Thursday, October 19, 2006

You Talkin' to Me?

Pssst! You wanna go shopping with Pearl? She'll show you how to shop for bargains, how to buy and return merchandise if family members don't like it, and how to just be a shopping diva.

Truth is, I'm NOT a shopping diva; I'm not a diva and I don't like shopping. But I do like bargains and grabbing some great finds.

I don't care to shop for myself and find it easier to shop for others, usually going to a store looking for a particular item for someone and buying up items I don't need but that might come in handy.

Although I don't care to shop, I do like the thrill of perhaps hearing THE VOICE.

"The Voice?" you ask. "Are you hearing things, Pearl?"

No, I'm not hearing things, I don't have imaginary friends, and no 6-foot-tall white rabbit named Harvey has taken up residence in my life.

"Phew," you say. "You had me worried there for a minute. I thought that perhaps because you go to bed so late 'cause you're on the computer, you don't get enough sleep, and the result is that you're hearing voices."

But yes, I'm sometimes driven by the Voice.

This is the voice that, in Jerusalem, said to me many years ago, "Hey, habibi, you like me? You have Canadian or American dollars to spend on me?"

A pair of dangling earrings with coral pieces was speaking to me. How did those earrings know that my cousin had just given me a coral necklace to keep? It would be a perfect match -- one made in Jerusalem. But I wasn't wearing the necklace right then! But I figured that Israelis are forward and make assumptions, and this pair of coral earrings was no different!

And then there was that time in Miami, when I was browsing. Simply browsing in the ladies' section of the department store I was in. I heard a "Psst" and looked over to a rack, where a gorgeous, multicolored cotten-woven sweater was waving me over.

"Hey, lady. You want to have a multicolored sweater such as myself in your wardrobe? You'll really light up a room when you walk in, and the bold and bright colors will make you feel good. Happy, happy, happy. That's what I, as a representative of the Liz Claiborne industry believe anyhow."

How could I resist? Guess I'm a pushover for a pullover!

Not too long ago I was browsing in ladies' wear and heard my name. This time it was a beautiful, black cashmere wool skirt, with assymetrical embroidered hems, doing the calling. I approached, then slowly backed away. Beautiful, yes, but pricey too.

I circled the area some more and felt myself being called back. "Try me, try might like me."

Now I don't just hear the Voice, I talk back, too! "I do like you. That's the problem. I like you too much, but I don't like your price tag."

"But I'm on sale. And I'm your size. And I'm the only skirt like this left. Isn't it destiny that we should be together?"

What could I do, but listen to these smooth-talking skirt? I tried it on, twirling in front of the three way mirror in the change room, and loving how the bottom flared out. I knew this skirt was a show-stopper, and I just had to have it.

The Voice had won me over again.

Last night, the Voice beckoned me again, as I was rushing through a Sears store. This time it was a wine caddy doing the talking.

"You know you want me. I'm just the right price, marked down twice. I'll fulfill all your needs -- um, all your bottles' needs. I'll help keep your dining room clean of bottles on the floor in the corner, and I am rather eye-appealing, don't you think?"

I walked away, managed to go a few short steps, then turned back to the Voice. He was still talking. "Look, take me home, let your husband check me out too. If you don't like me, you can always return me."

Now the Voice had a point. I guess he knew me well. I am notorious for buying and returning merchandise after second thoughts.

"Deal or no deal?"

I shouted, "Okay, okay. But if I change my mind or my husband doesn't want you, you get sent back...understood?"

The Voice said, "I don't think you'll send me back. I'm gonna wine and dine you!"

Well, I got home with the box, and lo and behold, the Voice hadn't been that upfront with me. He never said that he had to be assembled...and with lousy instructions, too.

Soon my voice, and my husband's voice could be heard: "What kind of ****** directions are these!? Where the **** does this piece go, and this piece?"

The Voice was chuckling and said, "Oh, stop WHINING. The frustration will pass, but the beauty will remain..."


So I guess the point of telling you about the Voice is to remind you that shopping can be quite an experience. You browse and suddenly you're being summoned by something or other. When I get comments or compliments about a purchase, I often tell the person, "It spoke to me, " or "It called out my name."
Sometimes you've just got to listen to that voice...

Especially when it drowns out your own!