|It's mine! I saw it first!|
We didn't go unprepared, we had a plan. Or so we thought.
We'd checked out the shops on the 5th, the day before the Three Kings' Day, which is the big gift-giving day over here. The stores were eerily quiet. Shouldn't they be filled with last minute shoppers? Was everyone so organized that they'd finished all their shopping days before? In the land of improvisation that is Spain, that hardly seemed possible, but hey, you never know, it could happen. Whatever the reason, we had the shops to ourselves. Catgirl staked out a sweatshirt in Bershka, which is a favorite teenybopper haven here in Spain, and a miniskirt in Pimkie.
So, she knew exactly what she wanted, and was ready for the sales.
On the 7th, I woke up the kids early with the war cry of, "Shopping!" I was secretly hoping they wouldn't get up and then I'd be off the hook. No such luck. Catgirl, who is usually Miss Sleep-Until-Lunchtime-or-Even-Later-if-You'll-Let-Me, was up in a flash. It's amazing just how effective dangling the promise of new clothes in front of her can be. Ro, on other hand, decided she was staying in bed, and that inheriting Catgirl's stuff would be fine with her.
So Catgirl, Princess V and I set off to conquer the shops. When we got to the shopping mall, I was absolutely mortified. I knew it would be bad, but this I wasn't prepared for. I swear that every single able-bodied person in Pamplona was there...except for Ro, who was smart enough to stay in bed, and Jesús, who was very happy that he had to go to work that day. Now I finally understood the quietness of the 5th. It's not that everyone had bought their presents ahead of time, they had just been waiting to get them all at the sales. Euro cent pinching little buggers! I wonder just how many people opened their gifts on the 6th to find a coupon saying, "Good for one (fill in the blank)", or an envelope with money to spend at the sales.
I was on verge of turning around and hightailing it out of there as fast as my legs could take me. But Catgirl reminded me that I'd promised. Damn! Now why did I ever do that?
We went to Pimkie first. The line to pay snaked through the store, very nearly reaching the entrance. Catgirl found her skirt, and managed to elbow her way over to the dressing room. Princess V, who is every bit as much of a fashion victim as her sister, decided to try on a t-shirt. Sure it was three sizes too large, but she said she'd wear it off the shoulder with a top underneath....and please, please, pretty please, wouldn't I buy it for her. The Flashdance look lives on, even though these kids have never even heard of that film. Who would have thought...well, as long as they don't start taking their bras off through their sleeves like Jennifer Beals did in the film, I'm good.
I left Catgirl in the line to pay, and took Princess V to Zara, where they actually have clothes in her size. We checked back with Catgirl after about half an hour and she was only halfway to the checkout counter, so we went out to a few more kids' stores. It ended up taking her nearly forty-five minutes to finally be able to pay. When she finished, she found me standing in another line with Princess V. So I told her she should head on over to Bershka to get that sweatshirt she had her eye on, but she said she wasn't going to wait in any more lines like the one she'd just been in, and that she would just pass on it. For Catgirl to pass on new clothes, things have to be very bad. The truth is, Bershka was so full you could barely even get inside the store, let alone hope to come out of it in one piece.
We decided to do C&A, where things were just a little quieter...and once we were done there, we gave up and went home.
I told Jesús about all the "fun" he'd missed out on....and he just laughed.
Who knows, I might have even made the evening news. There's Something Rotten in the City of Pamplona, Woman Bearing Cheese Singlehandedly Foils Sales.
And after that experience, I have made my New Year's resolution, which is a big deal since I never make New Year's Resolutions. And this is it: I will never ever again go shopping on the first day of sales.
Cross my heart and hope not to curse,
Stick a stinky cheese in my purse!