Sticker Shock

David and I were walking home after a lovely dinner of Thai food and white wine last Friday, when I remembered we didn’t have anything at home for dessert. And we needed dessert. So we went into Bob & Betty’s, the gourmet grocery store in our neighborhood, to find a little something. I headed straight for the ice cream section and got my peruse on. Bob & Betty’s is great, because they have really delicious, all-natural products. Bob & Betty’s is the worst, because everything is crazy expensive and they don’t necessarily put price-tags on everything. But the Associated closes early, and I felt like treating myself, so I was fully prepared to drop a few bucks on a fancy pint.

As I looked through the ice cream section, a brand I’d never tried before caught my eye. Jenni’s. There was a pint of double chocolate, which sounded like just the right combination of rich decadence and disgusting fat. I picked up the pint and walked to the counter.
Now, before I go any further, I want to explain something. I don’t necessarily know how much everything is supposed to cost. I once had to get a boot repaired. It cost $11. I had $11 on me, so that seemed like a fair rate. But if the cobbler had handed me a ticket that said $95, I would have shrugged and said “Boots! What are you gonna do?” and paid the man his outrageous fee. But ice cream, I know how much that should cost. I’ve been eating and buying it my entire life. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve being at Dierberg’s with my mom and filling our cart with 2 for $5 pints of Ben & Jerry’s.

“It’s such a good deal!” she’d say, pushing the Chunky Monkey aside to find a pint of fourth pint of Oatmeal Cookie Chunk. And a deal it was.

I also know that sometimes things cost more in New York City than they do in the midwestern town where I grew up (I mean, if a $900 bedroom in an apartment full of shifty-eyed strangers in a seedy neighborhood isn’t a steal, I don’t know what is!). I was feeling a little sassy that night. It had been a long week, and I felt I deserved a really delicious treat. David and I had once spent $8 on the most delicious pint of ice cream I have ever eaten, to this day. It was mint chocolate cookie, and we’ve never eaten again, obviously. But tonight I was prepared to spend $8. I put my game face on and walked to the register.

“$12,” said the cashier.

“$12,” I repeated back at her. My eyes must have grown wide, or maybe I began foaming at the mouth, because the girl responded,

“Do you still want it?”

There’s nothing like having an 18 year-old cashier at a fancy grocery ask you if you “still want it.”

“No,” I admitted.

I walked away from the register, back to the ice cream section. I needed to re-asses the situation. I was sweating.

“What’s wrong?” asked David.

“$12,” I answered, showing him the measley pint of Jenni’s. Enough, Jenni! Enough!

After another five minutes of searching, I settled on a classic pint of Haagen-Dazs chocolate chip cookie dough, which seemed to be a deal at just $5.

We left, but I couldn’t shake the sticker shock. A pint of ice cream is, in my food-obsessed mind, supposed to be around the cost of an ice cream cone at a shop, maybe a little more depending on where you like to buy your cones. Buying ice cream at a shop is a treat, and there is nothing like walking around NYC in the summer with a cookies ‘n’ cream cone, vanilla dripping all down your arm. So, sure, I’ll spend $4-5 on it a few times each summer, but I’ll buy a pint or half gallon the rest of the summer, because it’s so much more cost effective. But a $12 pint? I can buy three cones at Ample Hillls (AMPLE HILLS!) for that price. A $12 cone would be beyond a treat. If you ever see me spend $12 on a single ice cream cone, pistol whip me. Seriously. Because it means I’m on a lot of drugs and need an intervention post-haste.

David and I went home and ate our Haagen-Dazs while watching some Hulu. It was a lovely evening, and I’m certain that there is nothing about the double-digit priced ice cream that would have made it much better.

I still think about the $12 ice cream sometimes, and I wonder what kind of person ever buys it. Are the people who buy this ice cream Dapper Dons who are chauffeured about town in limousines, wearing top hats and Rolex timepieces? Or are they the new Brooklyn mommies who take yoga twice a day, and wear clothing made of hempseed, and whose one true indulgence, at the end of a long week, is a $12 pint of ice cream? I’m guessing it’s the latter. Either way, these people are out of their minds. You can get a boot repaired for that price.

