Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Sport of Shopping

Shopping can be compared to hunting and fishing.  All three are a form of sport. 

I had been borrowing my friend's white jean jacket (WJJ) for a couple of years, and I started feeling a little guilty for having it for so long that I started looking for one of my own.  I had not been successful, but decided that it was time to return this much enjoyed jacket to her.

The need to get a new WJJ was even stronger because I had returned the one that I had grown to count on.  A WJJ in my opinion is much more versatile than a plain old blue denim one and it just suits me better.  I was determined to get one of my very own.  The serious hunt was on.

Every store that I went to that would have sold this infamous product were "Sold out" ; or I was told, "We just sold the last one", or "They went so fast".  For those of you that had a WJJ, I envied you.  So I asked some of these sales clerks, "So what time of the year should I come back to get one of these WJJ?".  Sometimes they said "Early spring", sometimes they said "Fall".  Needless to say I was starting to lose hope.

We took a summer trip to the United States, and while in Rapid City, South Dakota, we visited the "Eddie Bauer" store in the Rushmore Mall.  I was excited when I spotted a WJJ on the sales lady.  I asked her, "Do you have any more of those jackets? Like the one you are wearing?"  She replied with, "No, I am sorry, we are all sold out".  She could see my disappointment and responded cheerfully with, "But you can probably find it online.  Here, try mine on for size if you'd like".  She gestured that she was about to remove her WJJ, but I found it would have been very awkward to have taken the shirt off her back.  So I graciously declined her offer.  I left the store disappointed, once again, but now hopeful that maybe I was getting closer to the great catch.

A few days later we stopped at the West Acres Mall in Fargo, North Dakota, and there was an "Eddie Bauer" store there, too.  When I arrived, I asked the sales clerk if they had any more WJJ.  She said they had one, and she searched for it for a minute.  She then declared, "We must have sold it".  She apologized and she too sensed my disappointment.  Another miss.  I left the store empty handed.

We continued to shop in the mall for a bit, and again ended up at the "Eddie Bauer" store.  My husband was trying on some clothes, so I decided to take a look around to see what was on the sales rack.  I found a little blue tank top, that I decided I might buy.  Right before we were going to leave, I decided to check on the clearance rack for any other deals.

Wouldn't you know it?  A single WJJ was waiting there for me on the clearance rack!  It was gleaming white.  In my size!  I mentioned to a different sales clerk that I had been in earlier and was told there were none left.  She replied, "This jacket just came back as a return".  What timing!

As I pulled it off the rack, it seemed like time started going in slow motion.  I was reeling it in.  The feel of this WJJ, the weight of it, the look of it, was more than I had expected.  It was the "perfect catch"!   I pulled it off the hanger, much like a fisherman pulls the hook from the fish.  My heart was doing flips. I put it on, and it fit me perfectly.  It felt like a big hug, this WJJ surrounding me in all it's comfort and glory.  I was elated.  I was smiling ear-to-ear, and I called over to my husband.  "I found my jacket!"  I showed him my new find as I stood proudly.  Much like a hunter or a fisherman with his trophy catch.

No matter what anyone says, shopping is a sport much like hunting and fishing.  The thrill of the hunt, the anticipation of the find, and showing off the results of your efforts is similar in hunting and fishing.  The ammunition or bait for shopping is a good pair of shoes, a keen sense of sight, and a credit card.  Sometimes you do really well, and other times you come home empty handed.  But the stories you will tell!

Do you have any shopping stories like this?  Or are you currently on the hunt?  If so, happy hunting!

~ Angela Gentile

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