The only thing I’ve my eye on in the summer sales is a pair of Crocs which are enjoying a bit of a moment... I think! That and a sensible raincoat
• THE fact that my bank card number (yes the long one, and those three digits at the back) rolls easily off the tip of my tongue (and my fingertips), but I sometimes falter over my husband’s mobile number, says a lot about me. I’m a marketer’s dream, putty in their hands, falling pretty much for every fad and trend that comes along. I’m exaggerating slightly, but I have my struggles. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not drowning in credit card bills (mainly as I don’t have one, for fear of what might happen!), and with age does come the wisdom that you don’t need 20 black tops (you should probably be ok with 18). But at this time of the year, when the sales begin and all those very tempting emails start landing in the inbox I find my resolve weakening. It’s a slippery slope ….
• You know how the emails go, all those promises of ‘sneak peaks’ and ‘previews.’ Their trick is to make you feel special, that you’ve being accepted into some sort of club, ahead of the rest of the poor craturs who’ll be left with the dregs after you’ve had your exclusive browse. It’s the equivalent of being top of the queue outside Brown Thomas for the sale on St Stephen’s Day in the 90s, and not all the way down by Penneys. It’s where you want to be.
• The emails are even harder to resist if they throw in your name. I can see right through their tactics but still find myself perking up when I see something like: ‘Emma, do not miss out on our latest discounts’. It’s like when the cool girls at school called you over. You knew there had to be a catch but still you figured it was worth the chance. The catch is usually that even though you’re offered 10% discount because you’re a ‘cool and discerning’ customer (who me? Am I really?), you have to spend €200 to qualify and returns aren’t free (that’s a real nasty sting creeping in of late isn’t it?). Do not fall for the fake flattery.
• The fact that I belong to the dark ages when it comes to technology means I always forget to tick the box that says ‘no, I don’t want to get messages from you’ so I normally wake up to a lot of ‘special offers’ every morning both on my social media feed and in my inbox. The other morning it was a Facebook ad for a scrunchie for €280. It was a Prada scrunchie, but still, I think that’s a stretch too far by anyone’s imagination, especially as it looked just like a scrunchie I bought from a TY mini-company back in the day. C’mon now Miuccia girl we won’t be falling for that one. That might work in Milan but not West Cork!
• What I am tempted to buy, though, is another pair of Birkenstocks. I’m building up quite the collection after my love affair with the sturdy shoe began in Lockdown 1. I remember before the sandal was only worn by a particular ‘type’– mainly Germans and hippies. But now they’ve gone completely mainstream. I’d say there isn’t a woman between the age of 25 and 60 who hasn’t a pair, or several. The company’s profits must be through the roof. Dior even got in on the act and just launched a pair of Birks for €960. Maybe they were following Balenciaga who earlier this year launched a heeled green Croc for €600. That’s the cost these days of being ironic but they’re fabulous. I sometimes look enviously at my six-year-old as she literally floats around in her Crocs and her Granny has been a fan for years. I want in!
• What I won’t be buying in the sales, though, are any more storage boxes or baskets of any description. I blame all those home makeover shows we binged on during lockdowns, that led us to believe we needed a basket for every thing and at every turn. I’m especially baffled by the fridge storage systems that everyone seems to be going mad for. Like, what’s wrong with just putting things directly on the shelves? Why make it all so complicated? Just to take nice pictures for Instagram?
• And we’re already past the longest day. How did that happen? And with it came the rain, and a bit of a chill in the air. Just when we were getting a bit cocky and getting into the habit of letting the garden furniture cushions out overnight (well I wasn’t obviously because of the puppy, but others were). Someone in the know said that there’s plenty more rain to come. He said that typically we get the same amount of rain every year, and we’ve a lot of ground to make up. Probably the only thing I should get in the sales so is a good raincoat.
• I’m heartened, though, to see that the rain doesn’t bother our young people in the slightest – judging by online pictures of audiences at some recent concerts. It might have been lashing down but they were still in their crop tops and shorts and not a sweater between them. The best thing about being young is that you never wonder if you’ll be tired in the morning, or if you’ll be cold when you’re out. Both occupy around 96% of the space in my head (the other 4% is split between wondering what’s for dinner and when can I retire). If only we could bottle the exuberance of youth we’d all be flying it. Especially in our Crocs.