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adventures of a half-chinese yalie in hollywood

Tote-ally Ridiculous: L.L. Bean, Just Eat The Loss on Monogrammed Bags

Tote-ally Ridiculous: L.L. Bean, Just Eat The Loss on Monogrammed Bags

And now for something a little lighter.

Not like this lobster roe pasta from Boston's Island Creek Oyster Bar, though.
Care to try the baked cod? While both were delicious, the fish was considerably lighter than the lobster roe pasta from Boston’s Island Creek Oyster Bar.

Speaking of light, let’s discuss the L.L. Bean profit margin.

Door chimes of the Saks Off Fifth = my siren song
Door chimes of the Saks Off Fifth = my siren song

Last month, while Deepak and I were livin’ free or dyin’ back in New Hampshire (where his family resides), we spent a goodly amount of time shopping. The reasons for this are manifold:

Purely aspirational.
Purely aspirational.

1) It’s cold. Coming from L.A., we don’t have the proper clothing to hang around outside for too long. “You could just stay at home!” you might suggest. Er, no — due to generalized conservation efforts (which I wholeheartedly understand/applaud/was raised under), Deepak’s parents’ thermostat hovers at a chilly 50°-ish. Might as well beeline for the loving embrace of a heat-blasted Bloomingdales outlet.

Buy 1, get 2 FREE!
Buy 1, get 2 FREE!

2) Owing to the aforementioned vow to live free or die (you feel me, pre-vengeful shootout Walter White?), New Hampshire boasts some hot prices! Stripped of that “big city markup” that you might find in the Beverly Hills Loehmann’s flagship, and sans all those pesky taxes, NH’s end-of-year sale prices can approach the line of Downright Reasonable.

General "everything must go" vibe on the post-Xmas outlet sales, too.
General “everything must go” vibe on the post-Xmas outlet sales, too.

3) Selection! Near Deepak’s parents’ house lies an outpost of Premium Outlets. Fabulous! Now, there are 11 Premium Outlet malls around California, so it’s not like we’re hurting here. But they’re generally far away from where we live, and of course you have to pay the pesky aforementioned tax. And CA does not skimp on these fees, my friends. Sacramento is all too willing to “live expensive or die,” with average sales taxes around the state of ~10% or so. This is tithing-esque! I do not have the tithe of my life while paying extra.

Cheap Asics. Unfortunately, bad deal -- you had to buy $100 worth of merchandise to get these shoes for $25, but hardly anything else was marked down in the store.
Cheap Asics. Unfortunately, bad deal — you had to buy $100 worth of merchandise to get these shoes for $25, but hardly anything else was marked down in the store.

While in New Hampshire, we spent a lot of time in an L.L. Bean outlet. This was due to the previously discussed lack of wardrobe readiness for the chilly temps. While there, I discovered that the company apparently attempts to re-sell monogrammed and personalized tote bags that have been returned.

Is there a special "group word" for discounted Nalgenes? For example: A murder of crows. A pod of dolphins. An indoor canoe full of BPA-free sports bottles.
Is there a special “group word” for discounted Nalgenes? For example: A murder of crows. A pod of dolphins. An indoor canoe full of BPA-free sports bottles.

To quote Samantha Jones (which I haven’t done since an ill-conceived attempt to convey how “fun” I was during an early Facebook iteration of my profile in which I listed her “When I RSVP to a party, I make it my business to come!” line in the Favorite Quotes section of my profile 10 years ago): “Why? But most importantly, WHY?”

The shoes themselves are unwilling to be seen on your feet.
The shoes themselves are unwilling to be seen on your feet.
"Cute kitten heels!"  "Thanks. I got them out of a canoe filled with all-weather camping lanterns."
“Cute kitten heels!”
“Thanks. I got them out of a canoe filled with all-weather camping lanterns.”
Ill-conceived personalization ideas (L-R): use of lowercase; use of "Mc"; the entire endeavor.
Ill-conceived personalization ideas (L-R): use of lowercase; use of “Mc”; the entire endeavor.
With a bit of creative editing-via-embroidery, you could make it seem like you're merely a Tabata enthusiast!
With a bit of creative editing-via-embroidery, you could make it seem like you’re merely a Tabata enthusiast!
"White? Oh, Leander!"
“White? Oh, Leander!”
Totes for the recently divorced.
Totes for the recently divorced.
1) Julia freaked when she realized she's the only one without a cutesy name ending in a "-y" sound. 2) "Grandmom" remembered in a flash of panic that she'd failed in her one explicit mission since becoming a grandmother: To get the grandkids to call her by an obnoxiously precious name. "Gommy," "Mimsy," what have you.  "Grandmom?!" Grandmom shuddered violently. That's exactly what they call you when they love their Mimsy on the other side of the family better.
1) Julia freaked when she realized she’s the only one without a cutesy name ending in a “-y” sound.
2) “Grandmom” remembered in a flash of panic that she’d failed in her one explicit mission since becoming a grandmother: To get the grandkids to call her by an obnoxiously precious name. “Gommy,” “Mimsy,” what have you.
“Grandmom?!” Grandmom shuddered violently. That’s what they call you when they love their Mimsy better.
Jen, you are as persnickety with canvas bags as you are with potential husbands!
Jen, you are as persnickety with canvas bags as you are with potential husbands!
Colony/Coonie - Bitchy move to order a super-specific monogram then return it. Perhaps a trade could be worked out? As the saying goes: "Close only counts in horseshoes and monogrammed tote bags." Caroly(n) - Your penmanship clearly stinks.
Colony/Coonie – Bitchy move to order a super-specific monogram then return it. Perhaps a trade could be worked out? As the saying goes: “Close only counts in horseshoes and monogrammed tote bags.”
Caroly(n) – Your penmanship clearly stinks.
Coordinating totes that never were: Romy & Carolin's Law School Reunion
Coordinating totes that never were: Romy & Carolin’s Law School Reunion

Then, there are the even less versatile monogrammed Xmas stockings. Come on, people. Figure your personalized gift receptacles out!

Klose, but absolutely no cigar.
Klose, but absolutely no cigar.
Deepak, sensing some opportunity: "I just wish I could find the name of a friend on one of these so I could buy it as a gift!" Asked and received.
Deepak, sensing some opportunity: “I just wish I could find the name of a friend on one of these so I could buy it as a gift!” Asked and received.


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