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The Moon, That Certain Book about Grey, and New Performance Art

I have a few friends and acquaintances who are doctors, nurses, and psychiatrists.  They swear that a full moon brings out the weirdest cases.  When the moon is beaming in all its glory, more babies are born, patients come in with strange and exciting injuries, and the mentally unstable become even more erratic.  I believe that it really does affect us, and last weekend there was a supermoon, which was even bigger and brighter than normal.  My mom posted something funny on Facebook: “If the moon is 14% bigger and 30% brighter, does that mean that people will act 14-30% crazier?”

Yes.  The answer is yes.  I, for one, cried off and on for no reason during the entire sewing and construction of a new curtain for my laundry room (4 hours?) and ate a pound of Havarti cheese in one night, which I definitely wouldn’t have done during a waning gibbous or a waxing crescent.

Funny, this moon made me cry and eat.

I like to blame my actions on the moon.

Thank goodness the supermoon is gone, and I’m back to eating smaller amounts of string cheese and crying only during bowel movements.

After the moon weirdness, I had just what I needed today— a fantastic lunch with dear friends.  It cheered me right up.  We got so loud that the restaurant pulled a partition around us.  We might have laughed a little too heartily at anything, but we had especially good fodder today: a couple of ladies in our party had recently finished the book trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey.

If you are alive right now, you’ve probably heard about the books since they currently hold the top three spots on the New York Times Bestseller list, but you may not know what they’re about.  I need to inform you immediately: it’s racy mommy porn to the extreme.  I haven’t read the books, but I hear the series is quite, umm, hard-core and contains lots of bondage action.  Some women have described it as Twilight for grownups — grownups who like s&m.  If you don’t know about this series, you might be living in a cocoon.  It’s so popular that when a friend walked into Target and said, “I’m looking for this book,…” the sassy cashier cut her off by putting his hand up like, stop right there, girl, and led her directly to the Fifty Shades of Grey section.

It’s important to be aware of the content of these books so you don’t do something like my other friend did.  She thought the books were just your regular ol’ candy-for-your-brain bestsellers with tame romance and mild longing between a girl and a vampire/werewolf/hunter.  She told her family that she’d like the books for her birthday, so her husband took their five kids WITH PIGGY BANKS IN HAND to buy the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.  I can only imagine the cashier’s horror when the bright-eyed little family Von Trapp (‘cause they look straight out of The Sound of Music) plopped these hard-core sex books onto the counter.  My friend is appropriately horrified and just hopes that the older kids didn’t read the book jacket.

It was the mental image of an uncomfortable cashier that prompted me and said friends to go to Target today and gather a Fifty Shades basket full of goodies and dare each other to walk through the check-out with all of it.  Lingerie, the three books, lube, a tie, condoms…we even looked for toy handcuffs, but Target has replaced their violent dramatic play aisle with learning toys.  America’s gone soft, y’all.

Our funny cart staging performance art based on Fifty Shades of Grey

Every basket tells a story.

We wondered if Target managers would kick out four suburban women, even though two of us were wearing ladies-who-lunch dresses.  Anyway, after much debate, we decided that instead of checking out we would leave the basket in a fortuitous aisle for someone to stumble upon.  We chose the red wine section, of course.

We left our funny cart staging basket inspired by Shades of Grey in the wine isle.

We felt this was a good deed because we either made someone laugh or saved them time when planning the next Date Night.

We had a fabulous time with this new hobby we call cart staging.  I was just saying on my Facebook page that I need a new hobby, so this is perfect.  We plan to create dramatic scenes that will make imaginations run wild, all within the confines of a shopping basket.  Hey, this is beginning to sound like high-falutin’ performance art, people.  Can I get a grant, please?  I can’t promise any regularly scheduled cart staging stories, but maybe we can aim for one every other waxing gibbous moon or something.

So my Kindle is charging, and I have a question: How much chain-whipping does it take to burn off a pound of Havarti?

***Also, some details of this story have been changed to protect the innocent.  In fact, I don’t actually have friends, probably because I cry and sew simultaneously.  I didn’t even know these people prior to lunch, but when I approached a random grouping of suburban lunching ladies about s&m books and a Target trip, they totally went for it.

