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Christmas Shopping Nightmare
by Jan Ross
12/17/07
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Two shopping days left until Christmas. The little designer shoe store window was beautifully decorated; the sign in the window caught Madeline’s attention.

Buy One
Get One Free


The smell of leather overpowered the seasonal scents of pine, cinnamon, and cranberries. A nice young man approached Madeline asking if he could assist her. After trying on a few different shoes, she chose her favorite.

Another display caught Madeline’s attention; she soon made another selection. Knowing how much she saved, she succumbed to temptation and selected a handbag which matched the first pair of shoes she chose. Two pair of leather gloves for gifts, and two pair of the cutest snow boots ever for her nieces, and Madeline was done. Not paying attention, Madeline smiled and handed her credit card to the clerk.

Ch-ching...sale complete.

With a spring in her step, she gathered her bags, walking out the door past the storefront once again. There was the sign—she smiled with delight thinking how much money she saved. There it was…a small note paperclipped to the sign:


Items Priced Separately
All Sales Final


She opened the folded receipt still clutched in her hand; her heart nearly failed—the total was $756.86. Each shoe, boot, and glove was indeed priced separately, not by pairs. All sales were final. And, there was her signature.

The dog began barking at the passing snowplow. Startled, Madeline woke up with the stack of sales ads still in her lap. She breathed a sigh of relief.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Gerald Shuler  19 Dec 2007
Is it possible? Could this story be used to teach men how women shop? That's something every man would treasure! I enjoyed this piece very much.
Tim Pickl 18 Dec 2007
The Christmas pricing nightmare! "Caveat emptor" - Let the buyer beware (or...be aware!) I wonder how much that store would sell paperclips for!?! :)
Verna Cole Mitchell  18 Dec 2007
What a clever idea for a story. This was fun.
Lucian Thompson 18 Dec 2007
Jan, Loved this article. Makes you really think. Oh, how many times have I signed those receipts without really looking them over. I don’t have PM any more so I will take this opportunity to thank you for your comments on my article, An open letter to the President of the United States God bless.
Karen Wilber 17 Dec 2007
Indeed, this is a nightmare! Funny story. Maybe Madeline will shop online from now on. ;-)
Teresa Hollums 17 Dec 2007
Definitely an experience no woman wants, but often has fears of having. Sales are often too misleading. this story certainly touches an empathy chord in me.
Janice Cartwright 17 Dec 2007
I felt your MC's alarm at her discovery of the sales note, and also her relief when she woke up to find it was only a dream. I really enjoyed this - it brought me right in - and thought you got a lot into the word limit.




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