Dog Days of Summer

I live for discount shopping. This past week on Cape Cod, I went to Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx (no Christmas Tree Shop stops on this particular trip – this might be the first summer ever that I have not gone to the beloved Christmas Tree Shop. For the uninitiated, these shops are the epitome of value shopping and the big ticket items will run you about $9.99 and that’s for a drink set, including an immigrant with all his working papers who will wash your acrylic cups and matching drink pitcher every five minutes for the rest of time). To give you a sense of where I get this affinity for discount shopping, my mother said to me while we were shopping at T.J. Maxx, “You should pick up some Christmas presents while stuff is on sale”. In August.

I tend to feel that I find MY PEOPLE when I’m shopping amidst slashed prices, deep discounts and things that nearly-but-didn’t-quite catch fire but were shipped off so that MY PEOPLE could provide a loving home for them. MY PEOPLE are the ones who head right for the back of the store to find things on clearance, the ones who think the correct response to a fashion compliment is not “Thank you”, but disclosure of the price we paid for it (“Oh, this? SEVEN dollars.”) My people go to Williams-Sonoma and Anthropologie and get IDEAS. Then we go to flea markets and buy the same stuff for a fraction of the price.

I was shopping this weekend, again on Cape Cod but NOT at any of my beloved discounters. I was at the Pottery Barn. MY PEOPLE were not at the Pottery Barn, if they had been witnesses to the following scene, we would have erupted together in a chorus of laughter, a superior, thrift-filled laughter, which is the best medicine because it is free, unlike prescriptions which have ginormous $10 co-pays. Two women entered, pushing a dog inside what looked like a miniature playpen on wheels. Already, I hate these women and their dog-pushing contraption. Enter a Pottery Farmhand.

“Wow! You are making your dog look like an A-hole!”

Is what I wish she said.

Instead she said “Wow! I have never seen one of those [doggy-playpen-contraptions] before!”

Human A-hole: “It’s because the dog CAN’T WALK. Isn’t that right, Persephone?” Wow, now who’s the a-hole? ME. Here I am judging these women and their burden of a cripple-dog who really deserves compassion because injured animals should never be a punchline. But when the dog is named for a Greek mythological figure that I wrote a paper on in 9th grade who happens to be the Queen of Hades, it’s kind of a punchline.

Pottery Farmhand: “Oh, gosh! I am so sorry!” Because even if you are an innocent bystander, you feel sad for a dog in this situation – unable to run away from it’s owner and all.

Human A-hole’s friend: “Oh, no, it’s not that the dog can’t walk, it’s that she doesn’t like to walk.” That’s where the bile actually came out, all over the $6.99 (on sale! $6.99 is hardly a sale) reusable drinking straws I was not seriously considering buying. I would like to remind you all that last time I came back from a trip to the Cape, I mentioned my favorite punny, rich boat name “Mutual Fun”, which is docked near where I go canoeing. It’s amazing. Who ARE these people with their money-filled boat names and their lazy dogs? One thing was for sure, they were not MY PEOPLE.

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  • Comments (1)
    • Raznatch
    • August 22nd, 2006

    “Dont you juuuuuuuust looooooove a bargain!?”

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