… but it is still gorgeous and your nose is perfect…
    Enjoy

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  27. Cannot stop laughing.
    I refuse to go to a store and buy a gift – it’s sacrilegious, so I shop online. Hello, Amazon. But then I have to wrap it and that’s where it all goes wrong. The tape, my God the tape. Hate that fucking piece of damn tape. Then THIS year, I ran out of tape, so packing tape it is!
    Plus, the masking tape I bought said it was for gifts, but it showed and looked horrid. Magical wrapping tape, my ass. So now I don’t have any confidence on which tape to buy. What happened to plain tape?

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  28. I noticed that too, translator/editor much? Also, in phone selfies, noses always look larger, it’s the lens distortion that does it – at least, that’s what I tell myself!…

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  29. I’m making a journal for a friend and it’s stressing me out. So, not done in an hour.
    I love how you to notice of the items in the store. That makes for an EXCELLENT gift giver. My kind a gal.

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  30. Forgot to mention, SHINY PINK TREE, LOVE!
    Also, the picture with your hair, am mesmerized. Now THAT is big hair! I must have laughed for a good couple minutes

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  31. I will wrap anyone’s gifts. Bring them over to me and I will wrap them!! I LOVE wrapping gifts, gives me a high. No, you shut up, I’m not weird. I love the smell of wrapping paper, the sticky tape, the sound of the scissors on QUALITY wrapping paper. I love when the cats flomp all over everything, I love putting a crapload of doo dads on and around the present. You know those rolls of ribbon? I love to wrap presents with those so the recipient has a hard time getting the ribbon off and sometimes squishes the box in order to get it off or has to go find scissors. I do all kinds of creative things but I only use the cheap ribbon stuff you find in the Christmas aisle, I don’t use fancy ribbon or sewing ribbon or twigs and sticks and berries. Nope, good old craptastic shiny colored ribbon and the ribbon that curls too. And bows, the shinier the better but sometimes a present calls for just a simple white bow with colored dangly things coming off the bow and lots of twirly ribbon and 1″ ribbon made into circles and taped randomly on top of present, like a 3-D thing.
    Having said all that, shockingly I bought no gifts this year, just experiences for my adult kids. And I opted out of any and all gift giving everywhere which pissed off some family members while others had nary a care. I set my expectation out there that I will not receive any gifts, gift cards, nothing. I just simply want to spend the season eating good food and drinking good wine and having good conversation with people I care about. I want the gift of time with people. It’s very freeing, not participating in gift giving. I’ve had no stress whatsoever regarding presents, it’s awesome! What is interesting is that it freed up time and money and that time and money unexpectedly went into assisting a young family in my family affected by a horrible unexpected tragedy. I would not have had the amount of time available nor the excess cash to contribute had I been out buying shitty candles.
    Sorry for the long comment. Anyway, if you’ve been contemplating not gift giving at Christmas or birthdays or any event, it truly is freeing, hard to describe. This public service announcement brought to you by your long winded friend, AA.

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  32. I loved your video, I’m glad you’re still doing your blog. I haven’t been a reader for 10 years but I’ve read all your archives (hello stalker). I think people keep reading because we see ourselves in you and we admire your bravery in being honest and putting yourself out there. I also do that thing where I say something because I think I’m being funny but I’m really being hurtful. Then I console myself by believing those people are too sensitive, or lack a sense of humor, or just aren’t clever enough to recognize my amazing wit. Yeah, I’m working on it.
    But I think you have amassed an amazing following, as evidenced by the fact that 46 of your readers sent my kids a Christmas gift. I tried to thank everyone, but didn’t have contact info for everyone.
    So, Thank You Danna, Melva, Cory, Darla, Elizabeth, Linda, Joanie, Natalie, Kathy, Lori, Letha, Jennifer, Deb, Emily, the Holguins, Stacey, Rebecca, the Parents, Anita, Angela, Amy, Laurie, Tee, Maureen, Laura, Kristin, Laura, Melinda, Kathy, Lisa, Heather, Helen, Beth, Roberta, Marjorie, Mary, Christy, and whoever sent us gift cards.
    If I missed your name I’m sorry, but please know we are grateful!

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  33. I think some dogs must have a soft spot for cats. When my two cats were kittens, they sometimes ate the dog’s food out of his bowl while he was eating. That dog lived for food but he let them eat it and didn’t even growl.