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  1. I LOVE your comments, just so you know. Feed me!

  2. You managed to include both S&M and BM in one blog! You are a genius. I’m only hoping your husband’s boss reads this on the next full moon.

    • Why thank you! I would think that S&M and BMs would probably coincide more that we’d like to think. Ewww.

  3. Hilarious as always!

  4. I can definitely get into cart staging. Love it!

    • I know, right? My friend thought of that term, and I think it’s gonna catch on. I just read that our mall is banning teenagers without parents; I think Target might have to ban women in groups of 3 or more pretty soon. Cart staging is the new thing, baby!

  5. Great comment on Facebook from my friend M:

    “I was curious as to what my friend was on about and decided to read the book myself. I downloaded it to my kindle and started reading. I kept waiting for the “good” part to no avail. It was interesting—I never knew about all the Lithuanians that had been sent to labor camps in Siberia–but what of all the hubbub? Turns out “Between Shades of Gray” is an entirely different book! Entirely different!”


  6. Awesome post! 😀 So good, in fact, that yes, your husband will be relieved of his duties by his boss tomorrow…

    • Thanks, I guess? The good news is that I might have a career in cart staging!

      • I know, you absolutely do! That was genius! I can hear it now, coming over the loudspeaker at Target: “S&M cleanup on aisle 4….”

  7. You are so funny! I can see y’all giggling and whispering in Target!

  8. I am so proud to see that you’ve progressed our junior high days of tacks on teacher’s chairs and toilet seats in the student center to more sophisticated antics like cart staging. Love it! Oh wait, we never put tacks on teacher’s chairs – must have been someone else.

    • Toilet seats in the student center were the highlight of jr. high! Oh, I wish you lived here, and we could go cart staging together! Or be teachers and put tacks in students’ chairs…some of them probably deserve it.

  9. I’ve looked all over your blog, and I can’t find an application to join your Ladies Who Lunch group anywhere, even though I’m absolutely sure we were meant to be friends for life or possibly separated at birth. I don’t wear cute dresses, but I love making a scene in restaurants, I sometimes cry for 4 hours even after I’ve finished seeing my curtains, and I’m all about this cart staging business. Might I suggest Gatorade, hand lotion, tube socks, and Teen Beat magazine (or modern equivalent)? We could leave the cart in the Seasinal aisle at Halloween, just to confuse people.

  10. Also, I’m not all that drunk, I just can’t type on my phone. I meant “sewing” my curtains, though I’m such a terrible seamstress that I also cry when I see them. And I imagine people would be confused if we left a cart in the Seasinal aisle, whatever the hell that is. I know I am.

    • HAHAHA! I love your cart staging items! You definitely have a talent for it! You can join my Ladies Who Lunch group any time. In fact, email me if you are going to any blog or writing conferences! I have no plans for any right now, but I’d go to something if you are ’cause I’m dripping with excessive Marriott points.

      • Woot! I’ve never been to any of those conferences, but I would SO go if you were going (and if I can find a kennel that takes babies) – that would be good times! 🙂

  11. When I was in high school, I sometimes bought tampons, pregnancy tests, and long barbecue skewers to get a cashier reaction. I like your more refined, adult approach.

    • Ewww, ewwww, OUCH. You should win an award for causing cringing both with the image and the audible. The word “skewer” has no pleasant connotations. 10 points for you!

  12. Ok, I dare you to a Target “cart-off”. Let’s see who can make the Target cashier the most unconfortable. They just think they work at a Target “in the bubble”.

  13. well thanx for the article now i can blame it on the moon if i do something wrong on full moon day.

    • You can ALWAYS blame stuff on the moon. It takes everybody’s crap and can’t do anything about it.

  14. This is so hilarious! I was just having a conversation with a friend about seeing real-life awesome checkout combinations. Specifically, the person in front of me paying for a cart full of nothing but Spam, Pepto Bismol and toilet paper. Awesome.

    • I love adding toilet paper to my cart and then wondering if other people look at the other contents in my basket and consider the ramifications of my diet. I think this could be a reality tv show.

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