Impulse buying and Steve Guttenberg

I love shopping. Any kind of shopping. But impulse buying is probably my favorite. You know, those days when you go to the store and you don’t really need anything but you find something perfect that you weren’t expecting? That’s the feeling I get when I go in the hospital gift shop.

There are so many things in there that no one actually needs, but are fantastic. So far in the past 6 months, I’ve bought a Jim Shore Grinch statue with matching Cindy Lou ornament, a coffee mug shaped like a prescription bottle that even has the little childproof lid on it, gourmet chocolates, and these dolls. Of all the money I’ve wasted, these dolls are probably my favorite dollars spent. 

April Kepner and I went to the gift shop last week to restock our candy drawer, and there was a whole metal basket full of these hideous dolls. I pick one up, and realize they’re Dammit Dolls (sorry Mamaw, that’s what they’re called. That’s their website name and everything). Anyway, the whole idea behind these dolls is that when you’re having one of those days when you feel like you’re going to explode and you want to yell and throw things and say horrible things to people that probably are true, but that you still shouldn’t say out loud, you bang these dolls on whatever surface you can find instead. They’re quiet, not breakable, and fantastic for mental health. 

It’s been a sort of hard year for my family– my entire family, but this is specifically directed at my dad, my brother, my sister, and me. By sort of hard I mean probably the worst year ever in the history of the world— not that I’m dramatic or anything. But think about it. On top of quarantine, the closing of nail salons and TJ Maxx, being isolated from friends and extended family, economic upheaval, constant fear that you’re going to die of a microscopic virus that lives in the air like some sort of silent assassin, and kids being at home full time, our mom/wife died. We have earned the right to have a tantrum or two. 

Usually my tantrums are (1) loud and (2) about something ridiculous. For example, you know when you’ve had a stressful day at work, and you’re fighting with your spouse, and you find out your kids have a project due tomorrow at school that requires poster board, glitter, and mental effort that you just don’t have but you still manage to hold it all together, but then the dog poops on the carpet and you lose your mind? That’s me. The whole world can fall apart and I’m reasonably sane, but the tiny, insignificant occurrence that I most likely won’t even remember tomorrow causes me to go on a tirade that even I know is over the top. But even though I know it’s stupid I can’t stop because now I’ve committed to it, and to back down would make me look weak and unstable so I defend it to the death. Don’t get all self-righteous and act like you’ve never had one of those days. Lying makes you look fat, OK Karen?

Anyway, since obviously I have some anger issues to work out and probably the rest of my family is just as crazy as I am, I decide that everyone needs one, so I go with themes. 

Since he’s a “disabled vetran” (I know that’s not how you spell it, but it’s how he says it), John Wayne gets this little guy. John Wayne doesn’t really like the publicity and recognition that go along with being a veteran. He usually prefers that we skip over Veteran’s Day and people buying meals for him and such. But I just couldn’t resist it. Every once in a while, when someone is giving him a hard time, or he sees someone wearing Digi-cam who didn’t earn it, he will lose his mind. So, he’s for you John Wayne. I think we should call him Lieutenant Dan, but that’s just a suggestion. 

Next, we have Bill Nye the Science Guy. Naturally this one had to be for me because I’m a nerd, and also because all his insides are on his outsides which is basically what happens to me when I go on my rants. I explode. Match made in heaven. 

Third, we have Dammit Diana. She belongs to Helen Keller because when she’s not pregnant, she finds great comfort in wearing pants that have words on the butt. I don’t know why she does this. I’m too old to understand it now. I’m sure in my teens and twenties I used my butt for free advertisement too, but this made me remember all the times when she would be 14 or 16 and her butt said “Aeropostale” or “Pink” or “Hollister.” 

And now the grand finale, Steve Guttenberg. When I was growing up, my dad and I LOVED Police Academy. 1-6, doesn’t matter which one, although 1 and 2 are obviously the best. My mom thought they were stupid, but she would still watch them with us and laugh. Anyway, when April Kepner saw this one she said something like “Oh my,” and I said something like “My dad needs that!” For some reason it reminded me of all the outfits that Steve Guttenberg wears in the first movie with the shorty shorts and the crop tops and, although I couldn’t find the image, I think even some type of fishnet shirt at one point. Of all the dolls that brought me joy, Steve here brought me the most.

In reality, no one actually needs dolls like these, but when I walked up to the counter and saw them, I couldn’t just leave them there. They were meant for me and my dysfunctional family.  Now, when we need to have a mental breakdown, there will be no assault charges and maybe a few laughs. If you’re not an impulse buyer, I highly recommend starting with something like this. Then if you regret your purchase, at least you still have a safe way to take out your frustration with yourself. See? I’m a problem solver. You are welcome. 

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