lostnchina

…because not all of us have our Peking ducks in a row

Gotta Getta Grip on My Groupons

Having spent most of the last 8 years in China – a land which sells matching dog and owner outfits in approximately the same size, and a half dozen brands of toilet paper, which may have logos resembling Kleenex, but the absorbency and texture of sandpaper – it’s with bowel-cleansing relief that I now fling myself back into North America’s safely predictable and flabby-armed embrace.

In North America, you can bet that a Starbucks blueberry scone that’s not much larger than the size of my Chinese fist will always have 460 calories, 190 of them from fat.  When I take my car to the dealer for servicing, I know that their profit margin will always be higher than my cholesterol count.  However, the best part about being back is that I’ve gone from too-fat-to-kowtow in China to a size 4/6 in the United States and Canada.  Never mind that my retired bras can be hung on clotheslines to catch migrating geese in flight, or that a family of ten in Asia can sew three pairs of my jeans together to make a house.  Finally, clothing is abundantly available in my size, even if that size might get me ticketed for a moving violation in China.

bra trap

When lingerie and waterfowl collide.

Unfortunately, years of paying discount in China have made me unable to stomach 21st century, North American prices.  My cleaning lady in China charges a mere $2.41/hour.   It costs only $0.65 to get my pants hemmed. (Both legs and no, they don’t sew the legs together.  That would be extra.)  An entire day at the spa with four giggling Chinese women dressed like Hello Kitties punching and kneading my fat is less than $20.00.  And these are before any discounts.

My search for China-priced products and services in North America led me to the website, Groupon.  For you sad saps who still pay full price for everything, websites such as Groupon and its inbred cousins, Living Social, Tippr, Zozi, allow you to try out restaurants, products, and services at (sometimes hugely) discounted rates.  With Groupon, I was finally able to upgrade the harem of giggly Chinese women to one surly med-spa employee who gives lipotropic B12 vitamin injections into people’s asses.  For another $10, I got one month of unlimited (Big Swollen Booty) Boot Camp, which was held outdoors in the mud and cold of the Pacific Northwest in December.

Donny & Marie - the legend continues....

Donny & Marie – the legend continues….

These online shopping sites also have a nasty habit of suggesting related deals based on the ones I’ve purchased before.  For example Amazon.com knows that, because I’d purchased The Best of Donny and Marie Osmond: 20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection for my hard-of-hearing dad, I might also want to purchase a mallet to beat myself into oblivion with, when he plays the CD repeatedly at full volume.  Knowing my unhealthy obsession with staying slim and healthy, Groupon started bombarding me with beauty-related deals, such as…

Eyelash Extensions – $25 for $50 worth of extensions

Unlimited Tanning – $10 for one-month of unlimited tanning

Lingerie – $15 for $50 worth of lingerie

Boudoir Photo Shoot – $45 for a boudoir photo package, which include 3 costume changes with a female photographer, who promises not to laugh (too loudly)

Burlesque Classes – $25 for four Burlesque Classes, including Swivel Your Nipples and Bump & Grind (nipple pasties – available in small, medium, and large sizes – must be purchased separately prior to class)

Stage One - Male Pattern Baldness in the Shape of Nipple Pasties

Stage One Male Pattern Baldness in the Shape of Hello Kitty Nipple Pasties

Flying Trapeze Classes – $37 for one trapeze class (swinging from your knees upside down 50 feet up in the air and screaming like a Banshee is included in the purchase price)

It was clear that a pattern, not unlike male pattern baldness, was rapidly developing and couldn’t be salvaged by massive applications of Rogaine.  What began as a sincere attempt at frugal weight loss and wellness quickly spiraled into massive monetary loss.  I’d spent over $200 on unnecessary things, which also run counter to each other.  The B12 injections were a necessity, but years of ingrained Chinese frugal logic told me to wait till I had more fat, so that I could get my money’s worth.  On the other hand, the lingerie voucher, burlesque classes and boudoir photo shoot required that I be as slim as possible.  The weight limit for anyone on the flying trapeze was 245 pounds and, although I was nowhere near the max, I’d figured that the less I weighed the less likely I’d fall, or suffer irreparable brain damage after falling (apart from the brain damage I already had).

You might think all these purchases were frivolous, but I had a plan.  After tanning myself to the color and consistency of tree bark for only $10 a month, I was to purchase an exquisite piece of discounted lingerie made out of recycled mosquito netting, which would show off my sculpted and B12-injected midriff – all the while batting eyelashes as long as my Visa bill and striking unnatural poses I’d learned as a burlesque-school drop out during my boudoir photo shoot.