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  34. Hate shopping. Tolerate browsing. Used to get my yaya’s out going to the swanky furniture store, because I would never just spontaneously buy a $3,000 sofa/couch/davenport. Also love-love-love the personal shoppers. I read magazines and drink coffee, they do all the work. It’s a miracle.
    Now that it’s just my brother and me, he tends to give me gift cards to Nordstrom, and my gifts back are more modest. I’m just glad to spend the time with him, do some comfort cooking, and then he gets to enjoy the frozen tundra memories of his youth for three days.

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  35. PPPJ!! Serendipity! I was just looking at a lavender envelope to get an address off of when I logged on and saw your comment. And I can’t cook a thing without a recipe. I can read, therefore I can cook but if I don’t have a recipe in front of me, I can make some real disgusting stuff and quite often do.
    See, another thing we have in common, the lack of a shopping gene. Except I can browse antique and vintage shops till the cows come home.

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  36. We have Amazon Now in our neighborhood. Sitting in my kitchen ordering things like milk, dog food, Bon Ami, and sparkling water and then it’s at my door two hours later – indescribable joy.

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  37. I hate wrapping gifts. I love to shop. I even love to buy gifts. But why the wrapping? Can’t I just hand it to you in the bag from the store?

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  38. Go ahead and smack me with that liver! I love the hustle bustle of Christmas shopping. The crowds, the traffic, the nasty that can be the weather and all of the carbs! Bonus is a hot toddy and a seat to take it all in as I break before jumping in for more insanity.

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  39. “I can’t wrap a simple box without it looking like I had it wrapped by the Nubs for Hands Society.” Laughing aloud (and stifling, since am at work) at that one. I really dislike wrapping. You’d think I could wrap something rectangular and manage to not mangle it. You think so, but you’d be wrong.
    You are incredibly nurturing — just ask Edsel, Steely Dan, and the girls. I like animals, grew up with animals, but don’t desire to have any living in my house right now. You feel the same way about kids. (Actually, as my daughter sidles towards adolescence — God help us all — sometimes I don’t want one of them living in my house either. Shhhh. Don’t tell. I love her, really.)

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  40. Re: cats and wrapping.
    I was wrapping presents last night, too, and Darnit was all over the paper and the tissue paper and the bows and aggravating Jinx and just generally acting like her usual self. When she pounced on Jinx for the 80 gajillionth time, I said, “GOD, Darnit – you are SUCH a dick.”
    Totally forgot my 14-year-old daughter, for whom I do try to set a good example, was in the room. After she got over her complete shock, she could not stop laughing. “MOM. You said DICK. To the CAT.”
    So, Joooooooooon, all this was to let you know that you’re corrupting children you haven’t even met yet. Because I’ve never thought of a cat as a dick until you.
    But you earned me cool points, so there’s that.

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  41. Amazon was made for me. I hate humanity when I am shopping. The rest of the time I am pretty kumbaya, except for driving, and tourist season where they are in the way or all over MY beach or stopped in the middle of an intersection pondering life. Nubs for hands society, love it! Also many men belong to it, bolstering your highly scientific findings.

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  42. Am impressed that you finished your shopping in an hour; even more impressed that it only took you seven hours to wrap the gifts. Your hair looks better than mine even on a bad day. Your bad day, not mine.

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  43. I’m pretty much a dude too in a lot of ways. Don’t dress up unless I have to, fridge full of condiments, not very nurturing. BUT. I my best friends are nurturers and the best part is they don’t care if I’m not! They are the givers and I am the taker. Here, have some homemade goodies! Sure, I’ll drive you to your colonoscopy! They are the best and I am very appreciative!

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  44. Except June’s nose. I have never once noticed your nose until YOU point it out. You’re lovely head to foot/feet.

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  45. I am completely devoid of the shopping gene and the oooh! Let me try these 15 new cookie recipes as soon as I finish this infinitely complicated 5 course dinner. Completely. Amish, I was finally going to send you those Moon Pies now that the weather is cooler and then I saw that you…you…you COOK. Incredible things! You’d be all, “Why’s PJ sending me these compressed sawdust patties? Are they fire starters?”
    Apparently I’m a freak of female nature. I’ve heard that shopping is the hunter-gatherer nature expressed in this kind of culture. I have the shaman dreaming by the fire nature.
    Also I just made this about me.

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  46. Nubs for hands Society. Much needed laugh. Thank you June. You’re very pretty. Stop with the hair and nose bullshit.

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  47. European debacle!
    Only you could elevate a simple chance meeting in a store into an international political crisis.
    Hilarious post, June!

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  48. Holy cats. Edsel just tried to eat Steely Dan’s food, and SDan ran over there meowing, nudged Eds out of the way, and EDSEL OBEYED.
    Steely Dan has a lot of balls. Till the 30th.

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