The TALE of a SALE

SALE. It’s a word no woman’s body can resist once her eyes have seen it.  It sends electrical pulses from your eyes…to your brain…directly down to your feet.

And while you are still under the impression that you’re on a mission to buy your little sister a much budgeted-for birthday gift…you find your feet suddenly directing your body toward that little cardi that, at 50% less (!!!) is still ridiculously over-priced yet you can’t possibly refuse it!

Refusing a SALE item is like a slap in the face of Good Karma. Like having your boobs reduced or breaking the heart of a really good guy. You never know how Karma is going to get back at you, and I always fear the worst.

THAT is exactly how I justify buying an item that is 2 sizes too small. “But it was the right colour, and it was on my birthday, and it was less 57%…how could I NOT buy it?!”  My friends all nod their heads solemnly.  It is a well known Girl Fact, and no one can deny it.

So when once a year, I get a text message from YDE declaring their upcoming R75 SALE, I make sure that no matter what previous plans I might have made-a trip to the Maldives, a 6 month advance booking at the dentist, my parent’s anniversary…nothing can keep me away. I’m just not willing to hurt Karma’s feelings that way.

As Karma would have it, the last R75 SALE I went to, fell on a Sunday at 8am. That’s right…on the Sabbath. Karma can be so demanding sometimes.

Anyway, being the seasoned bargain shopper that I am, I arrived an hour early. Only to find about 50 people ahead of me. So much for early bird and all that. Upon taking my place in the queue of avid like-minded cheapskates, I noticed that everyone around me was a little on edge.

You see, SALES can do that to people. I think it might have to do with the red lettering. Plain font. On a white backdrop. It attracts you, locks your focus in, and makes all your blood heat up.  Woman the world over go straight into Hunter/Gatherer Mode when they see it.  It messes with your mind.

Also, noticed that most shoppers had come in pairs. Clever game plan. Made a little note to self.

 All I had with me was a Boyfriend (The Skater), and they are generally useless when it comes to shopping take-downs except for being available to hold your handbag while you try stuff on the middle of the store, over your clothes due to unwillingness to stand in the queue for the changing room. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

Knew immediately upon surveying the situation that I should have brought at least two girlfriends. Preferably one small: to slip between the masses and be able to move around under people’s legs. A midget would have been ideal here. And one large: Tall enough to reach over people, and up to the the higher rails. Also wide enough to plough through the throngs of medium-sized shoppers and at the same time forge me a nice little slip-stream to fall behind her in.

Next time. (Also, we’re going in team uniform.) (Possible emblem: A beautiful Mermaid with shells on her boobs and starfish in her hair riding on the back of a glittering Unicorn with a diamante reing-thingy and a shimmering mane. A rainbow curves above their heads and they balance on a cloud of pink fluff. Both have war paint across their cheeks.)

Anyway…during the next hour, tensions mounted as we prepared ourselves for the glorious feast of bargain buys spread out ahead of us. Some were doing stretches, while others jogged on the spot to warm up.  Many had bottles of energy drinks. Those are all lies. Mostly everyone just stood around and gave dirty stares to anyone who remotely resembled the same size, and thus posed a threat and possible competition for garment-foraging.

By the time 8am arrived, there were about 80 people waiting outside and the crowd had began pushing against the doors. Employees stared at us from behind the glass and a saw fear flash across their eyes.

As the doors opened, the shoppers started running,pushing… a flood of people pouring through the gloriously open doors into a bargain shopper’s dream!  The characteristic stark white of YDE’s interior resembled what I envision heaven as…except for the demonic adrenalin-demonised women running around, flinging garments everywhere, fighting for the correct size!

The emloyees must have know what was coming, because as we ran through the Gateway To Bargaindom, “Chariots Of Fire” blared through the in-store sound system.  I almost started running in slow motion, just because it felt so right, but I feared I would be trampled to death by the spike-healed Jewish girls dangerously close behind me.

My Game Plan was simple, yet effective. As everywhere around me people were working furiously, without rhyme or reason, I had both.  I rapped to them all to divert their attention as my little sister, who had joined our Team stole the colthes from right under their noses.

That is another lie.  I cannot tell a lie… without telling the truth after.

With choas surrounding us, I deployed my troops.  “Boyfriend (The Skater): Stand around near the tills, and if a queue starts to form, you stand in that bad boy! I don’t care if you don’t know where I am, I don’t even care if you cannot see my or feel my aura. You stand, and you keep me a spot.  You stand there and be a man, until I return, loaded down with wondrous bargains.” “Sister: You do what you need to, find your sizes.  But when I call you, you find me.  I may need you as back-up if some girl flashes her claws at me over the last pair of Medium Moscow jeans.  Our safe word will be ‘Whhhhhiskey’.  Now go.  Go and find your garments.”

Me? Well, I wasn’t willing to follow what other were doing. Around me, women were greabbing entire rails of clothing, throwing them on the floor in a giant heap, and flinging their bodies over them.  Protecting them with all four limbs, a torso, and a face if neccesary…while their Team Mates sat around them, findinge their size.

That seemed a little too limiting to me.  I wanted to be able to get stuff from every designer.  So I used my keen survival instincts (an attribute I’ve gained, and cultivated through endless hours of watching my Man-Idol; Bear Grylls) and I managed to slip between the rails.  While all others were milling about the aisles, filling up the limited space, causing traffic jams of Joburg Rush Hour proportions.

Surrounded by clothes, and shielded from the masses, I was free to browse at my leisure.  Picking and choosing, finding the right size. Rubbing my cheek against the silky tops, feeling the roughness of the jeans between my forefinger and thumb.  The clothes were whispering to me.  And I was listening.

Within an hour, the rails were empty.  A few garments hung dejectedly from their hangers, worse for wear after the massacre.  My arms were FULL of shiny, gorgeous items, all in my size as I slipped out from between the rails.  Other teams side eyed me, but even their toxic stares couldn’t dampen my spirits.  I was victorious!!

The Skater (while not being very good at much of anything…besides skating) had done a stellar job of place keeping, and we were about 3rd from the front.  Breathless, sweaty…but happy, I piled my items onto the counter.  My heart and mind started to race as I thought of the potential damage this mountain of fashion could do to my wallet.  What if the joke was on us, and there was NO R75 SALE?!?! What if everything was being rung up at FULL PRICE??!!  Panic almost caused me to shout “STOP” and run from the store, my YDE card clutched between my teeth.

Just over R1000.  That was what the total came to.  My mountain of items at YDE (who are, let’s be honest, not exactly cheap) was costing me less that what I’d once paid for a single pair of jeans??!! 

Upon leaving the now clothes-less store, I walked past a line of people waiting to pay that was almost as long as the Great Wall Of China.  If not for the roof over our heads, I’m sure you would also have been able to see us from space.

Once home, satisfied, and all modelled-out, I tallied up the total of my new purchases… R5000!!!

So while it may be traumatic, a SALE is definitely worth it!

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