Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Art of Shopping, Ballerina Style

As you well know, I detest labels.  Case in point, the term “Shopaholic” is so overused and undoubtedly cheapens the whole lot of us.  It also implies a certain pathology with which I am not comfortable.  I prefer “Domestic Purchasing Specialist” or DPS, which lends an air of class, professionalism, and moxie.  One might say it even creates a sense of control, albeit, a false one.

I sport a plethora of multi-colored charge cards in my knockoff Prada wallet because I CAN’T say no to The Deal.  It is the “10 % off your entire purchase today if you open an account with us” gimmick.  The offer always takes me pleasantly by surprise.  The clerk who introduces this “offer” will inevitably add, “and it will only take minutes.”  The sales professional has now hooked me on two levels:  1)  She fulfilled my need for purchase justification, “It was on sale,” and 2)  She spoke to my hectic-probably late for something else lifestyle, “It will only take minutes.”  Okay, sign my ass up! I realize it’s a genius marketing strategy, to which I always succumb.  However, I must note that it is this awareness that separates the DPS from the shopaholic.

Some, in my Rowdy circle, have actually advanced to the level of VDPS or Virtual Domestic Purchasing Specialist, using the World Wide Web as a vehicle to take their obsession global.  There are benefits to this approach, i.e.—speed, unlimited access to stock, and shopping in the comfort of your pajamas.  Although I do dabble in the virtual world, I just can’t give up the “thrill of the kill” traditional shopping gives me.  Besides, converting dollars to Euros gives me a math headache, not to mention the fact it depresses me.

As a DPS, I need the excitement, the adventure, the warfare of in-person shopping.  All of my senses must be engaged, including taste, touch and smell.  The risk of being trampled for “while they last” sale items…The adrenaline rush of standing in the check out line, almost late for the next appointment, cursing at the lady in front of me who is blasting the clerk with idiotic questions. “Can I use this 20% off coupon for this brooch?”  No, bitch.  Read the fine print, it clearly states “excluding cologne and jewelry.”  I so hate it when people are ill-prepared for combat!  Yes, I never feel more alive than when I am prowling through Women’s Sportswear, on the fresh scent of red dot items!

If you are looking to raise your game to DPS level or beyond, a well-honed skill of using expired coupons must be ever-present.  I use this strategy at least once a month, just to maintain battle-preparedness.  Example:  The clerk says, “I’m sorry, but this coupon expired last year.”   I spring into action…the ultimate challenge at hand.  Instantly, my eyes well up with tears.  “I am so sorry, ma’am.  I can’t see very well since the unfortunate laser tag incident where I was given a faulty eye protection device.  The ophthalmologist’s bills keep piling up.” Sniff, sniff. “Everything’s still tied up in litigation.”  I then pick up the Jones New York blouse, pending a reduction in price, and ask, “Can you please tell me what color this is…fuchsia?  carnation?  hot pink?”  Uncontrolled Sobbing.  50% off, babes! Target eradicated.

So the next time you see a tall, bottle blonde foraging through a sales bin in Accessories, or whirling passed Home Décor, stand back and watch—It is the art of shopping, Ballerina Style.

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