November 28 Editorial

Editorial
By: Kelly Woodard

It’s no secret that Black Friday is the biggest retail shopping day of the year, but what might come as a surprise to some people is the notion that it’s possible to plan ahead for the chaos. Certainly, long lines and lengthy bouts of madness can come along with those low prices. I’ve personally had a few elbows thrown my way at 4 am from a giant purse wielding soccer mom, but if you take heed to the following tips, you’ll have a much easier time braving the crowds in search of those stellar sales that only come around once a year.
1. Get there early
When I say this, I don’t mean be the jerk that shops on Thanksgiving Day keeping workers from their families on a holiday. It’s bad enough that they have to get up before the rooster crows. Don’t make it any worse. However, it still makes sense to get in line hours ahead of time if you’re interested in taking advantage of door-buster deals on items such as electronics.
It’s important to keep in mind that most of those extremely low-priced goods are loss leaders that help to bring people into stores so that they can buy other things. For that reason, there may not be dozens of those dirt-cheap sale items available for purchase, so if you’re late to the party, you’ll probably miss out.
2. Make a shopping list of Black Friday deals before heading out to the store
It’s best to do your research in advance. That way, you can make a list of the stores you want to hit up first due to door buster deals, freebies, and items you’ll need a ticket for in order to purchase. You should also map out store locations and try to make a game plan so that you are not back-tracking all over town for deals.
3. Shopping carts can be a detriment
They’re useful during a run-of-the-mill grocery shopping trip, but they tend to get in the way during a buying frenzy. Unless you are either a complete glutton for punishment in crowds or a psycho who intends to use the cart as a wrecking ball of sorts, just leave it behind. Instead, take a shopping partner with you who can help you take your haul to the register allowing you to get in and out of the store quickly.
4. Price-matching is the savvy shopper’s best friend
Instead of driving all over town to score the best deals, check with the stores to see if they will price match their competitors advertised sales. Not every retailer is participating in price-matching programs this year, and you might have to stand in a lengthy line at the customer service counter, but it’s worth it if you can show an ad to an associate instead of motoring across town.
5. Stay home and shop online
If all else fails and you can’t get everything that you want in-store, many stores have the same deals online that they do in the store. Sure, you may have to pay for shipping, but that’s a small price to pay to stay warm and cozy in your pajamas while skipping the madness that lurks outside your door. Also, don’t forget about Cyber Monday, the online rite where Internet retailers offer customers profound discounts.
In any event, if you take heed to these tips, you should have a fantastic Black Friday shopping experience. Just remember the golden rules we all learned in elementary school; treat others as you want to be treated, keep your hands to yourself, and if all else fails and you miss that one deal you were dreaming of, feel free to cry it out in a hissy fit….just don’t do it in the store.
It’s just shopping people.

