Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday shopping fun

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE IN THE MALLS?!!!!! Let me start by saying I am not a shopper. The gene for shopping somehow did not get passed down to me. I abhor shopping. Loathe it. I would rather watch grass grow. I would rather smell my husband's feet. Anything but shopping. So if I am at the mall, I am there out of absolute necessity. My sox have too many holes in it, my kids clothes look two sizes too small, my shoes talk when the walk, etc. (Exception is for books and music. I don't consider that shopping since they are more like necessities of my life.) So I really don't understand the frenzy that attack people whenever SALE signs are posted. And shopping during the holidays is the worst time of the year.

I was at the Gap, looking for a pair of pants for my oldest daughter since it is now too cold for her to wear pants with her ankles exposed. (This is not my fault since it seems that my daughter sprouted over night!) There I was at the sales rack. (Cause who wants to pay full price for anything? I mean I may hate shopping, but I'm not stupid.) As I placed my hands on a particularly cute pair of jeans that had just been marked down, a woman snatched it out of my handS and loudly proclaimed, "I saw that first!" And then scurried away like a rat. I was literally too surprised to say a word - literally stood there with my mouth open and my hands still in a clutching position outstretched before me. (The only other time I ever had anything snatched out of my hands was at Filene's basement in Boston, and not to be mean to anyone from Boston because I love Boston, but sometimes the term Masshole can be quite accurate.) I suddenly realized that the store had filled up and that crazed women were systematically snatching items off of racks and tables with the frenzy of sharks at a fresh kill. Apparently I had arrived right before a big one day clearance sale day was scheduled. Me and the one other man who was not a store clerk stared at each other with open mouthed horror.

A table we stood near had shirts and pants marked up to 50% off. Nimbly and with his long arms, I watched the man lean over a bunch of women (who were clawing through the once nicely folded piles) and snatch up a bunch of shirts and pants. I started to back away in horror but the thought of my poor kid's naked ankles strengthened my resolve and I muscled in and grabbed up a few pair of pants. As I was pulling my arm back, one of the price tags caught a woman in the mouth, bringing her head around as if I had fish-hooked her and was reeling her in. Spitting the tag out of her mouth, she shrieked "Watch it bitch!" I began to apologize profusely but realized she had already forgotten about me as she continued to frantically paw through the diminishing piles of clothing, even as the pile in her arms was growing to ginormous proportions!!

Hurrying away, I looked at the pants and shirts I had managed to grab up. None were in the right size for my oldest, but the prices made me blink. $4.99 shirts and $9.99 pants, Holy Corduroys! No wonder the women were like piranhas attacking a capabera. Determined, I trudged back to the table, determined to get a pair of pants that would fit my 8 year old. Alas, I was too late, in the space of ten minutes, the table had been decimated. The remaining pile of clothes compiled of size 14s and 2s in shades of green that looked like they came from a herbivores dungpile - none of them usable by any of my girls. As I stood forlornly by the table, a sales clerk came by to fold up the unwanted ones.

"Look at those women," the clerk snorted, correctly judging me as a shopping rookie. "They walk out with armloads of stuff that I'll just have to restock when they come back to return them after the holidays."

"And all I needed was a pair of pants," I sighed.

The clerk gave me a sympathetic look and said, "Honey, you are just not aggressive enough."

No kidding! Those women scare the crap out of me.

25 comments:

McKoala said...

LOL! All the fun of the mall. I hate sales. They bring out the worst in people. But not you, obviously, you nice little piggie, you.

Danette Haworth said...

Talk about cutthroat shoppers! Watch out, Ello!

Wayne said...

Thanks fo putting me there. Now I don't have to go back till next year.

Chris Eldin said...

That was very funny! (sorry...)

Oh man. First, when you're in Filene's in Boston, you go there for the experience of having your arms ripped off. And also for buying something that doesn't fit.

Fish-hooking a fellow consumer is admirable. I wish I had your skill.

The sales clerk was funny too!
:-)

Lynne Griffin, Amy MacKinnon, Lisa Marnell and Hannah Roveto said...

You have got to write this up for submission somewhere. Radio (NPR) would be 250-350 words, print, depending on where you submit, 600-800+. Do it, I haven't read catch-phrases this good in a long time!

Amy

Bernita said...

I hate shopping too. Genetically deficient as well.
I have been to Filene's - once.

"one of the price tags caught a woman in the mouth, bringing her head around as if I had fish-hooked her and was reeling her in."
~spewing~
Priceless description!

Sarah Hina said...

Listen to Amy! She is so wise.

