Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Doing battle at the mall this holiday season

It seems to happen every year. I swear I won’t come within five miles of a shopping mall, then I spot something on sale that the lovely Miss Wendy and I have on our wish list and I’m off to do battle.

For months, now that I’m a man of leisure and flying off to hot spots around the world – Tel Aviv, New York, Phoenix, Nassau – I’ve been thinking it’s time to upgrade our carry-on luggage. I’ve glanced about a bit during shopping forays at the ubiquitous strip malls in this little corner of the world. But, alas, what I liked I couldn’t afford and what I could afford, well, I didn’t like.

That still seemed to be the case as the holidays have played out in recent weeks and then I spotted an advertisement in that paper that once paid the bills around here at Chateau Grebnief. Sears, of all places, was offering up a 21-inch American Tourister bag for, well, half its original list price.

I first checked out one of the chain’s stores in our neighborhood, but they had already sold out of the advertised model. That meant I needed to go to one of the mega-malls in striking distance around here, a trip I figured that was doable since it was the first of the week, people were back at work and only retired idiots would be out in the frigid weather in search of bargains.

Turns out there are lots of retired idiots in the ’burbs or lots of folks really wanting cheap luggage – maybe both! I battled my way through morning traffic, outmaneuvered a blue-haired yenta for the one remaining parking spot in sight, then pushed my way through the bargain hunters inside the mall.

Of course none of what I’ve just written is true. The mall was, in fact, empty – hey, the economy, despite news suggesting otherwise, is still in the crapper! I had no problem getting to the mall, finding a parking space or finding the luggage department at Sears.

No one else was about. I had the place to myself and spent the next half hour or so leisurely inspecting the dozens of styles Sears had on sale – Samsonite, Delsey, Ricardo, Jeep and Skyway. I even checked out Macy’s and Mori Luggage before deciding my first instinct, American Tourister, was just fine.

Mall madness I fear is in full swing once again – only two or three shopping days before Santa calls it quits. Unfortunately, I just glanced at the paper and spotted a sweater I’ve been coveting for weeks. It’s, ah, on sale now. Curses!

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