By Monte Lazarus
‘Tis the most joyous time of year in our household. The decorations are stowed away, the tree is down, Christmas and New Year’s have passed by without mishap, and most important the MONSTER SALES HAVE BEGUN! There is sheer rejoicing at home. I am fortunate to share my life with the Consummate Professional Shopper (henceforth known as “CPS” or “Wife”). Her ears are up like a thoroughbred racehorse ready to get to the post; she can sense an incipient sale within a radius of 250 miles. She has what is known in psychological circles as ESP (Extra Sales Perception).
Local news, business matters, world news – even her beloved football – have been relegated to the rear because post-holiday sales are all-consuming. The other night she had a vision of a forthcoming sale and her resulting shriek of happiness awakened even our stuffed animals. It’s a marvel to behold her in action. Her talent is matched only by her determination to be a shopping wizard. CPS is able, in the words of Gene Rodenberry, “to go where no one has gone before” in search of a spectacular sale. (For curious trivia buffs, please note that Rodenberry originally wrote “where no man…” but it was changed in later Star Trek episodes to “no one” apparently, finally, in order to recognize the proper role of women!).
Every evening CPS pores over the ads, seeking out that very special sale that will fill the larder for next year’s holiday season. This is the first time that we have revealed a deep secret: CPS has saved many thousands of dollars by getting next Christmas gifts 11 months in advance!
We are soon approaching mid-January, 2012. Our Christmas shopping for most of the family is already about 94.63% done. The remainder is for the little kids who grow at unpredictable rates, so their clothing gifts must wait a bit. Gifts for friends also must wait a little, since CPS would not agree to anything that could be out of fashion by Christmas, 2012.
CPS has the uncanny ability to know how much is saved, down to three decimal points. Just the other night she sensed a sale at Coastland Mall, where she is on a first name basis with all salespeople at the major department stores. We raced to the car, sped to Coastland on automatic pilot, and zeroed in on the evening’s great bargains. Success! CPS spent a pittance for hundreds of dollars for prime stuff for our relatives. With the money saved we have been able to afford to pay for one vacation trip every year. To CPS and Wife my eternal gratitude for her skill, daring and resolve. I really enjoy that vacation…
There is only one minor drawback. Our guest bedroom is now known as the “Giftwrap Room” since it is loaded with gifts and wrappings for next Christmas. However, even that apparent drawback has an immense benefit: there’s no longer room for pesky relatives who are desperately trying to escape the wintry blasts of the northern climes!