She Came, She Signed, She Left After 30 Minutes

Well, the big Bristol Palin Book Signing-Palooza took place last night at our local Fredericksburg Walmart store.

From the looks of it, the citizenry was underwhelmed.

The day before, our little burg had even made the pages of the satirical website Wonkette.com (click the link for the story).

There was excited talk of large crowds because this area is heavily Republican and also of the Tea Party persuasion, despite the fact that former President Lyndon B. Johnson was (and still is) such a huge figure in these parts.

Hell, Lady Bird Johnson continued to be a member of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church (just down the street from my daughter’s house) up until her death a couple of years ago, even though Lady Bird had been a resident of Austin for many years.  Old connections run deep in this part of Texas.

We didn’t attend the big event which kicked off at 6 pm because we had the grandkids here and because we really didn’t give a hoot.  However we did end up at Walmart later in the evening after our weekly pilgrimage to McDonald’s.

I’d checked the news feeds earlier and found this little blurb and photo on the Fox News (where else?) San Antonio website about Bristol’s visit:


Palin Visits Fredericksburg Store
The daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin spent the evening in Fredericksburg.  Bristol Palin signed copies of her new book “Not Afraid of Life” at the town’s Walmart store.  The book talks about Bristol’s experience in the public eye when her mother campaigned as John McCain’s presidential running mate.

I think the part about “spent the evening” is a bit disingenuous.  When my husband was checking out at Walmart he went to the express checkout that happened to be right next to the area where Ms. Palin had been holding court.

(As you can see in the photo, it was a set-up fit for a queen, complete with a bouquet of roses snatched from the floral cold case just a few steps away and a faux palm tree hauled in from the crafts department in the back of the store.  Notice, too, the heavy knit scarf around Bristol’s neck.  WTF?  It was at least 98 outside, and not a whole lot cooler in the store.)

The checker had been there the whole time and said that Bristol had left after only 20 mins. to a half hour of signing.  There was even a point where there was no one waiting, so she graciously (to her credit) went around and introduced herself to the employees in the area.

In the grand tradition of her Mama Grizzly, she’d brought little Tripp (have I got the name right?  With all the Tripps, Tracks, Trigs, etc., it’s hard to keep up) along for added value.  No Sarah, though.

The checker said that while Palin was still there an elderly lady went through her check-out line and muttered “Hmmph.  What does she know about life?”

When my husband was just about done checking out, the Walmart employee said “When you get down to it, it’s all about the money, isn’t it?”



Repost: Happy Hallowthanksmastine!

From the Associated Press, July 19, 2010:

“Stores push summertime ‘Christmas’ sales”

“Santa in the summer?  

Retailers are pumping still more energy this year into trying to get shoppers to loosen their purse strings early for Christmas with sparkly ornaments, holiday music and special prices. In July.

Target Corp. is entering the game for the first time, with a one-day online sale starting Friday on 500 items from clothing to Blu-ray disc players that’s modeled after sales typically held Thanksgiving weekend. And Sears and Toys R Us are dramatically promoting “Christmas in July” online based on the success they saw in last year’s efforts.

“We really wanted to create that sense of excitement, that sense of urgency,” said Target spokeswoman Molly Hanus.

In more than 500 stores, holiday tunes will be playing at least through July 25 in the seasonal aisles, where customers can touch holiday merchandise like stuffed animals, ornaments and light-up porcelain houses. Last year’s “Christmas in July” included 200 stores.”

Oy.  Here’s what I had to say on Dec. 31, 2009:

Help me out here.  Christmas was only just last Friday, right?  Baby Jesus, Santa Claus, presents, ho, ho, ho and all that jazz?  New Year’s Eve wasn’t even on the radar yet.

Barely two days later, I walk into our local mega-mart to find the shelves are being stripped of anything remotely Christmasy and Valentine’s Day crap is hurriedly being stocked in its place. 

Out with the snowmen and angels, in with the big heart-shaped boxes of candy and the stuffed teddy bears that have “I Wuv You” embroidered on their furry chests.

All of the holidays are being compressed into one continuous frenzy.  Last August, Halloween and Thanksgiving reared their collective heads when we were all sweating bullets from the unusually hot summer here in central Texas.  The last thing I wanted to do was contemplate slaving over a hot oven whomping up another turkey dinner.  And the grandkids were giddy to try on Halloween costumes even though I knew that in the heat the polyester material would stick to them like napalm.

Halloween was swept out almost before Oct. 31st, but Thanksgiving and Fall decorations remained, joined by the Christmas onslaught—in spades.  Mass produced straw scarecrows vainly jockeyed for position alongside the more glitzy snowmen and angels. 

It was kind of like watching a beauty pageant, but without the breast implants.

I hate to be one of those old farts who preface their complaints about the modern age with “Back in my day…”, but….I will. 

Back in my day, the holidays were more distinct ( or at least they seemed that way to my little brain.)  There was a separation between Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Christmas decorations and all the attendant hoopla didn’t begin to show up in stores until it was officially December. 

 One holiday was allowed the opportunity to gracefully fade away before the next rose up to take its place.  Now, it’s all one big sales extravaganza. 

I know the economy sucks, but would it be too much to ask for a brief breather between holiday festivities before we’re being urged to hurry up and have fun (and buy, buy, buy) again?