Wink-Ease

20140106-213950.jpg

Soooo, heeeey….It’s been a while. I know. I’m sorry! I guess I’ve been “busy,” and “focusing on other things,” and maybe haven’t quite figured out how to “use” WordPress on my newfangled iPad. But let’s not worry about the past. I’m here now, and there’s something I need to talk to you about.

Tonight, I was at the gym (it was Pizza Night, and the hordes of people who’d vowed to get into shape in 2014 were scarfing down plain slices like bloodthirsty beasts. I resisted, but it was hard. It’s like that story in the bible when, like, Johan and his family go hungry, and the farmer promises him rice for all of eternity if he sacrifices his eldest daughter, which defeats the purpose of obtaining the rice…okay, I don’t really know what happens in the bible, but the pizza feels like a trick). Anyway, I was fighting my way through, physically and emotionally, when I noticed a new product behind the counter: Wink-Ease. The box featured a picture of a pretty blonde woman wearing what seemed to be pasties over her eyes. I wanted to know more, but the lobby was too crowded, so I hypothesized what this “Wink-Ease” might be all about.

Anyone who’s spent time with me when I’ve been feeling flirty knows that I’m not a good winker. A wink should be neither slow nor belabored, but that’s what my winks are. My right eye is particularly resistant to the wink, and I can’t close it without subsequently opening my mouth. Really. I’ve tested this. It’s like a pulley situation. When I saw the Wink-Ease box, I thought maybe this is just what I need! I didn’t know how putting pasties on my eyes would teach me to wink better, but I thought it was worth a try.

Sadly, upon returning home and Googling, I learned that Wink-Ease is of no use to me at all. According to Eyepro.net (World Leaders in Eye Care), Wink-Ease is a type of eye protection. They say: “Night vision loss is caused by UV over-exposure and no drug or surgery can repair the loss. Wear Ultra Gold Wink-Ease or Viewkeepers EVERY time you tan!” I had to read this twice to fully understand.

I’ve always been baffled by tanning beds. Granted, I’ve never needed one, but even if I were of fairer complexion I think I’d at least want my sunburn and irregular moles to come from the actual sun, not from some future-coffin. Plus they make you all Tan Mom. No thank you, sir! But I never thought about eye damage as a result of tanning beds. People who toast in those things are at risk not only of cancer, but also severe eye damage? I just can’t.

Then I read the first sentence another time (I was an English major, you’d think my comprehension would be a little better). “Night vision loss is caused by UV over-exposure.” Night vision? Do I even have night vision? I looked out my window. I could see stuff, but it didn’t feel like night vision. Everything looked darker, like always. Then I got nervous. Am Isupposed to have night vision? I thought. Does everyone else have night vision, and this whole time I thought it was only raccoons?

I poured myself a glass of seltzer. Things were moving too quickly. I went back to Eyepro.net. The Wink Eye stickers were a shimmery gold (quite pretty, in fact), and disposable (always a plus). There was a 50 pack on Amazon for $20. Should I give Wink-Ease a try? The woman in the picture seemed to be enjoying herself, and even though I have never been in a tanning bed and never plan to, I may one day find myself in a super sunny situation or in a very brightly lit hallway. I wouldn’t want to lose my night vision, if I even had it anymore. The Wink-Ease stickers might come in handy.

In the end, I decided that my $20 would be better spent on 4 $5 footlongs or 10 bagels with cream cheese. But to those of you who tan artificially (and I think that’s a vast majority of my readers) take heed. Do you want carcinoma? No. And do you want to lose your night vision? Definitely no! So do yourself a favor and buy some Wink Ease to stick on those pretty blue eyes. And always wear sunscreen. Except when you’re in a tanning bed, I guess. I really don’t get how it all works.

PS
I realize my intro makes it sound like I got a nose job or joined the CIA or something, but I actually just didn’t have the patience to figure out WordPress on my iPad, and I got access to someone’s HBO Go account, so you know. It was a nice fall.