Mary Beth popped out of bed the moment the alarm went off. This was the big day. All the stores would be open at six a.m. and the bargains would be the best of the year. She had her eye on a novelty purse that she had been wanting for a year. It was one hundred fifty dollars, but today she could get it for the bargain price of ninety dollars.
Normally, she would not buy anything that wasn’t at least half off but these purses rarely went on sale. She just had to get there and be one of the first people in line. They only had five at this price.
Driving to the store, she noticed how quiet the normally bustling streets were at four o’clock. Arriving two hours before the store opened should be early enough to guarantee that she would snatch this bargain of bargains.
‘Rats! Look at that line. What do these people do? Did they spend the night here?’ She parked the car and joined the line that wrapped around the store. ‘Well, surely they aren’t here to get the purse. The store does have great deals on electronics and most of these people look more like techies than fashion divas.’
The doors opened and the crowd rushed in. Mary Beth made a beeline for the accessories section. She could see the purse display, complete with … one purse. ‘What? They should have five! Hmmph. Maybe they have the rest behind the sales counter. Besides, one is all I need and I’m almost there. Oh yeah, it’s mine.’
Pushing her way past the mother with the stroller and the little old lady using a cane, she was almost to the display when she tripped on a small child having a hissy fit on the floor. ‘Who brings kids out this early in the morning?’
When she pulled herself up off the floor, she reached for the purse, but it wasn’t there. Frantically looking around she thought she must have just knocked it off the stand. ‘Where is that stinking purse?’ Then she saw it … on top of the stroller. The mother who had impeded her progress had somehow passed her up and snatched the one and only purse.
Mary Beth spotted a sales clerk. “Excuse me. Can you tell me where the other four purses like that one on the stroller are?”
“Isn’t that the most precious purse you’ve ever seen?”
“Yes.” She squinted her eyes and smirked. “That’s why I want to find – the – other – four – just – like – it.”
“Too bad.” The sales clerk flipped her head toward her raised left shoulder. “You won’t get them today. They were purchased with a credit card over the phone ten minutes before we opened. Someone the manager knows.”
“But I’ve got to have that purse. I’ve been watching for it to go on sale for a year!”
“Nothin’ you can do about it. They’re gone.”
Determined to get that purse and get it at a bargain, the diva headed home. The online auction site sometimes had novelty purses listed with a ‘get it now’ price.
“Okay. There you go. One purse at the ‘get it now’ price of … oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about … save me another twenty bucks! The store can keep their ninety dollar purse. I’m getting this one for a meager seventy.”
Mary Beth clicked the button and entered her purchasing information. “What do you mean my credit card number is invalid?” She verified the number and corrected the transposition she’d entered. “Okay. Here we go. This purse is all mine. Finally.”
We are sorry. This item is no longer available. The current quantity is zero. Please check back later.
“NO!” Pounding her fist on the computer desk, she noticed that her husband had slipped into the room. “I need that purse.” She explained to him all she’d been through that morning.
“What are you going to do about it? It’s gone.”
Frustrated, she realized that what everyone said was true. She didn’t have the purse and there was no use getting upset. There was nothing she could do about it. What good would it do to get worked up over something that just wasn’t available?
In the kitchen, while washing the breakfast dishes, she mused “A novelty purse would be nice but you can’t get back what is already gone. Maybe I need to find a sale on new shoes instead…”
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