LORD OF THE SHOPPERS: I see a sacrifice at the end...to the GAP gods...if they're pleased, you get half off a pair of low-rise, boot-cut jeans.

If they're not, you're stuck with acid-washed. Full price.

Like, deal, bitch.

strugglingwriter said...

I think people are scary anywhere they congregate in groups.

Larramie said...

But what will your daughter wear now? :(

TIP: The best sales are those online, really!

Charles Gramlich said...

Geeze. I had imagined it this way but you brought the imagery home for me in a horrific way. The human race is a monster.

I agree with you on shopping for books. Not a hassle. Besides, there's hardly ever anyone in a bookstore.

Aine said...

I'm with larramie, I shop for everything online if possible. It's the greatest innovation since velcro. And well worth the shipping charges!

Melissa Marsh said...

I can't believe this actually happened, but it did! That is just mind-boggling.

You have to put the price tag caught in the woman's mouth in a story someday. I love the fish analogy. ;-)

I try to go to the mall when it's nice and quiet, i.e. a weekday evening. I hate going on the weekends. Waaaaay too many people for me.

Angie said...

I'm with you -- shopping sucks. My exceptions are books (of course) and when I'm in the mood, computer games. Other than that, it's just a task and I want to get in and out as soon as possible.

My husband, on the other hand, like to "browse." He enjoys going to the mall just to wander around and see what's there. I think he's insane and have always refused to go "browsing" with him. [eyeroll] To me, going "shopping" when you don't plan to buy anything is just a huge waste of time, and aggravating to boot. Yuck.

Online shopping is the best thing to come from the internet, right after porn and blogging. :)

Angie

Carleen Brice said...

Crack me up! And I'd rather smell your husband's feet than shop too!

Travis Erwin said...

I feel you pain. I hate shopping especially at malls.

sherry smyth said...

Egads you are good Ello!!! I could feel that frenzy, I could see those grasping claws...loved your story...sorry about the pants!!! :)

SherryTex said...

I do not do the mall. That is what the computer is for...I shop like a man shops. I need insert need here...I go to store...I get...insert need here...I pay whatever they charge. I leave as fast as possible.

Thanks for reminding me why I don't mall shop. Gonna not go again this year too.

Virginia Lee said...

That, dear Ello, is why I shop online.

Gad.

And seriously, never NEVER go to a Wal-Mart or Target from December 15th through the first week of January. Wait until after Twelfth Night if at all possible. Really. I would not lie to you . . .

Ello said...

Hi Amy! I'm not sure how to put this together for something like submission but I'm just glad everyone here likes it. And I think I am gonna have to figure out how to work that price tag fishing line into a story!

VirtualWordsmith said...

I've done most of my shopping yesterday and today. It wasn't too bad, and my kids were/are at school. I was in and out of the stores in record time. And people were friendly, polite and considerate. What are they putting in the water here in Minnesota, anyway?

katfrass said...

And THAT, my dear, is why I shop online. I can't stand crowds. I would rather pay twice what the pants are worth then go to the mall during the Christmas season.

Loved the fish analogy. Just hysterical!

icanseeclearlynow said...

HILARIOUS! i HATE shopping too. i definitely stay away from the malls on the weekends this time of year. i enjoyed this post, your writing is good!

:)

maria

Mary Witzl said...

How did I miss this, Ello? This is exactly how I feel!

I hate shopping with a quiet fury. I hate being part of this awful, manic lust for bargains. I dearly love a good bargain, but if I had to go to such extremes to get one, I'd far rather go around half naked with a blanket wrapped around me. I suspect that if my family were dependent on me having such shark-like shopping skills, they'd starve. Being aggressive seems like too much trouble, but who knows? Maybe if it came down to it, I could learn such behavior.

But things would have to get pretty extreme.

Kate Boddie said...

The only time I go to the mall normally is when I need something. I never go to wander. I'm like a man like that, I'm in, I have my target and I'm out. That's it. During Christmas, I go once between December 1st and sometimes into January. I spend hundreds of dollars in one night, get rope burns on my hands from the bags but I won't have to go again until I need something again, well after the holidays. And I always go during the week, even in the off-season. Screw mall crowds!

Gillian said...

I now have an experience to add to the list of crucial life thingies I have somehow missed out on. No-one has snatched something I'm looking at. Is this because Australians shop differently? Or do I look naturally fearsome? Or do I just avoid big crowds? (I wait till things get quiet before I shop, even if it means missing out on bargains.)

The big question is, do I add this experience to my list of things I must do before I die? Or will my life be rich and fulfilling without it?

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