A little more than a week into December finds us barreling head long into the Christmas Cacophony of site, sound and sales.
Everything is already 50% off, which, if you buy that—literally—it means you’re really only paying 200% over cost instead of 400%.
So good deal!
It used to be the price for a sweater was what it was before Christmas. Then, it became incrementally more the closer it got to the holiday itself when a lot of folks became desperate to buy last minute gifts for their wife, or their mistress, or their mom, or their therapist, which they need because they obviously have issues when it comes to women.
Or maybe that’s just me….
Not that I have a mistress, or a therapist, for that matter…but I am prone to the last minute Christmas gift.
And nowadays that’s really a plus, because with all the special “One Day Sales” every day, plus the discount I get for using a particular credit card, not to mention—although I am—the all-important, all day 40% off everything coupon…that much sought after Penguin sweater, with assorted blue birds on the back, can be had for under 10 bucks…and if the scratch off card I get at the checkout, comes up big, I can actually make a few bucks on the deal…and get lunch.
So things are different now…especially for guy shopping.
And to be honest, guy shopping is different from gal shopping.
You really don’t see a lot of guy shopping, most of the year.
Pretty much just around V-day, the assorted B-days, and of course Christmas.
So the sales clerks, at least the female sales clerks, seem to be particularly attentive, at least to guys.
And the more helpless and clueless the guy appears…the more “helpful” is the saleslady’s focus.
So, as you can guess…I garner a lot of helpful focus.
“Hi, how can I help you?” The saleslady says with a big, big smile.
At this point I try to resist the urge to make some sort of wisecrack remark about scratching the elusive itch in the middle of my back that’s been vexing me all day, and instead say I am looking for one of those metal things that women wear around their wrists, sometimes, that don’t involve telling time.
Depending on the sophistication of the saleslady’s sense and appreciation for subtle humor, she will either laugh and escort me to the bracelet showcase, or sneer and escort me to the security desk.
And believe me when I tell you…it can go either way.
But, for the most part, I’m pleased to say, there’s usually a laugh and a lot of smiles…and the security guards rarely use real handcuffs.
Ha…got you, didn’t I?
But at least your sense and appreciation for subtle humor is well honed….
The truth is—and perhaps it’s an ugly truth—sales women are much more friendly and attentive to men than women.
Sounds sexist, I know…but hey, what can I tell you?
I don’t make this stuff up….
Well, maybe I do…but there is a grain of truth in most of what I make up.
I’ve seen the attention—polite, yet direct—that Z receives when she goes into a particular jewelry store.
Well, for the most part, I’ve seen it…as best I can from my seat on the synthetic leather couch, out in the hall, behind the palm tree, next to the fountain, in between bites of my giant pretzel—salt no butter.
However, when I walk in this tony trinket shop and trip over a baby stroller, I am immediately offered some bottled water and, if lucky, a lovely array of cookies.
I’m then offered a smoking jacket and slippers, which I refuse, since I don’t smoke, but happily accept the slippers.
Okay…I made all of that up.
There’s no smoking jacket or slippers…but sometimes there is the bottled water and cookies, because, you know…shopping can take a lot out of a fellow.
Then there is the helpful spiel and demonstration of how a bracelet actually works, which is followed by several recommendations based on style and price, which is followed by my hyperventilating, which is followed by my passing out on the floor.
At that point the smiling saleswoman usually suggests I try the "other" jewelry store around the corner, the one that also sells those cool black light posters and lava lamps.
Of course, I scoff at such nonsense, when proffered; I may be cheap, but I’m not that cheap. I can usually swing the jewelry that’s sold in the back of the Pet Store…outside, behind the dumpster.
And besides, I have all the black light posters I need.
Of course, I’m cool about the whole thing, and I don’t let on, not even a bit, that I’m at all embarrassed by the situation.
I bet lots of people confuse the ornamental soap dish with the cookie dish.
I mean I wasn’t even aware until I drank some of the water and my mouth started foaming.
But all in all, like I said, if you’re a guy shopper, you get treated just a little bit nicer than a woman shopper.
In fact, I’m usually escorted out by not only my original sales lady but 3 or 4 others, all smiling, all laughing…even as they lock the door behind me.
Obviously they stayed open a little past closing, just to accommodate me…which again…is not the kind of treatment your everyday woman shopper receives.
Certainly not before lunch....
Certainly not before lunch....
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