I’ve not had the opportunity to use any of the discounts purchased, because:

1.  …on the day of my eyelash extension appointment – which was appropriately timed before a Christmas party – the lash lounge proprietor, Ms. Lucky Charms or Mme. Coco Puffs, calls me and describes, in hushed squeaky voice, how her two-month pregnant eyelash technician was suddenly overcome with *crippling pain* while performing the arduous task of applying individual, high quality mink lashes to somebody’s eyes and had to go be rushed to the ER for pregnant woman issues, leaving her client half-eyelashed, looking like that guy from A Clockwork Orange.  I was forced to reschedule my appointment for after the holidays, when having eyelashes as tall as Lucky Coco’s tale no longer mattered.

clock work orange

Lashes gone wild.

2.  …till this day, I have no clue what B12 vitamin injections are, although I’ve had plenty of BS injections from the med spa who offered the discount.

Doctor Thalia – who was also the Receptionist, the Salesperson, the Office Manager, and the Nutritional Counselor…everyone, except the med-spa employee who actually performed the injections, or knew when the next batch of B12 supply was going to arrive…was a gorgeous Amazonian-looking six-foot tall woman.  The B12 gimmick was to get new clients for the med spa’s HCG program, which is basically a diet which limits you to six hundred calories a day, while you take a hormone that’s found in pregnant women or cancer patients.

Six hundred calories per day, by the way, is two McDonald’s Cheeseburgers, about two margaritas, or one-and-a-half slices of Pizza Hut’s Meat Lover’s Pizza.  If I could limit myself to these nutritional guidelines, I wouldn’t have to subject myself to phantom B12 injections in the first place.

3.  …I’ll admit, I chickened out on the trapeze class.  I mean, the *thought* of swinging upside down carelessly fifty feet up in the air from my saggy, popping knees is attractive and daring – and the subsequent video of me screaming for Vishnu, Allah, Confucius and Ali Baba worthy of internet viraldom – but who among us really wants to die before her time?  Hanging like that also reminds of the dried meat and squid you’d find at the street vendors in Asia: they all eventually get eaten.

dried fish4.  …in the history of boudoir photo shoots, I must be the only woman who can’t bring herself to get her picture taken, not because I’m shy, but because I have nothing appropriate to wear.

Contrary to popular belief, boudoir photo shoots are not about nakedness, but about being *tasteful*.  Unfortunately, the only times I appear *tasteful* is when I’m fully clothed from head to toe, swaddled in an over-sized cape or a purple sleeping bag and preferably asleep.

I’m sure that when the boudoir photo lady, Michelle, offered the Groupons for $45.00, she never thought she’d attract neurotic women with trapeze envy, grandiose visions of a flat stomach and over-grown eyelashes, who had also believed that wearing a shapeless black garbage bag of a dress with transparent red stockings held up by sock suspenders are “sexy” and boudoir-worthy.  And I’m sure she didn’t sign up for pen pal-ing an Asian woman half a world away.

Hi Michelle,

I just purchased your Groupon for a boudoir photo shoot ($45.00 package) and want to know whether we wear our own clothes or you provide?  I’m not sure whether my clothes are entirely appropriate, or that they even fit.  Would a one-piece bathing suit be appropriate?  (It’s black, with ties on the side without the bra pads.  One pad had fallen out, so I got rid of the other one to make the breasts look even.  I won’t wear the cap, don’t worry.  It’s got plastic flowers on it anyway.) 

I also have a cape and something that looks like mosquito netting, but I’m not quite sure how to put it on and where it should go exactly.  My head usually gets stuck in the arm holes.  Can you retouch photos?  How much extra would that be?  Will you be the only one at the photo shoot, or will you have an assistant?  I’ve never done this before, so I’m sorry with all the weird questions.  I think it’s safe to say that I want all my photos to be in black and white under as poor lighting as possible.

Thanks,

Susan

*****

Hi Susan!

I’m so excited to be working with you on your BOUDOIR PHOTO SHOOT!  I’m sure it will be a GREAT experience for you! We ask that you provide your own clothes, although we can provide if needed.  If a bathing suit makes you feel comfortable, then by all means bring it, although this is not commonly a boudoir item!  The only thing I ask you not to bring are teddy bears and squeaky toys.  Buddy has a thing for them!

We also have an array of accessories, such as beads and marbles, floppy hats with bunny ears and silk flowers to dress up any outfit.   Retouches can be done and are charged according to the area and size of area that needs to be redone.  A hair stylist and makeup artist are also available on site for extra.  I always work alone, except my bull terrier, Buddy, who is always with me wherever I go.  Buddy is non-judgmental and neutered, so he shouldn’t be a problem. 

As I’m working most of the day, it’s best to call me, if you have any further questions!

Thanks and looking forward to working with you soon!

Cheers,

Michelle & Buddy

*****

Hi Michelle & Buddy,

Thanks for getting back to me so soon.  I’m overseas at the moment so emailing is probably the best option for me.  I’m sorry if this causes any problems.

