But Sadly, One Of The Jackets Was Too Beige-y Beige

There was a program at the little guy’s school today, and a few weeks ago he made it known that having all his grandparental peeps in attendance was very important to him. They were sweet enough to rearrange their schedules so they could be here, and it was apparently the BEST! DAY! EVER! for a certain five year-old.

Of course, tomorrow will also be the BEST! DAY! EVER! for him, because he’ll wake up and find a stray Skittle on a rug or his first glass of milk will really hit the spot or, who knows, he may even get to play with a Hot Wheels car for two minutes before he leaves for school.

Anyway, the grandparents drove over and the child was delighted and after this morning’s program we all met back at our house for some lunch. I knew – because she mentioned it to me last night at supper – that Martha had a Steinmart(s) gift card that was burning a hole in her pocket, but I figured that since the election is tomorrow they’d hurry home so that they could make sure to arrive at the polls at least six hours before dawn. However, Daddy assured me that they weren’t in a hurry, that they had plenty of time to hang out for a little bit, so after lunch I said eight words that were absolute music to my mother-in-law’s ears:

“Martha? Would you like to go to Steinmart(s)?”

And y’all, her reaction was so tickled-to-death-animated that I wanted to call the Steinmart(s) corporate office and say, “Hey, big shots? Your next commercial? IS AT MY KITCHEN TABLE.”

So Mama, Martha and I went to Steinmart(s), and for a solid hour Mama looked at the Christmas decorations and Martha looked at jackets. We were in separate parts of the store for most of that time, but eventually I saw Martha making a beeline for me. She was holding two jackets – both of them animal print – and while she was still, oh, ten or twelve feet away, she started listing the attributes of both:

“I mean, can you believe? Aren’t these darlin’? Just darlin’? Oh, they’re DARLIN’! And look! I could wear this one with my black pants or my brown pants, or LOOK! I COULD EVEN WEAR IT WITH THESE PANTS! I could wear it with so many things, just so many things! And I already have several shirts that I could wear underneath this one, I mean I could do white, or black, or even this rust color right here, or maybe even a dark brown, don’t you think? Don’t you THINK? DON’T YOU THINK?”

About that time (OH! SOMETHING SHINY!), Martha spotted the Christmas decorations that Mama was holding and she just had to see them! Because they were perfectly beautiful! PERFECTLY BEAUTIFUL! Because remember that bowl? On top of her buffet? Those decorations would be JUST THE THING in the bowl on the buffet, OH MY WORD, DON’T YOU LOVE THEM? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING MORE WONDERFUL?

And then my head exploded and I fell out in the middle of the holiday aisle and died.

Later, when I was alive again, Martha asked me if I wanted to look at purses with her. Since I’m a girl and all, I agreed, and I was checking out a particularly cute tote bag when I heard Martha say, “Oh! You have to see this! You’ll love this! Come see this!”

I made my way around two huge sale tables so that I could “see this,” and when Martha was finally in my sights I couldn’t help but giggle. Everything about her screamed I AM COMPLETELY CAPTIVATED BY MY TRIP TO STEINMART(S), so I pulled out my camera and took a picture right there in the middle of the handbags, oh yes I did, and what’s even better is that Martha was so busy sharing all the things she loved about one purse in particular that she didn’t even notice. Apparently not even THE BLINDING FLASH could rip her attention away from the wonder of that bag. It was a sweet sight to behold.

Needless to say, I assured her that yes, the purse was DARLIN’! Just DARLIN’!, and for the next five minutes she gazed at that purse and said, “I found what I wanted! I’m just so excited because I found what I wanted! Can you believe that I found what I wanted? Oh, THIS IS MORE FUN!” And while she didn’t skip out of the store after she’d used her gift card, she did have sort of a fresh bounce in her step. I couldn’t help but smile.

In fact, she and Mama both were so energized by their excursion that we also stopped by Tuesday Morning and Home Goods, thus completing a Discount Store Trifecta in just under two hours.

Oh, they’ve got skillz, y’all.

Make no mistake.

