How I Saved Money When Christmas Shopping at the Mall

There’s a Christmas party happening tomorrow night, YAY!

Despite the fact that I can’t see the floor in my closet, I have nothing to wear. I started shopping online days ago, and found the dress I wanted, a sexy red number that will accentuate all the right parts and diminish all the others.

I go on my computer, through all the dialup rigamarole, only to find it on backorder through the 16th.

I decide that since I am going to Ann Arbor anyway, I will go to the mall and look for a dress. No back orders. No dialup.

I walk around the mall. Christmas lights twinkle everywhere. Store fronts are littered with huge signs that say, “SALE” and “SAVE”. Every store has dresses, but there isn’t anything that is the right color, the right size or the right price.

Finally, I find the Dress. It is black, the universally slimming, safe color. It is sparkly and festive. It’s 25% off! It is by Calvin Klein. I can’t afford it, but it’s Christmas so I try it on anyway. Maybe it will be lumpy and make me look fat.

I squirm into it. Of course, it is perfect. I look like a movie star. Okay, maybe just an extra. But this is the dress.

I put it back on the rack. I walk around the mall some more in hopes that I will find another dress that’s half that price. Maybe a green one! Green is my favorite color, after all, and I already have the shoes.

The search leads me past Godiva Chocolates several times. The scent of chocolate milky delicacies wafts out at me. I am thinking, if I have to pass this one more time, I am going to go in and reward myself for my frugal and tenacious efforts.

But then, I go outside and get in the car and drive to Dress Barn, where I am greeted by an enthusiastic salesperson. She says all the party dresses are in the front. I go and look at them. There are no green dresses, but my head is now swimming with images of the Black Calvin Klein. The way it’s cut. The fit. The sparkles.

Oh, hell. It’s Christmas. I go back to the mall and apply for a credit card and save 15% more on the dress.

Amount saved on dress: 40%.
Amount saved on potential gasoline to further search: Approx. $36.49.
Amount saved on Godiva chocolates: Approx. $9.00.

Now I need shoes.


About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
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