I’d like to make an appointment for sometime in May, any day is OK, except Mondays – afternoon is best.  I’m not sure what clothing is most appropriate, so I’m going to bring everything I think is remotely OK.  (Paul Frank boxer shorts, pig hat, reindeer ears with jingle bells, black corset, the garter belt I don’t know how to put on or take off or which is the front or back, the silk stockings that have lost their elasticity, so one sits on my thigh while the other hangs miserably around my ankles, Chinese New Year panties with LONG LIFE written in Chinese on the crotch, and a pair of girl-sized Hello Kitty cotton panties I can’t even get my big toe into.)  However, if the reindeer ears with bells is too much for Buddy, I can leave that at home.  Just let me know.

Thanks,

Susan

bavarian beer girl

Boudoir Bombshell: Your Bavarian beer girl in China.

20 comments on “Gotta Getta Grip on My Groupons

  1. bronxboy55
    March 18, 2013

    I’d never heard of Groupon, Living Social, Tippr, or Zozi, and I’ve been in North America the whole time. Good luck — again — with adjusting to the weirdness. I loved this post, and especially this: “…years of ingrained Chinese frugal logic told me to wait till I had more fat, so that I could get my money’s worth.”

    Like

    • lostnchina
      April 6, 2013

      Just realized I didn’t answer this comment earlier. You’re not missing much by not jumping on the coupon bandwagon. Once you buy one, they’ll keep bombarding you with things you never thought you might need, like weight loss hypnosis for redheads, a suit made out of the beards of homeless people. I’m still waiting for the Groupon for curing yourself of your Groupon addiction.

      Like

  2. Forever Bound Art
    March 7, 2013

    OMG! what a hoot! I will look at those Groupon deals a little differently now! “Too fat to kowtow” had me rollling with laughter!

    Like

    • lostnchina
      March 7, 2013

      Thanks. When one’s too fat to kowtow, you know they’re in trouble!

      Like

  3. Melanie Jo Moore
    March 6, 2013

    You had me at removing the bathing suit boob pads. I’ve spent countless times trying to stuff those damn things back in their with no luck at all and only left with a severe sense of boob deformity. Why the hell aren’t those things better attached!?

    Like

    • lostnchina
      March 6, 2013

      Melanie Jo, trying stapling them in there, That’s my quick fix for everything, Thanks for the comment and for the follow!

      Like

  4. smallestforest
    March 1, 2013

    Killing it, as only you know how. I don’t where to start, I’m wheezing from trying to laugh and smoke at the same time. You’ve left China for good?

    Like

    • lostnchina
      March 6, 2013

      I’ve been transitioning back slowly over the last year, and even when I was in China I always had the opportunity to travel back for business or holidays. Now it’s just a little more solid since I’m doing nesting things, like repainting walls and fixing stuff. Don’t hurt yourself reading my posts. My insurance doesn’t cover that 🙂

      Like

  5. becomingcliche
    February 28, 2013

    I got a groupon for pole dancing lessons. Should I send it on to you?

    Like

    • lostnchina
      February 28, 2013

      You’re too kind, Heather. I’ll get back to you on that, once I figure out how to get this garter belt off my head.

      Like

  6. gingerfightback
    February 28, 2013

    I saw the Donny and Marie image and then read about the purchase then read about the mallet – a natural symmetry. Thanks for educating me about B12 injections too. Hilarious stuff!

    Like

    • lostnchina
      February 28, 2013

      I aim to educate. I assume the mallet can also be used to destroy the “Donny & Marie” CD, depending on how you look at it.

      Like

      • gingerfightback
        February 28, 2013

        A noble use of a tool

        Like

      • elmer
        March 5, 2013

        I grew up watching that Donny and Marie show. I thought their teeth were mahjong tiles.

        Like

        • lostnchina
          March 6, 2013

          Elmer, don’t tell me you hit the baijiou at such a early age….

          Like

  7. WSW
    February 28, 2013

    Susan, are you REALLY going west?!

    Like

    • lostnchina
      February 28, 2013

      As the saying goes, “Go West, odd Asian woman”, so that’s exactly what I’m doing and why I haven’t been writing as regularly. Settling back into the abode and doing domesticated things, like painting a room, then going to the Home Depot to hire some temp workers to fix the botched job I just did. I think the Groupons are my feeble attempt at some North American normalcy. Little did I know…

      Like

      • WSW
        February 28, 2013

        Delighted to have you back!

        Like

        • lostnchina
          March 1, 2013

          Thanks, Wendie! May I bump into you someday at your friendly neighborhood liquor store.

          Like

          • smallestforest
            March 1, 2013

            Ah, see, i don’t actually stalk your commenters, you replied to my question already. Wow, culture shock? I think of going back to the Philippines to live and start to cry and whimper…

            Like

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This entry was posted on February 28, 2013 by in Humor, Shopping and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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