As if the holiday season isn’t stressful enough with all the preparation that goes into Christmas; getting ready for the big day of visiting and feasting and most of all, gift buying.
But to add on top of that, retailers are shouting at you to buy their crap as the ideal gift for whoever you just happen to be shopping for.
The worst of this lot are the Israeli people who have travelled to New Zealand to share with us the treasures that the Dead Sea has to offer; a.k.a. Seacret.
Now, I know promoters. I work as one. I know all the tricks and all the hooks. Many people do; as shoppers, it’s indoctrinated into us to keep looking straight ahead, and pick up the pace. But for some reason, I wasn’t prepared for this:
"Excuse me, sir! What are you getting your girlfriend for Christmas?"
Now, me, I’m currently single. As are a lot of people, I would imagine. So, the ideal response would probably be: “Already sorted. Cheers!” And then continue.
But for some idiotic reason, I hate admitting I’m single (technically, it’s saying the words, “I don’t have a girlfriend”), especially during the holidays.
So, because of this inhibition, I hesitated; missing my opportunity for a quick getaway. And began to string together the saddest set of lies I’ve ever told.
"Uh, I’m not sure."
"Well, let me show you something. Give me your hand."
"Oh! The nail buffer thing!" (Here’s my chance!) "Yeah, I got this for her last year."
"Totally. She uses it all the time when we go out."
"Yeah, so thanks, but I…"
"Well, let me show you this, sir. Does she have the mud mask?"
I hadn’t been prepared to take the lie further.
"Come here. Give me your hand."
I then find myself with a scoop of mud being smeared and rubbed into the back of my hand whilst being told that the Dead Sea salts inside did wonders for your skin that no one can comprehend.
I was way too deep into it now. There was no pulling out. Well, that’s not true; I could have sucked it up and got away. But instead, I perpetuated my lie further.
"What kind of girl is she, Dan? Like, more face or more body."
"Face, I’d say."
"And, how old is she?
"22. A couple of months older than me."
"Does she have problems with her skin?"
"Oh, no. Not at all. Her skin’s beautiful. She takes great care of it."
Are you serious?!? Who are you talking about?!
More demonstration follows with a moisturiser and then the time came for the sale: A pottle of mud and a pottle of moisturiser for a total of $225. No way was I buying this.
"Hang on, you know what, Dan? I like you. And you seem like such a nice guy. I want to do you a deal. I will give you the mud and the moisturiser plus a glass-tipped nail file for just $125."
"Yeah, I don’t know…"
That’s right, just turn it down. You’re nearly there.
"Imagine the brownie points you’ll get, Dan, when you give her this really nice Christmas present! She won’t know I gave you a deal and she’ll think you spent over $200 on her."
"You’re not wrong there…"
Yes she is! This girl you’re both talking about isn’t real, you dipshit!
She had me. By the balls. And the worst thing was, it was mostly my doing. All because I have terrible insecurities about my marital status. Why create this facade? Who knows? Perhaps later, I’ll deal with it my means of expensive therapy.
But, no matter how much she made me believe I was buying a present for a beautiful, flawless-skinned 22 year-old who was waiting for me at home, I could have always pulled out.
Nevertheless, a card swipe and a pin-number later, I had bought a $125 Christmas present for no one. There was no reason not to take the deal and my girlfriend was going to love it.
Except the girlfriend didn’t actually exist.
Sigh… Fuck my life.