I am ashamed to admit this here, but I must…I waited on line for over an hour to buy clothes tonight. There, I said it. I came clean. I will now spend the rest of this blog posting justifying why I did it and telling you how it wasn’t really that bad. You will take a moment to get over your shock, disgust, disbelief, whatever other feelings you may be currently having after this admission. Take a deep breath before continuing to read with an open mind and heart, because it is the holiday season damn it. You owe me the gift of not condemning me for succumbing to retail madness at its worst.
A few months ago a friend gave me a very generous gift card to a store I love. I had purchased a skirt and a sweater, but still had a good amount of money left on the card. Tonight the opportunity finally arose to do a little shopping with said friend at said store…who could resist? While this store is on the expensive side they often have decent sales. Tonight, all sale items were an additional 50% off! I found a few things I liked on the sales racks then, as I was heading to the dressing room, I heard my friend’s voice. She found a dress that she thought was perfect for me. Upon getting nearer she held it out and I saw it was the dress I almost bought at full price with the gift card a month earlier. I had decided blowing the whole $200 gift card on one dress was just excessive and wasteful. And now here it was, $40, one left, my size! It was fate. I was meant to have this dress. I was also meant to have a drastically marked down skirt and robe.
After my friend and I had made our final decisions in the dressing room we trekked upstairs to pay for our steals. As we attempted to find the end of the line we soon found that it looped all the way back to where the registers actually were. This place is huge…this was far and away the longest line either of us have ever seen in any retail situation. I decided to stand on line, she decided to go, with my holding her goods of course, you do not walk away from 50% off already drastically reduced items. Well, maybe you do, but we don’t. I overheard a few people remark they had been standing online for over forty minutes, but the line kept moving so I poo pooed their comments and stood my ground thinking, “This cannot possibly be as bad as it looks.” By the third time I heard the remixed, hip-hop version of Louis and Ella’s, Baby It’s Cold Outside played on the god-awful holiday music loop I knew it was bad. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWuJyFUlYhk&noredirect=1) I had watched people break out food from their grocery bags, drag chairs into the line from the home goods section, read books they picked up off shelves along the way cover to cover (not picture books mind you), and begin taking what they thought were artistic photos of stuff around the store on their phones (I’m quite certain 99.9% of those photos will look like utter crap by tomorrow). No one however, left the fucking line!
I was doing okay, surprisingly. I was not antsy or aggravated. The music was getting to me a little, but no one was in a bad mood and there was pretty good energy on the way too long, we’re all out of our minds, line. And then the fifty minute mark hit and there were maybe thirty people in front of me before I finally reached the destination point. I got bored, antsy, tired, annoyed at the woman who would not move her fat ass away from the jewelry so I could browse while I waited by the dangling necklaces and earrings, peeved at the fact that the discarded tights on the table were either not on sale or on sale, but with snags in them. The girl in front of me with the ugliest, largest, white shag pillow I have ever seen, one wine glass, a toy sized wooden spool of blue velveteen ribbon, and a shirt had run out of new ways to maneuver herself and her awkward collection of goods forward as the line moved along and thus, was failing in the entertainment section. Having the regular priced clothes instead of the home goods and tchotchke departments as my background was more depressing than amusing. I was beginning to realize just how much weight in clothing I was holding. I was starting to question my decision, but knew there was no way out now. I had to stick this out. I had not just lost fifty minutes of my life to standing on line for clothing to give up. Plus, my friend would be really pissed if I did. The end was in sight and I was dangerously close to losing it.
Then, I go to the front of the line. It took me some time to truly comprehend the fact that there was an exhausted, eighteen year old in a weird shaped and patterned blouse waving at me because it was my time to pay for my goods. I stepped up to the register, watched as she scanned my dress, originally priced at $200, ring up as $40, and felt a sigh of relief. This was why I had waited. I’m sure many of you are still thinking I am completely crazy for waiting on line for over an hour, but I am sticking to my guns…it really wasn’t that bad.