Tips for Last Minute Holiday Shopping

There are only a few days left before Christmas, and perhaps you still have a few gifts to purchase (if not, keep that to yourself. It makes people mad. Instead say “almost there,” then sigh heavily. This prevents you from being socially shunned. You’re welcome.)

I find shopping akin to being force-fed live octopus, and I blame sales clerks. Not all of them — many salespeople are delightful. I’m referencing those who look at you like you’ve run over their cat when you say you are not, in fact, a member of their shopping program or continue to pester you after you’ve said “just browsing, thanks!” 

After years of experience, I’ve created a plan for diffusing the distinct methods of salespeople. Use these solutions and finish your shopping in peace.

The Teacher
This person drops from the ceiling like Cathy Rigby in Peter Pan to tell you about the special offers. Two t-shirts for $30, 20 percent off everything in the store, buy a pair of earrings, get a free live penguin. Never mind there are no less than 50,000 signs posted in the store outlining all the deals. She wants you to stand still for five minutes so she can recite them for you.
The solution: When shopping, wear a t-shirt that says “I can read. And add. I’ve got this.” Point to it when approached by Cathy’s stunt double, then flash the thumbs-up sign.

The Overachiever
This gal will ask you no less than 57 times if you need help. She will follow you around like she’s a puppy and you have pocket full of bacon.  No amount of discouraging body language short of shoving will keep her away. You are her new BFF, and she’s determined to stick with you.
The solution: Place a fake call on your cell phone to your fake infectious disease doctor, assuring him that of course you understand the oozing boils are very contagious, but you have them carefully constrained under your jacket. Throw out the words “airborne” and “malaria” and “fatal.” Enjoy the remainder of your peaceful shopping experience.

The Teen Flattery Machine
With her hot-off-the-press driver’s license, this gum-chewing teen has accepted her first job at the mall and aims to please. She squeals “that looks sooooooo CUTE on you!” and your immediate reaction is to check that your midriff and/or the top of your crack are not exposed.
The solution: Up the ante with your squealing noise, say “OMG!” multiple times, then ask for her name so you can send her a friend request on Facebook. You will not see her again. Ever.

The Snob
When you ask for a certain brand of jeans, this one says “we quit carrying those last year because no one was wearing them anymore.” She regards you as if you have dried vomit in your hair and are missing several teeth.
The solution: Engage her in conversation. Compliment her profusely and ask for fashion advice. Ask if you can take her picture so your daughter can emulate her hairstyle. Tell her to smile big! Then, just as you snap the picture, gag out loud, tell her she has something green and furry in her teeth, then run from the store top speed. 

Here’s to a season of peaceful shopping and much merriment while enjoying the spoils of our shopping. I must go, for I am only {insert heavy sigh} Almost Done Shopping.

Happy Holidays!

Amy M. Dawson is an Atlanta-based humor writer who does the vast majority of her shopping online and would never, ever eat octopus -- alive or dead . See more at

Photo via Archana on Pinterest


Anonymous said...

Love this one!! Had to forward it to everyone. I must have a sign on my forehead that says "I am gullible" or "pls attack me with all sales tactics."

Sonia Mehra said...

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