November 21 Editorial

Editorial
By: Kelly Woodard

As the college football season heats up, so too do the smack talking sessions between rivals. As a person living in a house that is divided on the battle lines, my Alabama loving husband proposed a bet this weekend that sent out a check I guarantee he is praying his behind can cash.
Ever since I was a kid, Florida State has been my favorite team. My dream came true, when at 18, I made the big move to Tallahassee and became an official FSU Seminole. Later that year, the Noles brought home the National Championship. It was a glorious time when all was right with the world. Since then, things on the Florida State football field have obviously been a little rough.
This year, as the Noles continue to dominate their opponents (insert some stupid comment here about us having a high school level schedule), Alabama fans become more and more agitated. My husband and basically everyone else I know included.
This week after the games had finished their final downs, I sat quietly as the Alabama fans, who had just played a horrifically flawed game against Mississippi State, got each other riled up. My brother chimed in first saying, “Regardless of the mistakes we made today, Florida State doesn’t have a chance against us in the National Championship game.”
They all grunted and scratched in agreement, and I giggled when I heard another add, “Yeah, if they are smart, they’ll just stay home.” Thank you for that profound insight, Einstein. These drunken hoots and clicks went on for nearly thirty minutes before I finally said, “Do you think that maybe the reason you guys are so confident regarding the fact that we suck and have absolutely no chance against you is because you are getting a little nervous about losing that giant pedestal you’ve been put on?”
The room went silent. I wasn’t sure if it was because they didn’t know how to respond or if I had used words that were too big for them to comprehend during Miller time.
Finally their head gorilla, my brother, spoke up. “Are you confident enough in your team to make a little bet?” Without missing a beat, I said, “Yep.” He conferred with my husband for a minute in whisper-like privacy like they were cooking up some ingenious plan when the Vice Gorilla (aka my husband) said, “Okay, if Florida State loses, you have to get an Alabama tattoo on your rear. If Alabama loses, I’ll get any Florida State tattoo on mine.”
The waves of utter excitement that flooded over my body in that moment cannot be described in words. I played it cool when I reached my hand out in front of a now captive audience to shake on the deal. But just before I did, I asked, “To be clear, if you lose, I get to pick ANY Seminole themed tattoo for you?” He responded with a “bring it on”, and the deal was sealed.
Confident in his idiotic bet, my husband gloated about seeing ‘Big Al’ on my derriere for a while when they gravity of my deviousness finally hit him. “So have you thought about what I have to get IF, haha, we lose?” Cool as a cucumber I looked him in the eyes and said, “Well, you know how I always wanted you to get a portrait of me? I think I’ll have you get my face wearing a full Seminole headdress doing the chop while grinning from ear to ear.”
His face went pale, and the room erupted in laughter. Suddenly all those Alabama fans wanted FSU to pull it out just so they could witness the main event. My husband tried to negotiate his previous statement that “all was fair in football and tattoos”, but I quickly reminded him that not only did I clarify the fact that the content would be my choice, but I had witnesses.
As the race to the championship is coming to a close, it looks like one of us will be sporting some new ink come the beginning of the year. In all fairness, I intend on holding up my end of the bargain. If FSU loses, I’ll get the stupid elephant. Maybe I’ll keep it classy and make it like those old window stickers where Calvin pees on everything. My mom is going to be so proud.
But for now, nothing brings me more pleasure than coming around a corner and catching him unexpectedly, then making that stupid face with my Seminole chop arm. Win or lose, I’ll always have these next two months of memories.

November 14 Editorial

Editorial
By: Kelly Woodard

Tomorrow, I will embark on a journey to the new me. As a very large chested woman, I have spent the bulk of my adult years being uncomfortable, both physically and emotionally about my “condition”. Some call it a blessing, but those who share my dilemma will almost certainly agree that it is more of a curse. That is why I have made the decision to go under the knife and emerge a sleeker, more fabulous version of myself.
From the time I entered middle school, I was always a little large than the other girls in the upstairs area. By the time I reached high school, at 108 lbs and barely able to fit into Victoria’s Secret’s largest size, let’s just say I was popular. Even then, the extra attention on my physical attributes was off-putting.
When I was about 22, I was a size 5, yet I wasn’t able to buy a bra or bathing suit in a normal store. They had to be special ordered. I felt like I should’ve signed up to star in the circus freak show. Of course people made comments and yes, it was uncomfortable at times, but I don’t think I paid for a drink for about a decade. It had its perks.
It wasn’t until I was about 27 that I noticed something unsettling. It was a usual occurrence for men to stare at my chest in passing or even while having a conversation with me. (I would say that men are pigs for this habit, but I think it’s just genetically hardwired in them from birth.) But I started noticing that women had the habit too. I would be at a work meeting or meet a friend’s mother, and before our eyes met, I would always watch them stare at my chest first.
I started becoming more and more self-conscious in public, and even started hating outdoor social events at the beach or on the boat because of the reaction that my ever growing chest would constantly attract. I ate, I gained weight, they grew. I worked out, got smaller, they stayed as big as ever. That’s when I realized that I was hiding behind the bigger me I had created.
Each time I tried on clothes that no longer fit, I loathed myself. And what did I do? I ate more. By the time I was done, not only were my boobs no less noticeable due to my overall fluffiness, they had become the star of the “What the heck happened to Kelly?” show.
This year, at the beginning of the summer as I desperately tried to stuff my now uncontrollably expanding chest into last year’s bikini (which fit better on the rest of my body than before thanks to diet and exercise), I decided that enough is enough.
No more avoiding crowds at the beach. No more $200 custom made bikini tops and granny bras. No more struggling to jog even with three sports bras on at once. I was determined to make a change. And I did. I lost 18 pounds this year, and although I still have a bit more to go and I’m happy with my progress, I realized I was going to need something a little more drastic to curb my life long struggle.
I consulted several plastic surgeons and finally decided on Dr. Frost of Frost Plastic Surgery at West Florida Hospital. He understood my desire to better my situation, and made me feel at ease. His sense of humor won me over. Now it’s time to see if his scalpel skills can impress me.
So tomorrow, I will embark on this new journey. A journey that I hope will eventually help me to learn to love my body again. I’m going through a rush of emotions from excited, to terrified. In the end, I know that all of the pain and recovery will be worth it.
I mean, I’ll be able to go to Target and finally buy a cute bikini top for under $20. I’ll be able to go for a jog without getting two black eyes. I’ll be able to go to Tennessee without making Dolly Parton jealous. I’ll be referred to something other than, “Kelly with the huge boobs.” But best of all, I’ll get to see my own stomach for the first time in over 15 years.
It’s the little things in life that mean the most. Now send me off to the chop shop. This girl is getting overhauled!

