Last Sunday, July 1, was the last day of the mall-wide sale at the Power Plant Mall. I didn’t know there was a sale until we were in the area and there were all those street signs pointing to the sale. We weren’t even planning on driving all the way to Makati that day. We were supposed to watch Transformers at Shangri-La Plaza but, at 4.30 p.m., we couldn’t even manage to enter the car park. I don’t think the economic crisis applies to the weekend habits of the middle classes. Shopping malls are almost always full on weekends.
So, we drove to Makati. And there were those signs in bright, blazing red.
You know, I see figures like 70% off and something inside inside my head snaps. That little voice I so often ignore suddenly gets louder and louder and I can distinctly hear it say, “Go on… go on… you need new clothes and shoes.” And the rational side of me tries hard to prove it wrong but ends up saying, “Yeah, I’m working part time again and I gave away all my office clothes and shoes over a year ago…” You can just imagine that by the time we entered the mall, my hand was halfway inside my bag ready to pull out whichever credit card it touched first.
BUT the kids were whining that they were hungry so food had to come first.
Getting a table in a good restaurant at that hour was not easy (it would have been impossible had we arrived half an hour later). We wanted to eat at Mongkok but the waiting line was long. I suggested a Vietnamese restaurant but Sam complained. She needed her fast food fix. It’s a bi-monthly thing with her. She has to have her junk food twice a month. We managed to agree on Kenny Rogers. There’s a family joke about Kenny Rogers but that’s another story.
We were able to get a table at Kenny Rogers and I proceeded to the counter to order our food. While I queued up, Speedy went up to buy movie tickets.
After paying the bill, I went back to our table and sat down to wait for the food. Sam kept taking photos of anything and everything.
I was looking through the glass window and couldn’t help but notice that the red billboard outside was echoed by red banners inside the mall. SALE! SALE! SALE!
Shucks, they were taking forever to serve the food. I was itching to start shopping.
Speedy walked in, announcing that the only good tickets were for the last full show at 8.50. Good, I thought to myself, I had until closing time to shop.
After what seemed like forever, the food arrived. It wasn’t particularly good (related story) but I wasn’t going to fuss. I was looking forward to the shopping part and anything to fill the tummy was enough.
After everyone was done eating, I said I’d go to the rest room and would catch up with them. But I took my sweet time catching up with them. From the rest room, I went straight to Marks and Spencer and started inspecting everything. Two racks of clothes at 50% off. But they were either too small or too large.
Before I could enter another shop, my cell phone was making so much noise inside my bag. It was Sam asking where I was. They were in some shop waiting for me. Okay, okay… fine. It took me another fifteen minutes or so to find them. Looking inside shop windows while walking slowed me down considerably — what could I do?
When I finally found them, Speedy asked if we wanted coffee and dessert. Coffee sounded good. But, of course, I knew that the idea was to kill time. Speedy wasn’t too hot on entering shop after shop with two teenaged daughters — Sam, especially — who can’t seem to understand that credit cards do have a limit. Sam always has a ready answer whenever I tell her that my card is full. “Use the other ones,” she’d retort. So, waiting inside a coffee shop was a safe choice.
But I was listless and Speedy apparently noticed. He suggested that they go up to the movie house and wait for me at the entrance. That gave me another half an hour for lightning-speed shopping.
But it was the last day of the mall-wide sale. Everyone had been there before me and all the good stuff was gone. A few blouses and slacks I liked — in pure linen which I love so much — were all in the wrong colors. I don’t wear brown, for goodness’ sakes.
By the time my cell phone started making noises again, I had given up on shopping. I was disappointed, naturally, but it isn’t wise to buy just anything for the sake of buying because the next sale won’t happen in another couple of months. You know, the pangpa-lubag loob kind of purchases — things you feel sorry about as soon as you get home.
Whatever. Tomorrow is Sunday again and there are other places where I can buy great clothes and shoes at reasonable prices even if there is no sale.