sample sale

At sample sales, you get your share of elbows and hip-checks. “Oh, I didn’t realize that was yours. You did put it down; I mean how was I to know?” You’re overcome with an intense desire to bitch-slap an older Chanel-clad woman. There’s a bit of freaking out and a smattering of game-time decision muscles being flexed. But this isn’t freaking out, it’s chicking out.

I’ve been known to do it from time to time: the chick out. It’s “chicking out” because it’s usually freaking out about something only a girl would freak over, like a sample sale for the ultimate date outfit so you can snag a great boy, or a boy not calling, or like a boy getting back with his ex. Notice how chicking out involves a boy…

I’m a goal-oriented high-achieving hyphenated type of woman. I was raised on a diet of you can do whatever you set your mind tos, and it has served me well. The suit fits; the diet worked, but the suit is tailored and professional. It has covered buttons and long conservative hemlines. The “I will make it happen” tude doesn’t flow with the ruffles of a social party dress. You can cover it with sequins, but everything about the stance is forced. Wearing the “this is going to happen because I’m going to make it happen” attitude to any relationship is an invitation to be mocked for your inappropriate attire. You can almost hear the judgment being passed, “She so picked that up at a sample sale. A good sales rep would have talked her out of it. Doesn’t she know a bias cut makes her look hippy?” See that’s the problem with sample sales. You find the coveted item, and you see fashionable women eyeing you with indirect glares. You know they want what you have, so you clutch it tighter. You buy it thinking bargain, even if the fit isn’t right. You’ll make it right. Then it hangs lifeless in your “closet full of nothing to wear.”

You can’t force relationships, and you can’t want something enough for the both of you. You can’t will it and try at it hard enough to make it work. Once upon a time, I thought I could hold things together. The attitude worked for me everywhere else in my life, but I learned the hard way, you can’t want enough to cover the both of you. They have to want it just as much, and if you try to convince the other person, you’re ultimately asking to be screwed. You’ll never have faith in it. You’ll know it will never be a meeting of the minds or hearts. You’ll always wonder, and do you really want to spend your life wondering?

It’s like walking around with a knock-off bag from Chinatown. You might have snagged an excellent copy from the back room on Canal Street, and no one will call you on it. But at the end of the day, you know. You’ll always want the real thing. This is your life, not a time to settle on a knock-off… not a time to stand in lines and grab for a sample. You deserve service, and an inner giggle, knowing you have the best that is out there… and it’s all yours, and you know it’s the real deal.



  1. See..just what I needed. A couple words of wisdom from someone who's been there. Thanks for sharing.

    Keep it coming~

  2. I have never in my life had someone compare relationships to sample sales. However, your analogy is right on the money. You don't need the knock-off as a relationship…you want the real thing and the best. It is so true. Yet, the problem is that a lot of people settle for the knock-off and they are not necessarily living a happy life. Once again, great job. You are awesome!!

  3. Here's to you getting your inner giggle going again… and us marveling at the sight.

  4. "Look dude, I'm sorry but face the facts. It's never going to work out. You're too small."

    ha. love ya babe. hate it when you leave me. g'night.

  5. aaahhh…………c'mon steph,
    arent we all a little guilty of shoppin' around.
    and sometimes you can find romance even in the bargain bins.thing is not to look too hard.
    half the fun is looking
    take it easy

  6. Another comparison between Sample sales / factory outlets and relationships – the little slip that says "there is something slightly wrong with this garment". If only that happened with relationships…

  7. there most certainly is a little slip but some choose to ignore it…why?…who knows but if I feel like chicking out I know something is wrong…I won't let any man make me chick out

  8. A sample sale bargain is entirely different than a Chinatown knock-off. Slightly ill-fitting designer items bought for a fraction of the retail price say I'm stylish despite my meager income. Knock-offs just say I'm cheap — not to mention lazy for not trying to find a less expensive version of the real deal at a sample sale. At least that's what I hope is the case…

    I see you signed up for meet-up. You still goin' tonight?

    -Craige, a lurker, until she realized we might find ourselves in the same bar this evening

  9. Sure I agree don't try to turn a crappy relationship into something it's not. My wisdom says find a man who adores you and let him do it! Most women want too much-everything. You can't have everything. You can't be beautiful, thin, rich and have a fabulous man who's never going to look at another woman. You're right you can't force life to be what you want it to be. A wise person learns to accept what they have and be thankful for it.

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