Braving the Holiday Shopping Madness

I wasn’t planning on going to the department store during the holidays.

It just happened that I needed a couple of things and I had a free day, so I went. The problem was, while I didn’t know that every store was having massive pre-holiday sales, apparently the whole rest of the world did. 

My first indication may have been the fact that there was absolutely no parking, which forced me to park so far away that I practically needed a cab to get back to the store. This may have actually come in handy because it was pouring soaked cats and wet dogs outside …which is pretty much what I looked like by the time I got to the front door.

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Once inside, I had to wind my way through racks and racks of sale clothing in sizes that no one wanted, colors that didn’t look good on anybody, and styles that made everyone look fat. Yet one would think that these were the world’s most desirable designer duds for all the attention they were getting from the shoppers. As Muzak versions of holiday tunes blasted on a loop through the store, women frantically scoured the racks as though they were the last articles of clothing left on Earth. Personally, I would rather go naked than wear an electric pink miniskirt tutu-thing that is three sizes too small. But apparently tiny, fuchsia-hued, butt-skimming tulle is in and all the rage among the over-40 set because these were flying off the racks at 50 percent off.

If I were a sensible person, or a man, I would have turned around and fled out the door. But since I really only had this one afternoon free, I decided to brave the throngs and forge ahead.

I pushed my way past the women in the clothing department who were in the throes of a discount fashion frenzy; past the women in the shoe department who were limping around in a single, sky-high heel trying to find the other shoe in the pair; and past the women in the handbag department who were playing tug of war over holiday hobos and satchels. Once free of the shoppers, I had to dodge salespeople spraying samples of cloying holiday-themed perfume so I didn’t asphyxiate on Eau de Egg Nog before I reached my destination - the lingerie department.

I quickly determined that the women in the clothing, shoe and handbag departments must have started their shopping sprees in lingerie, because the place looked like the aftermath of a fraternity party with bras hanging askew from the racks, panties scrunched up on the floor, and other assorted undergarments turned inside out and abandoned in a heap.

Daintily, I stepped over the lingerie carnage and went to work trying to find a particular bra in my size. After about 10 minutes of this, I further determined that all the women who had been there before me must have had the same bra size as me because the place was utterly picked clean.

I finally tracked down an extremely tired looking sales lady and asked her if she could help me find what I needed. She disappeared into the stock room for another 10 minutes and finally emerged holding one lone bra.

It was fuchsia.

Tracy’s books, “Rebel without a Minivan” and “Lost in Suburbia: a Momoir,” make wonderful holiday gifts! Check them out at

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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