Saturday, November 13, 2010

So You Want It To Be Perfect?

Ask any of my friends and they will tell you I can put together the perfect outfit or buy just the right gift for any occasion.. Most of my friends who need shopping advice or assistance come to me for guidance. More often than not at the end of the shopping trip we come away successful. This knack for shopping makes me very popular when someone needs that perfect outfit for the special occasion or a unique gift for a certain someone. After years of doing this I have become to be considered somewhat of a shopping authority among my friends.

Before we embark on our shopping expeditions I lay down certain ground rules. If we follow these our chances of success increase exponentially. The more we deviate from the system I lay out, the chance of failure goes up greatly.

First you must allot enough time to complete the mission. If you only have one hour we will not be successful. This will be a trip that will entail at least a half a dozen stores and possibly more than one city. We may start in Bangor and end in Portland, so being well rested and not in a bad mood are prerequisites or the trip is off.

Once we start you must buy the centerpiece object first. If it is an outfit we are looking for, the clothing portion must come first. We will buy accessories, shoes; whatever else you may want only after we have in our possession the main attire. I have been with those who fall in love with a necklace or a pair of shoes and buy them first, only to spend hours searching for the outfit to compliment them. It is much more difficult to dress the accessory than accessorize the outfit. If it is a gift the main present must be bought first. There is nothing more frustrating than buying an optional extra and then not being able to find the central gift to go with it.

Next, you will spend time with the item before you purchase it. If it is clothing, you will try it on; you will walk in it and sit in it. Holding it up in front of you will not work, nor will just putting it on and standing in front of a mirror. You have to spend some time in it to see how it moves with you. If it is uncomfortable or horribly wrinkled after 10 minutes, then spending an evening in it is probably not going to work. If it is a gift we will take it out of the box or have the salesperson give us a demonstration. If it is difficult to figure out the assembly or operating directions then it may need to be reconsidered as the gift.

After the main purchase is made, we will take a break. We may do lunch, dinner, or drinks depending on the time of day. This is a mandatory break, because the sensory overload the stores have put us in need of time to calm down. After we have sat for at least 45 minutes we can continue on with the undertaking.

This is the point where you need to be prepared to back track. Odds are we have already seen the perfect pair of shoes for the dress you have or the exact game accessory for that Wii. Or we may have to explore a whole new myriad of stores to finish the assignment.

Shopping for the perfect item is not an easy task. But if you come with me and play by my rules I can guarantee you, we will end the day with exactly what you are looking for.

1 comment:

  1. You work under a handicap here. Instead of describing a particular shopping expedition and letting your expertise show itself as one situation after another arises, you do it the other way around. You give us all the expertise with the shopping expedition hypothetical and generic.

    Compare my piece on walking in England. I take the reader to a particular place and work the expertise in unobtrusively as the expedition proceeds.

    I think my approach is the better approach, but we're in a gray area of personal taste and opinion here, and I'm certainly not asking for a rewrite because you've done what you set out to do in a perfectly fine way.