Today began the true Christmas Shopping Offensive for your humble author. Sure, I’ve got a few things stashed away already, but today is when the fun started for real. Between the life that takes up my time (and occasionally delays a blog post by twelve hours or so) and the way my paychecks and bills have fallen this month, this weekend – defined for my purposes as RIGHT NOW through Sunday night – is going to both begin and (hopefully) end my 2012 FESTIVAL OF SAVINGS, to steal a phrase from one of the 9,208 new emails that has cluttered up my inbox since I last flushed it, oh, about an hour or so ago.
Having spent so many holiday seasons on the employees-only side of the retail counter, going through the endless parade of e-advertising has become something of a pastime for me. If nothing else, spending a handful of ho-ho-holidays employed by a retailer will set you up with an entirely new dictionary: bottom-line to English, as it were. For those of you (un-) fortunate enough to not have this sort of experience to lean on, allow me to translate some of the more common templates for you:
XX PERCENT OFF COUPON! In this case, the nature of the devil is in the details, and the desperation level correlates to the percentage offered. Under twenty percent, it’s mostly a matter of well, everyone else has coupons so we need to have one, too. In the twenty-to-thirty range, it’s more we’re not absolutely empty, but some more foot traffic would be helpful. More than thirty, and it’s Christ, we’re shitting bricks hoping Santa doesn’t bring us a nice, fat Chapter Eleven…now get your sorry, un-spending ass into our store! Perennial exception: Bed, Bath & Beyond, who pretty much laugh at you if you don’t show up with a wad of expired coupons, no matter the season.
GREAT GIFT IDEAS FOR HIM/HER! Do you know your significant other so poorly that you need a mass email to suggest a potential Christmas gift for them? Well, then
pretty much over...wait, I mean no it’s not!
Dazzle them with these excellent, generic, gender-stereotyped things
they’re sure to love return. Then break
up with them right after New Year’s…and be sure to find someone new to buy the
exact same crap for by Valentine’s Day!
GREAT PICKS JUST FOR YOU! And you alone! No one else got this exact same email, we swear! That’s why you should shop with us: we know you, not like those other guys who just want your money. Fuck Macy’s!
BUY 2, GET 1 FREE! Because there’s no way you’d ever buy more than one (if that) of these pieces of crap otherwise. Our buyer is a dolt. Enjoy!
MAKE SURE TO GIVE YOURSELF A GIFT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! Because the spirit of giving is for suckers, especially at the holidays! Also, buy more crap!
THE LOWEST PRICES OF THE SEASON! Legally mandated to be the truth at the time the advertising is published, although you’ll also notice that they make no guarantees about what next week’s prices might be, should sales be insufficiently brisk.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE FOR FREE SHIPPING! Spend now, lemmings!
IT’S NOT TOO LATE FOR STANDARD SHIPPING! Spend MORE now, lemmings!
IT’S NOT TOO LATE FOR EXPRESS SHIPPING! You lemmings thought you were done spending? Stupid lemmings!
IT’S NOT TOO LATE FOR HUMANITY! The Mayans once disagreed, although they’ve become considerably scarcer since making that prediction.