Don’t you just love the sales? No! Not any more. I’ve had enough. I am, in fact, the post Christmas “Grinch”. Sales used to be few and far between and full of promise with the genuine prospect of a bargain. Nowadays, they last all year, or so it seems, and the prices are barely different.
Each year, after the Christmas hibernation and indulgence, we venture out of the house and someone helpfully suggests a trip to the sales. “Ooo, yes, how exciting” and off we all go. Each year, I forget that the last year I vowed and declared never again to set foot in the January sales. As soon as I get close, I remember why.
Mind you, even getting close to the sales is an achievement. I have sat in queues to get into towns to get into car parks to get into sales and still, I forget every year. The car park itself is often itself a hotbed of angst and marital dispute. Parking in a busy car park with the whole family back seat driving and critiquing the driver’s parking is always scope for a good old row. That is, of course, after you have found a space.
You circle the car park, beady eyed (just like the fifty other waiting cars), visualising the perfect space. Then, some poor unexpecting shopper emerges from the shops, laden with bags, hundreds of pairs of eyes instantly on them, willing them to go to a car near you then and leave a space. It’s like a David Attenborough show and you can just hear the commentary in your head, can’t you? Better still, if you get the opportunity, you can slowly stalk your prey/the shopper in your car in the hope that you get that elusive space. If your luck is in, they may turn and you can then mouth and gesticulate “ARE YOU GOING?” (cursing the shopper who shakes their head as they are simply putting their bags into the car for another round of shopping – grrr!).
Then there is the wild west stand off for the space. You have queued, you have waited in line and the space is almost yours for the taking. Then, comes the maverick driver, driving the wrong way around the car park and heading for your space. The spaghetti western music starts in your head. You tilt your Stetson with the tip of your pistol, close your eyes and go for it. The space is yours! The whole family cheers. Yes, you are the conquering hero. Well, you are until you then face the new challenge of “hunt the working ticket machine” for the next half hour.
Exhausted, you peer into the many shops and see a jumble of items in the sales. All effort to present and colour coordinate gone and the pile it high sell it cheap mentality taking over. As you focus your eyes, all you can see are the items that you already own, prices slashed, whilst everything else seems to remain the same. You have to buy something. After all, you have made it to the sales. So you do. Home again, hours later, you lie on the sofa and peep into your bag. Remind me, why did you buy those bright pink fluffy socks? Well, it is the sales isn’t it?!