I love sales. Love them. I will buy things that I don’t really find attractive or things that I absolutely do not need based solely on the fact that they are on sale. As a dear friend of mine puts it “really, by not buying it you are losing money because it is such a good deal!” (RIGHT?!) This statement pretty much sums up my feelings when I see something marked down. “Why look! It’s a goose leash! We don’t have a goose, I know, but one day we might and come on, honey, it’s 70% off!”
This is why the time just after Christmas is particularly dangerous for me. In fact, if Santa really had my best interest at heart, he would drop off the gifts and steal my credit card on his way up the chimney. But alas, year after year, I buy ill-fitting sweaters and boots that I’ll only wear once because of ridiculous post-holiday prices. I am used to it by now; I know it is coming and I prepare as best I can. For instance, this year, I bought things that I genuinely think that I will wear…mostly.
I was in no way, however, prepared for returning to France and what their post-holiday sales had in store.
“Woah! What is happening?” I am looking around the Carrefour (France’s superstore, complete with grocery and everything else you could ever want).
“Quoi?” MB seems nonplussed as he pushes the cart, fascinated, instead by reading the previous owner’s grocery list. “Look, I think they were going to make a punch of some sort, it sounds good, no?”
He shows me the list but I am too distracted.
“Honey, look, all the groceries, everything…it’s like the whole store is on sale!” I wave my hand across the entire front section of the Carrefour which is covered with yellow signs that have 25%, 35%, 50% printed on them.
“Ah ouais! The after Christmas sales, I forgot this!!” MB seems excited too. “Look, a vacuum on sale, we need a vacuum!”
“Only twenty-five euros? Heck yeah, we need a vacuum! Oooh honey, they have a hand-mixer for ten euros too. I need a hand-mixer sometimes you know!”
MB looks at me with skeptical amusement. “When? When do you need a hand-mixer?”
“Um…hullo! Don’t you remember the time we tried to beat egg whites…that was a disaster!” This happened exactly one time and we have never needed a hand-mixer for anything else.
MB puts the hand-mixer in the cart.
I grab MB’s arm and jump up and down. “This is so great, I love a sale! You know I love a sale! Woah – is that buy one, get one free?!?”
I run to the smoked salmon display.
“What do you reckon? You think we can eat two kilos of salmon?” I am now playing a little game, pretending that I might not want to buy it. I look at MB, waiting for the reasonable response, preparing my angle.
“I think we can,” he says resolutely. “We can always freeze it, yes? It is fourteen euros a kilo; we aren’t going to beat that.”
I stare at MB and realize, he is not going to be my steady voice of reason but instead my accomplice, my kindred spirit in sale-induced-insanity. We lock eyes and share a look of mutual understanding and admiration that says “yes, we can eat two kilos of salmon in ten days for that price!”
Suddenly, my eyes are drawn towards the back of the section.
“Could that be…no, surely not…”
MB follows my gaze. “Ouais…” he says slowly, with cautious optimism.
We advance towards the sign, clutching onto each other’s arms.
50% Reduction Foie Gras
There is front of us are two huge bins filled with all shapes and sizes of foie gras, reduced 50% in price. I jump up and down, clapping my hands and MB and I embrace, in front of the foie gras bin, under fluorescent lights in Carrefour. It is trés romantique!
A vacuum, a hand-mixer, two kilos of smoked salmon, two cans of gesiers, one side of beef, a whole chicken, a rabbit, and four packages of foie gras later we begin to make our way out of the grocery store, satisfied and triumphant in the knowledge of all the excellent bargains we got.
Once we arrive home, I start desperately trying to make room in the freezer and ponder the necessity of purchasing an entire rabbit seeing as how I have never cooked one before. Squeezing the three foot long package of smoked salmon into a corner, I wonder if maybe the salmon and the rabbit are the equivalent of an ill-fitting sweater or an ugly pair of designer boots. Has buyer’s remorse set in already? Will we ever actually use this stuff? Has this all been just a big waste? Nah…
“Honey, I think we have to have a dinner party!”
MB looks up from where he is arranging cans of foie gras and gesiers in the cupboard, “I was just thinking the same thing.”