Sunday, November 23, 2014


With the holiday season and the infamous black Friday shopping day almost upon us,  I am publishing a piece written several years before "Biker Chick Gone Crazy" was established.   While I took some creative liberties, the story is true.  



     When I saw the sign posted in the upscale store window, I put on the brakes and stopped to take a look at the colorful poster that read:  Shoe and handbag sale 30-50% off.   

     As I walked through the front door, a well-dressed woman greeted me with a big smile, as her eyes took in my casual style. Based on my attire -- flip flops, rolled up khaki pants, and a well-worn tee -- I'm sure she thought I was in the wrong store.  

     I wandered over to the designer shoes on sale: Manolo Blanik, Taryn Rose, Donald Pliner, Stuart Weitzman, and more.  Some were clunky, chunky, and others so pointy you could use them as a weapon, if you had to.  Other leather shoes were embellished with Swarovski crystals, classic grosgrain bows, and dressy metallic trim with varying heel heights, from stubby to spiked.   I didn't see any designer flip flops, but something else caught my eye -- a pair of  hot pink, suede-quilted ballerina flats.  "Hey you," one of the pink shoes called out to me from the rack marked size eight.   
"Who me?" I responded, turning to see where the tiny voice came from. 
"Yes, you, pretty lady.  You in the flip-flops.  Over here.  Try us pinkies on for size.  We’re cute, versatile and we'll take you everywhere."   

 They were definitely cute and the right size, but I questioned their versatility.  I turned over one of the shoes and looked at the price sticker.   Awfully expensive, I thought,  but I tried them on anyway.   My foot slipped into the pink flats for a perfect fit, but even on sale, the pinkies were still more than I wanted to pay.

A hot-looking salesman dressed in an Armani-like suit walked over to me and said,   "If you like the pink, quilted-suede ballerina flats, there’s a matching bag on sale as well."    I stared at the gorgeous hot pink quilted purse hanging from his arm and thought  How sharp.  My quick answer was something like, Oh, thank you, but I'm not the matching bag and shoe type.   I said this because it was Mister Armani's  job to sell two expensive accessories to someone who didn't need them.   Need?  I questioned.    Remember Anne Hathaway who was Meryl Streep's glamorous secretary in the film "The Devil Wears Prada? "  She looked stunning in every designer outfit that she probably didn’t need either.   I did some quick calculations in my head, and then reluctantly placed the pinkies back on the rack.   They glared back at me.  The matching pink bag scowled too.

     I avoided eye contact with Mister Armani, but his subliminal message was sinking in.   You want the hot pink shoes and matching handbag.   They are a good deal.  You know how much you want them.   

     "No, I’m not buying today,"  I said.  "Just looking."   Mister Armani was no rookie.  He was a graduate of the Dale Carnegie School of Slick Sales.   He had taken special courses in how to respond to a Thanks- I- don’t-need-them-I’m- just-looking customer. There are advanced techniques used to persuade fickle women like me to make a purchase regardless of need.  Using highly-honed skills in neurolinguistic programming, he turned up his receiving antenna and picked up my unconscious signal that said catch me if you can.   

     I abandoned the shoe racks and wandered over to a table piled high with gorgeous bags, also on sale.  My fingers slowly caressed the textures of these beautiful accessories – the fine grain of creamy leathers, supple and fuzzy fibers of suede, and the smooth, shiny metals like silver and gold.   Suddenly my hand touched something that felt exquisite.  Was it suede? Was it fur?  Was it real?   It was a Salvatore Ferragamo satchel with a stunning design of black and brown wavy stripes of soft camel and zebra hair.  The bag was trimmed in black suede and had a refined look.  Inside there was a rich, creamy silk lining that screamed EXPENSIVE!   I slid the bag over my shoulder and tucked it comfortably under my arm.    

     "Oh, I love this bag," I cried out, but when I saw the gleam in Mister Armani's eye, I quickly covered my mouth with my hand and thought  Bad girl, bad girl, bad girl.  
 Then I looked at the price tag.  Originally this bag cost $1100, but was on sale for $750.   Not in this remaining life time, I thought.  Besides I’m retired now and don’t have a need for such a dressy bag, I quickly put the purse down, but before I could walk away,  Mister Armani rushed over to the table and met me face-to-face.

      "A remarkable purse at a great price, don’t you think?" he said.
     "Well, that might seem like a good price to you,"  I said, "but I can't afford a $750 handbag."
     "$750, huh?"  he responded.   He turned over the tag and looked at the price.  
 Then he leaned closer to me and whispered,  "I’ll let you in on a little secret – just between you and me.   Beginning tomorrow, all the purses on this table and the shoes on those racks will be reduced  70%,  as our summer sale only lasts another four days."
     "70% off?" I asked.  "O.K., then how much will this bag cost?" 
      "About $300," he boasted. 

     "$300 for an  $1100 purse?" I questioned again. 
      "Yes," he said.  
I looked over at the pinkies and the matching bag.  Their glare had vanished.  Now they were smiling and winking at me, as if to say, "please, please take us home." 
       "And those?" I asked. 
        "Yes, the hot pink suede quilted ballerina flats will be 70% off too."   

    I ran the new numbers in my head.   I slipped the pinkies on one more time and swung the matching purse over my shoulder to see how they looked.  I felt glamorous even though I was not wearing the appropriate clothes.  Although I'm not the matching shoes and purse type,  I was tempted.
    I reached for the elegant Ferragamo bag, turned it over a couple of times and unzipped the main pocket.   I removed all the bulky paper stuffed inside and replaced it with my wallet,  cell phone,  and sunglasses.  Everything fit with room to spare.   

     Mister Armani had cast the bait, and I was hooked.    He had me in his line of sight as soon as I walked in the door.  He hoped I’d be driven by price and buy something on impulse.   He was right.  I’m a sucker for good deals – shoes, purses, Persian rugs, whatever.  Even the black flip-flops were a deal. It doesn’t matter whether there’s a need or not.  I handed him the Ferragamo bag and asked,    "Will you take plastic and hold everything until tomorrow?"  
He replied with a wink,  "My pleasure,"  he said, knowing we were both winners in this deal.  He arranged the smiling pinkies in a shoe box,  packed the two elegant purses in cloth covers and put them in a bag with a "Hold for Perkins" tag stapled on the front. 

      "I’ll be back tomorrow when the sale begins," I said.    As I walked out the door, I patted myself on the back and thought wow, what a good deal.  


N. B.  I wore the pink ballerina flats only once because I rarely wear pink.   The matching purse is still in my closet.   The Ferragamo purse was too dressy for my casual lifestyle, so I gave it to my step daughter, who loves it.   This is a perfect example of buying purely on impulse because the shoes and purses were a good deal.   But only a good deal if I wore them.   When I dropped off the pink ballerina flats at a second-hand store,  I thought I could hear them cursing.   Here is a picture of the pink quilted purse in case someone is interested.