We all hear good stories about Christmas and shopping don't we? one of the best I heard was from a woman who works in a jewellers where I live. The story she told me made me laugh - but only because of her actions and not the customer's.
Each year, she sees so many men come in buying presents for wives, girlfriends and mistresses - especially at Christmas. She says some are very good at coming in alone and buying what they think appropriate and these men usually choose well and, as regular customers over the years, she knows their wives or girlfriends have been delighted with the choices made.
Then there are those who come in the door being dragged with feet skidding as they try to get a grip on the ground outside to stop their entry. The woman doing the dragging is either unaware or so determined to get what she has set her heart on she pretends not to notice his lack of interest and the way he is clutching at the outside of the door trying hard to prevent entry into his worst nightmare like a man gasping for his last breath.
Sometimes, though very rarely, it is the other way around. She says not all women want jewellery and feel very uncomfortable being told to try on things that don't suit them or they just very obviously don't want. The men seem completely oblivious and believe themselves to be doing exactly what the love of their life wants and carry on forcing things on them until a purchase is made. He skips out of the shop all pleased with himself, while the poor woman trudges behind looking like he's just bought her the worst present in the world. To her, he probably has.
My favourite story though, is the one about the man who came into her shop each year a few weeks before Christmas with his mistress to choose her Christmas present. She knew it was his mistress because she had met his wife and because he came in each year to buy the long term mistress her present. It made her angry that he had the audacity to bring his mistress into her shop every year when he knew she was acquainted with his wife, but being a professional, she hid her displeasure from them as he told his mistress to choose anything at all she liked in the shop as money was no object. She took her time and decided on something rather expensive and the two left happy and smiling like young lovers.
This particular year, he did something he had never done before. The week before Christmas he brought his wife in to buy her Christmas present too. Without any sign of embarrassment, he told his wife to choose anything she liked up to the price of £50. The manageress was livid. She had to act as professionally as before, but this time ignored what he said. Knowing what he had spent on the mistress each year, and only a couple of weeks before, she pulled out the most expensive trays in the shop and told the wife these were the ones she needed to choose from.
The husband's face drained of colour and he looked at the sales woman ready to say something when she gave him a look that could kill and made it very obvious he had better pay up or else. The wife got a super present that year - probably for the first time ever - and that particular man never brought both wife and mistress into the shop again for their presents. Now that's the sort of saleswoman I like.