I went to Ladies' Night at Deseret Book on Saturday. I went early. I went alone. And I want never to do it again.
But I was on a mission: To buy a book at the 20% off special Ladies' Night price.
I should have gone earlier and forgotten about the 6:00-8:00pm only specials. I should have forgone the 20% and just sufficed with the advertised 15% off. But you know me and you know my family, and you know that we have to get the best deal or no deal at all.
Pride: it hurts sometimes.
My goal was to load up my basket, find enough product for my $10 off $50 coupon, take advantage of the 20% off deal, and be in line and at the cash register at 6:00 when the sale started.
If only it were so easy.
I walked into the store at about 5:40. The place was already abuzz with women, but nothing I couldn't handle. At the door I was handed a catalog brochure with the number 80 on it. I placed my name in the drawing, and went about my shopping.
David Osmond, the only Y chromosome in the vicinity, was singing at the rear of the store, middle-aged women swooning at his feet (seriously, they were eating his lame jokes up), and there was excited chatter all around me.
It took me a while to find $50 worth of worth-while merchandise. I'm a little picky about my books, and if I'm going to spend money, it better be good. I went from the clearance aisle to the children's, to the young adult, back to the clearance, to the inspirational, back to the young adult, back to clearance, to the middle readers, to the scripture marking stuff, back to clearance, back to young adult, to clearance once more, and I was ready for checkout.
Unfortunately, in my indecision I had failed to notice the enormity of the newly arrived customers. Here it was 6:08, and the store was packed. Women were everywhere, as were children, baby carriers, strollers, and scurrying workers. The aisles were masses of females swaying to Jessie Clark Funk, who had taken over for David at 6:00, once men were no longer welcome. The checkout line now wound down the center aisle to the back of the store and around the corner. Yikes.
I waded through the vast sea, again scanning the young adult section as I walked past (I grabbed a Robin McKinley on my way--love her!), and went to the very back of the line.
The line moved slowly. Jessie was singing some groovy Aretha Franklin medley, which made the wait slightly more tolerable, but as it was I was hungry, I was tired, and I was sweaty. Do you know how warm it gets in a 1000-square foot store when there are 250 women and children crammed into it? Hot, I tell you, and the air conditioning was not helping.
6:25 and my upper lip was beading. But relief is in sight: I can feel a stream of air from the a/c and I am five people from the front of the line. And just then I heard my name. Miraculously, I had won a drawing, a free book and Afterglow CD. Sweet! It made the sweat and time almost worth it. Almost. The ladies behind me were kind enough to hold my place as I went to claim my prize. I had to forge my way back to the back of the store, but this time it was as victor.
Back in line, I finally made it up to the register. I pulled my merchandise, my coupon, and my brochure (for a free door prize for being one of the first 100) out of my basket , and set it all on the counter. The girl rang up my purchases and gave me the total.
"$52.43", she says.
But that can't be right, I reply. I had done the math (another reason it took me so long to shop), and my total should have only come to $43 with all the discounts in the end. "Did you take off the coupon?"
She fiddled around for a minute and got the total down to $51.14. It was as low as it was going to go.
The women started crushing in. I could feel them breathing down my neck. I was taking too much time. I handed over my credit card.
Later as I looked at my receipt, it showed the 20% discount was invalid because of my other coupon offers, specifically the $10 off of $50. It took the coupon, but not the discount. I had planned on that 20%. In fact, that's the whole reason I had gone during Ladies' Night, otherwise I would have avoided it like the plague.
Pointless. I had fought a war of women for nothing.
In the end, I didn't feel too bad. I did come home with a free book, CD, and door prize.
But I also had sweaty hands and rings around my armpits.
Was it worth it?