Tuesday, November 14, 2006


The big department stores must be hurting for business. That, or they are gearing up for what they believe will be a fiercely competitive holiday shopping season.

The first clue was a little over a month ago, when She Who Must Be Obeyed and I visited the local Shopping Mall. Now, normally, mall-hopping is not a pleasant experience for us Members of the Masculine Gender, and so therefore I try to avoid it whenever possible. However, Perimeter Mall – one of the local Shopping Megaplexes – has created some mitigating circumstances: namely, the presence an Apple store. Coupled with the siren lure of the Godiva and Lindt chocolate shops, there is almost a magnetic attraction for the Blogging Dufus. With this in mind, I will actually permit myself to be dragged along on one of SWMBO’s expeditions.

It turns out that Dillard’s – one of the Anchor Stores at Perimeter – was having a men’s clothing sale that I can only characterize as desperate. Perfectly wearable stuff was slashed 70%...with additional discounts taken at the register. Nice sport shirts, the type I wear for almost all knockabout purposes, were going for a mere sawbuck. And good-quality suits, the kind you normally will drop close to seven bills on, were going for less than $150.

Holy. Crap.

We loaded up with a pile of miscellaneous stuff and departed happily. So far, nothing too far out of the ordinary. All we had seen simply evinced a competitive spirit on the part of Dillard’s. Highly competitive. But the next time we hied ourselves over to Perimeter, things began to get surreal.

The Missus was in need of New Clothing. Not so much because of the normal seasonal fashionista-diktats, but because she had almost nothing that fit, owing to the substantial weight loss that followed her jaw surgery this summer. Last fall’s clothes hung loosely from her frame, and so new duds were in order.

In our search for attractive new clothing, we set foot in Bloomingdale’s for the first time in years. Lo and behold, SWMBO actually found some reasonably-priced items that fit her perfectly. We went to check out.

Our cashier was an attractive, extremely helpful young lady who convinced us to open a Bloomingdale’s charge account – as if we needed Yet Another Credit Account. But there was a substantial discount as incentive, and so we went ahead. So far, nothing unusual.

A few days later, we received a card in the mail from our helpful young lady, thanking us for our business. This, in and of itself, was a nice touch. Hmmm, thinks I, this must be a highly professional and customer-oriented Up-and-Coming Business Person!

That’s when I saw the poem. In addition to the card, the cashier had written a four-stanza poem inspired by our new Business Relationship. A bit beyond the call of duty, but...mmmmkay.

Three days later, a longer poem showed up – twelve pages of dactylic hexameter in blank – accompanied by a pair of gold cufflinks (for me) and a Prada bag (for SWMBO). The card read, “Thanks for being my special customers! XOXOXO!!”


A couple of days ago, the UPS guy shows up with a case of Scotch (15-year-old Balvenie single malt, if you must know) and a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes. This is about when I started getting a wee bit concerned.

Worried that all this crap was going to end up on our new Bloomie’s charge, I called the store. No, they said – Miss Y___ just wanted to thank her very special customers.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I think it smacks a little of desperation, and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. And SWMBO says that if Cashier Lady shows up at the house looking for a three-way, she’ll get a clout upside of her head.

“Don’t be hasty,” I told her. What’s wrong with a little Thanks In Kind for our stimulating the local economy?

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