They’ve got skillz.


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  1. LOL thank you for that picture !

  2. May I just say it? I LOVe MARTHA! I do! I want to be just like her. Yes, I do.

  3. Oh, it just makes my day. MAKES MY DAY, I tell you. Thank you. I wish you all the best in putting back the pieces of your exploded head.

  4. Oh my word! I felt like someone had READ MY MIND about what it’s like to shop with my Mama! And you even added the “s” to SteinMart like any good Southern lady would! I just love it. So glad sweet Martha found those wild animal jackets and shiny purses… all while holding her scepter of holly berries. LOVE IT.

  5. Yes, thank you for the pic. My MIL also has that same goldish bronze purse! They don’t have Steinmart(s) where she lives, but I’m sure if they did she would find “the most beautiful thing she has ever seen” in there too!

  6. Sweet indeed!

  7. The day that Martha stories cease to make me smile, I will know I have TOTALLY lost it.

  8. That Martha story hit the spot on this Monday night. I think every Monday should be Martha Monday and you should post a new story!

  9. “Later, when I was alive again…”

    My favorite part. :)

    I think Martha and my 9-year-old daughter would get along FAMOUSLY.

    Oh, and what’s that you say? There are MORE Martha stories? I think I shall be visiting your archives later.

  10. I was so happy when I read that you were alive again.

  11. My sweet friend. . .I cannot let you know just HOW much I needed that story. It has been a hard day of sorts, and you (and Martha) put a lovely cherry right on the top of it.

    Hug her for me.

  12. I LOVE this!

    Of course the next Steinmart(s) commercial should be filmed at your kitchen table!

  13. Thank you BooMama…I am such a Martha fan! Love her…love her…LOVE HER!!!

  14. “thus completing a Discount Store Trifecta in just under two hours.” That is a quote! I love it!

  15. Hello! I’m a big fan of the blog…but gosh I had to comment on this. My sweet Mamaw shopped JUST like Martha. I love it. She can’t do it anymore, and has to settle for Chadwick’s catalogs…but back in the day we had some good times.

    She bought me clothes I never wore, but they were on sale, and that’s good enough for the Mams.

    Thanks for the laugh! I love it!

  16. It occurs to me that Martha and a certain 5 year old have some similar personality traits. How wonderful to so easily find joy in life.

  17. My pastor growing up told my Mama once that she wore “some fine garments.”

    I think he would have said the same about Martha.

  18. I miss the Steinmart(s) and shopping with my women folk. There’s nothing better, is there?

  19. I love Martha and I love you. Thank you.

  20. You never know – Martha may be on TV tomorrow in all her Steinmart(s) finds whils she’s standin at the polls – wouldn’t that be a hoot!

  21. I am so happy to read a Martha story this morning!!! I don’t know her, but for some reason I feel like I do. I think her clone is my grandmother…..

  22. I was browsing in our Steinmart(s) yesterday and I couldn’t help but think of sweet Martha as I noticed all the colorful jackets. And just imagine my delight when I sat down last night during DWTS and saw your post! I didn’t buy a jacket, but I did purchase a “DARLIN” black dress that I didn’t even realize was On Sale. Perfection in Shopping!
    Love your blog! Love your stories! Love your family!
    Thanks for sharing!

  23. I think I just got my weekly dose of Southern flair there, y’all. You make me laugh. How I would love to go shopping with you and your Moms.

  24. Girl! Those are three of my favorite stores. I would have been giddy too. :)

  25. I was thinking the exact same thing as chaotic joy… the EXACT SAME THING!! :)

    That kind of enthusiasm over regular-ol’-life is so sweet… I’m too much of a cynic to have it myself, but I do enjoy it in others. Except when my head explodes from the sheer volume of it all.

  26. TODD HARRIS says:

    Thank you for yet another Martha entry. They NEVER get old.


  27. ROFL!!!! That photo of Martha is priceless!

  28. That is TOO FUNNY!!! I have to admit I love Steinmart too (although not as much as HomeGoods! I love me some HomeGoods!)