Thursday 19 September 2019

I really love a bargain, even if it's at the risk of being ripped off

Justine O'Mahony.
Justine O'Mahony.

By Justine O'Mahony

Irish women love a bargain. It doesn't matter that we don't need it, or that just because there's 20% off the size 8 jeans when you're a 12 and they still cost €200 doesn't actually make it a bargain, we perceive it as such.

And we love to brag about it. When someone compliments an Irish woman on her outfit she'll never say 'Oh God thanks! It was €250 in Brown Thomas!' But if she paid a tenner for it in Penneys, she'll tell the whole world!

I am no exception. I am Irish, I am a woman, therefore I love a bargain.

Unfortunately having returned from holidays last year with ten handbags I was warned this time round that our marriage might not survive if I did the same again.

And I kept my word for the first few days. I was as good as gold. But on the fourth night, sitting on the terrace of a restaurant I spotted a queue gathering on the pavement outside. A Lucky Lucky Man was spreading his wares out and whatever he was selling was drawing a crowd of excited women.

I abandoned my steak and told Himself I'd be back. When I got outside there was a gaggle of women, ALL Irish squeezing their feet into a vast array of Nike runners.

They were like vultures, snapping up the runners in every colour and elbowing each other out of the way. The woman in front of me from Dublin was buying six pairs for the grandkids, 'they're only €20 each!'

I chose a pair for me and The Youngest. Next thing I'm grabbed by the scruff of the neck. The teenager practically has me in a headlock. 'Dad says you're not to buy anything,' he says trying to drag me back to the restaurant.

Mr Lucky Lucky Man suddenly jumped in front of us. 'Ah ah Boy that is your mama! You do not treat her like that!' I decided to take full advantage of the situation. 'You heard the man. Let go of me!' I wriggled out of his grasp and stubbornly bought my runners.

'He wanted €40 but I got him down to €35,' I said proudly on my return. They're both giving me the evil eye. They examine the runners intently. The teenager starts to laugh. Then Himself starts to laugh. Soon they are in hysterics.

'What's so funny?' I demanded.

The Teenager is clutching his side.

'The Nike tick is facing the wrong way round!'


'And the soles are plastic. You'd kill yourself if you ran in them.'

I hadn't actually planned on running anywhere in them but that was besides the point.

'Well I still think they're lovely and they were a bargain,' I said rubbing the side of the shoe.

The Nike tick peeled off in my hand.

Double crap. Should've stuck to fake handbags!

Wexford People