November 7 Editorial

Editorial
By: Kelly Woodard

As soon as the Halloween décor goes on the clearance rack, it begins. That wonderful/awful time of year when you can’t turn on the television without seeing a Toys R Us or “Every kiss begins with Kay” commercial. That’s right people…..the holiday season is upon us.
Just last week, I was competing against a 76 year old woman dressed in lingerie while she twerked as Miley Cyrus in a Halloween Contest. The next day, I entered Wal-Mart to find jolly elves and sleigh bells ringing all over the store. Settle down people! It’s still 80 degrees outside. I’m clearly not ready for this.
I could already feel the electricity building in the little ones as I watched them tear through the pages of Wal-Mart’s carefully placed ‘Must Have Toy Book’. (I say “electricity”, but what I really mean is “demon spawned bratty-ness”. Potato, pot-a-toe.)
I witnessed one little girl clutching a Monster High doll with a Kung Fu death grip threatening her mom that if she couldn’t have the doll now, she would call child services. Her mother kindly explained that she couldn’t have the doll now because Santa was bringing her one for Christmas, but only if she is a good little girl.
Good thing I wasn’t her mother, because I probably would’ve smacked her with the doll a few times then dialed child services on my cell for her. Now I don’t condone violence, especially on children, but kids nowadays have it way to easy. My mom would’ve said something more like this….“Sure, you can call child services, but when they get here, they’ll have a reason to be here.” That was the end of that, and I turned out just fine. Kids today…..sheesh!!!
Yesterday, while in a hurry and sweating profusely, I pumped gas while listening to Jingle Bells on the speaker. I tried to ignore it, but then an overly chipper woman’s voice came over the speaker saying, “Happy Holidays! Be sure to buy your special someone a Tom Thumb gift card and tickets from the Florida Lottery.”
I cringed when I thought about what kind of person must do their Christmas shopping at Tom Thumb. Really, dude? That’s the best you can do? There’s a Target with a Starbucks in it, 30 yards away. Take a walk. I guess it’s the thought that counts.
Maybe when the weather cools off a bit more I can bust out my Thanksgiving Turkey hat and my ugly Christmas sweater to get me into the spirit of things. Until then, I’ll watch my TV commercials on mute, avoid any place that sells toys, and try my best not to kill certain family members who may or may not be related to me by marriage.
So bring on the turkey, holiday lights, and the tree, because like it or not, the Holidays are on the way.
Dear Santa,
I have been so good this year. If you bring me a $10 gift card from Tom Thumb, I will cut you.
Sincerely,
Kelly