Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baby, I Was Born This Way

My name is Angie.
And I am a Consummate Consumer.

I own it.  I embrace it.
Baby, I was born this way.

I am infamously hailed the premiere professional Domestic Purchasing Specialist, but that wasn’t always the case.  The road that led me to this title was a long and sometimes treacherous one.  My story is about overcoming the odds, sacrifice, listening to that inner voice, and never giving up on my dream. Here is the story of my ascent from the family farm to the peak of Kili-Mall-jaro.

I grew up in a now foreign land that my cousin Beth affectionately dubbed “Hooterville,” where I was deprived of the simplest shopping opportunities that others enjoyed.  Throughout my childhood, there existed inside my core a retail void I could not fill.  It wasn’t until many years later, through valid experiential testing, that I learned my condition was biological.  During my formative years, the closest country store, an arduous ten miles away and a full day’s travel on foot, did not satisfy the lusty procurement hormone my spend-gene released.  Hoop cheese, cow feed, and Pointer overalls just wasn’t enough of a selection.  I always left Olson’s Mercantile with a bolt of fabric and cabbage seeds, feeling empty.  Wasn’t there more?

 Why, yes.  Yes there was. 

Upon release from Little Penitentiary on the Prairie, I moved away to a college located in the heart of Shopportunity.  Commerce freedom…the sights, sounds, and smells of the big city trade. Shopping centers, plazas, mezzanines, complexes, emporiums, and marts abounded.  I quickly adjusted to these surroundings that nurtured my internal Shopeteer, and it was magical.    
I rapidly moved through the first levels of shopping forums—shopping centers and malls. I mastered the art of lay aways and credit cards.  I could quickly calculate complex percentage off formulas.  Amazingly enough, my math headaches remained at bay during shopping-related computation.  I was in training, rigorously perfecting my skills daily for the Retail Olympics, held at the final forum…Mac Daddy Malls. 

Only available in metropolitan areas, these colossal purchasing arenas were challenging and dangerous, the perfect complements to my passion. Places where all my training for risk-taking retail would be put to the test…. And I excelled in my element.

I learned that preparation was vital, and like any Shoplete, I created an emergency backpack stocked with supplies in case I found myself in the vicinity of the Super Mall.  In fact, I still have my kit neatly stowed in the trunk of my VW.  It contains all the necessities for a successful mega mall outing:  Special K protein bars (in case I inadvertently stray into an artificial labyrinth of flora, fauna, and fountains and experience weakness), bandages (for shopping injuries, such being trampled by a Power Walker, and I speak from experience), water (hydration is imperative), flip flops (in case I break a heel, or need speed that my 3” peep-toed pumps just can’t deliver), nitroglycerin tablets (to be administered upon the onset of sale-induced chest pain), ammonia inhalants (in case some Shop Zombie wanders in front of me, suffers syncope, splays out, and blocks my path), ibuprofen (for those little aches and pains), hair ties (in case profuse sweating causes my hair to fall and obstruct my vision or I experience Shopper’s Hair after trying on numerous pullover shirts), and incontinence pads (for loss of bladder control when I spy a much desired item or unbelievable deal or for the dreaded Shopping Pee leakage I experience when I don’t want to stop shopping to take a potty break.)

Mega mall shopping requires focus, intense concentration.  It is not a team sport, although it is not uncommon to encounter groups of aisle salmon, heading against the obvious stream of traffic. Fortunately, I carry a laser pointer, perfect for safely guiding the spawning school out of my path.  Yes, the urban shopping jungle is a dynamic place.  To stay on top of the game, I must constantly hone my skills for securing the Gold.

Recently, I experienced an epiphany after watching an episode of Pitbulls and Parolees, Survivorman, or Say Yes to The Dress….I can not recall which.  Whatever the impetus, I am now opening a school for aspiring shopletes, as a way to give back to the community that has nurtured me.  It is time for me to light a path for neo-phyte shoppers that they, too, may reach their full retail potential.

Shoplete Serenity Prayer

Grant me the serenity to accept when the price of merchandise cannot be changed; the courage to negotiate charges which may apply, and the wisdom to recognize the knockoff from the name brand.

A. Ballerina

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