If you are buying used books in Knoxville, you go to McKay’s. I’m sure there are other options. I don’t know them. I’m not looking for them either. I’ve been a McKay’s fan since my oldest child was a toddler and that is too many decades ago to break a routine. McKay’s used to be […]


She: “I’ve noticed other parents trying to avoid candy. I will go to Party City and see if anything is appropriate for a large variety of ages, but I think that some of the children expect candy. Candy canes are seasonal, but most children don’t like candy that tastes like toothpaste. I wonder if peanut […]

This is why we can’t have nice things – shopping version

This is tax-free shopping weekend in TN. Tax-free weekend is like a ten percent off coupon. It’s a popular excuse to cram all your back to school purchases into three days. People who think shopping is an athletic competition probably love tax-free weekend. For everyone else, it’s far less fun. Tax-free weekend drivers are horrible. […]

Next time, I’ll shop online

I stood in line to pay for a chunk of plastic. Technically, it was a seat for the zipline, but if you looked at it, you saw a blue piece of plastic. There was only one register open and several people were in line behind me. Two of those people had very unhappy little people […]

Customer Service

After multiple suggestions to dress in layers when visiting New York, I bought a sweater for my travels. Knoxville’s winter is so brief that I usually just toss a coat on over my shirt. I didn’t really have layering clothes and it took some effort to find a sweater that was neither Granny-wear nor too […]

What you can have is what you should want

If you want to be a happy shopper, walk into the store or pull up the storefront and choose from the options before you. I want to be happy, but I don’t shop that way. I am a self destructive shopper. I get ideas about what would be a great gift for someone without considering […]

Doug shopping

How Doug shops for anything at the hardware-ish store: 1. Visually survey all possible options. 2. Pick up and touch each option. 3. Use app to read reviews of each option. 4. Interview two store employees about each option. 5. Use another app to price check each option. 6. Think of an alternative technique involving […]

Shopping with Evan

Me: “We are here to buy your friend a birthday gift. We are not shopping for Evan today.” Evan: “Okay.” Me: “How about this? Would your friend like this?” Evan: “That one is better.” Me: “Then we will get it for your friend.” Evan: “Nooooo. That’s for me.” Me: “What are we going to get […]

Dear courier,

UPS, FedEx, USPS, random guy who owns a U-haul and anyone else hired to deliver online purchases have difficult jobs. This winter’s weather has made driving more challenging than usual. I know that the fine print underneath the “rain, hail, sleet or snow” delivery service pledge says, “except for that hilly neighborhood in Knoxville with […]