Random Thoughts

They Get You Every Time

(originally posted 12/24/2003)

This title could be about so many things. The first thing that comes to mind is the bait and switch that some Philly teams seem to do around championship time… BUT… this is the holidays so I’ll refrain from any negative comments about my beloved Philly teams. Next week is fair game though.Actually, today’s column is about the use of cute girls at retail stores.

Like most people, I procrastinate and procrastinate. Finally, today I had to do a mad dash for presents. Of course, the malls are crowded and traffic is a nightmare. So I decided to head to the Suburban Square in Ardmore for one final gift for my mom — some face or body lotion from Crabtree and Evelyn. Shopping Centers are just as insane as a mall but packed into a smaller area. In the course of finding a parking spot, I nearly ran over some chick who gave me a withering glance, then almost got front ended by a woman who thought she was driving in England. This is what happens when you pack 40,000 people into a 3 block area.

Given the insanity of all the people and the cars, my plan is to just get the lotion (or it will get the hose!) and get out. Two things foil my plan. One – I had to park so far away, I needed to bring bottled water to survive the trip. And two – I am extremely lazy. So, when I cross the street and realize that there is a store that sells lotion, the choices I have are to either keep walking to Crabtree and Evelyn or just duck into this new store, Blue Mercury Spa, and hope they have something. Like I said, I’m extremely lazy. So of course I walk into Blue Mercury.

Let me tell you, there is nothing more confusing that walking into a store that sells beauty products. It’s like when the Gap used to move their merchandise around and you couldn’t figure out which side was mens and which side was womens. (I avoid the Gap altogether now instead of risking the embarrassment of walking over to the womens side and picking something up just to realize it’s not for men.) So after looking lost for a few minutes, I finally approach a cute girl and asked her if she worked there. (What? I’m going to approach an ugly girl? Mama didn’t raise no fool.) She said, “Sort of.” What? Sort Of? Is this like Sort Of pregnant? Anyway, I tell her I’m looking for some lotion for my mom. (Sweet huh? Yeah, I know.)

So, she asks me a few questions, to which I have no idea what the answers are, and she shows me this product. Look, I don’t have any idea what lotion is good, I just want to buy something that doesn’t smell like one of the girls LT used to send to opponents’ hotel rooms. And this product she shows me doesn’t. I’m sold. How much is it? $50! There’s like 2 ozs in there. My mom doesn’t want $50 lotion, she just wants the $20 bottle from Crabtree and Evelyn that is three times as big. But of course, this is the moment of truth right? This salesgirl is looking at me. She’s probably thinking about whether her boyfriend is gonna get her the jewelry she wanted or what she’s going to have for dinner tonight, but in my mind, she’s thinking “are you a cheap bastard?” Hey, if she weighed 2 1/2 bills, damn right I’m a cheap bastard. But of course, she’s cute so I nod my head and say, “ok”. The vibe I’m trying to give off is — money is no object and that I recognize quality. The vibe I’m actually giving off is that I’m a sucker and a mama’s boy. Understandably, she is not “digging my shit”.

Dear Reader, it gets even worse than buying a $50 dab of lotion my mom probably won’t even like. Do you know how The Shadow could cloud the minds of men? Cute salesgirls are like the Fing Shadow! Out of nowhere, because I’m an idiot with a clouded mind, I ask her about hair paste! Now, I blame my friend Mark for this. He introduced me to hair paste over the weekend. (No, we are not gay.) So because I’ve been meaning to buy some and this girl is very cute, I end up buying a $20 thing of Bumble and Bumble Sumotech hair paste. WTF? You don’t go out and buy hair paste! You send a female friend to get it for you so you don’t look like a metrosexual. I am now a sucker, a mama’s boy, and a woman! Here I am $70 lighter in the wallet and I high tail it out of there without even saying anything to the girl other than “thank you”. Chumpzilla.

So what is the moral of this story? BUY EVERYTHING ONLINE. There are no cute salesgirls to cloud your judgement. The automated checkout process doesn’t judge you if you decide to remove something from the cart, or simply not checkout at all. You don’t ever get suckered into buying a shirt that you will never wear because “it looks really great on you.” And you can always cancel the order. I’m buying everything online from now on.

Happy Holidays everyone. I gotta run out now and buy a six pack of bud light and some porno mags just to offset my hair care purchase.

By Vin

Vin is a Philly boy who shouldn't be invited into your house because he'll judge you on your book and music collection. He owns Dawkins, Utley, Iverson, and Lindros jerseys, which is all you really need to know about him. He can be reached at [email protected].

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