YARN IT! Life & Style

Brain on sale

Sreejith R Kumar

Sreejith R Kumar

Wait for it; very soon, an ad will pop up on your screen: ‘Expiring shortly! Grab this offer now!’ To hammer it home, a clock will begin to countdown four hours. This may induce a cold sweat, palpitations and breathlessness. Hang in there. After four nail-biting hours, check again. The price will be even lower, and the clock will cheerfully countdown again. No one will expire – not you, not the offer.

Needless to say, this is a work of fiction. Because who–ha! – can wait four hours while a sale ticks on. Experiments have proven that every other part of our brain shuts down at the appearance of four letters: SALE.

The world of sales is fraught with panic, FOMO (fear of missing out), green-eyed envy. What if you miss that ‘golden opportunity, going now’ - that Neetu from Block G will flaunt forever after?

Look, it says, that the Annual Throwaway Sale starts at midnight. Stay awake, don’t be weak. Black coffee, scary movies. Keep your finger on the key, ready to click as soon as – No! No! The wifi’s gone to sleep. Throw some black coffee at it too. Sue the company. Have a nervous breakdown. You’ve thrown away the throwaway sale.

Remember, that in this space-starved housing crisis, it’s perfectly logical to stock up on duplicates of everything. Washing machines, massage chairs, goat-milk shampoos. Because when there’s a ‘buy one, get one free’ offer, any sane person knows you absolutely have to buy. What a deal! And if your husband asks why there are two baby car-seats when you have neither baby nor car, start muttering loudly about duplicate husbands too.

There’s always some sale you cannot afford to miss. Festival Sale (You find from the newspaper ad you’d cut out at Diwali that it’s an identical one for Eid – sparkly stars and all), weekend sale, midweek sale, ‘end of week’ sale, ‘end of month’ sale, ‘end of day’ sale, ‘end of sale’ sale. Buy woollens in April so the moths have enough time to chew holes in them by December.

And what of the credit card companies that keep selling you exclusive offers? Because you are special, they say. You are special. Didn’t your mother always tell you? You see the exclusive offer envelopes sticking out of every mailbox in your building. You’re so special that all your neighbours are also being treated well. You have so many credit cards now that you’re either paying late fees or fines. What can you say? That’s the price of being special.

Do you realise just how noble you’re being? By shopping at every sale, discount, offer, you’re spending all your time only saving money. You have to teach your family how to spend 12 times the money to save any. Your suitcases on top of the cabinets (buy one get one free) are filled with purchases no one but the moths will ever see, more of which are stashed under the beds. All for a rainy day. Did someone mention that the monsoon sale has begun?

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 2:23:09 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/brain-on-sale/article65429424.ece