I work from home, and that means that every morning at 10 am, my trigger to make coffee is the theme song to The Ellen Show. The timing works out such that I’m usually putting the coffee in the machine and starting it during the intro of the show, and then I get to dance along with Ellen, and then my coffee’s ready and I sit back down and drink it while I’m working. Sometimes my only interaction with Ellen is our daily dance, but if I’m interested in her guests I’ll keep an ear on the tv.
One thing I’ve noticed since I’ve been watching is how kind Ellen is. She’s witty and sharp, but she’s also kind, to the viewers and to her guests. (Kinder than the guests deserve, sometimes.) She seems like a completely normal person, who just happens to be funnier and prettier than most of us, and married to an unnaturally gorgeous woman.
So when she announced that she was the new spokesperson for JC Penney, it made complete sense to me. I figured JC Penney was trying to make a new push into retail since KMart was going down in flames (and who knows what that would do to Sears) and was trying to be more modern. Why would you not ask one of the most likeable, least controversial people in America to be your spokesperson?
But then these wackadoodle “Million” Moms tried to be the mean girls. They decided what was in and what was out, and that Ellen–with her stable marriage, sensible shoes, and kindness to people from all walks of life–was out. So they went after her. Remember in junior high how if you showed up with the wrong purse, the other girls would refuse to sit with you in the lunchroom? Yeah, it was like that. They threatened a boycott of JCP.
Whether JCP stuck with Ellen because the company has true family values or because it’s smart business, I can’t say. I do know that when JCP stuck with Ellen, it made me really happy. It made me feel like if they were ok with her, they were ok with me. And ok with my wacky little two-for-one family with me and the kids, and my ex and the kids, but not all of us together. It made me feel like JCP is ok with my friends and their two mom or two dad families.
So yesterday my ex and I went to the JCP shop-in he organized, with the express purpose of buying our boys some shoes. And boy did we find shoes. Sales associate Renee, who hadn’t heard of the shop-in and doesn’t understand Twitter but loves Ellen and hates bitchy mean girls, brought out a bunch of pairs for them to try and was endlessly patient and really took care of us. And my boys love their new kicks (see photo above).
I stopped shopping at Target 19 months ago when the company refused to acknowledge customer concerns about their donations to political candidates associated with anti-gay hate groups. I’m hoping that JCP can become my new family-friendly go-to place. My dream: all my favorite designers, gay and straight, start designing lines for JCP, so it can be the go-to for me, too, and not just the kids. Think about it–shopping for high fashion at a place that likes all families. All we need is the designers. Do you hear me Mondo?