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$10 Doesn't Buy What It Used To
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One of the local issues that picked up steam over the summer and ultimately resulted in pickets outside a number of the malls in recent weeks has nothing to with war, taxes, or the declining sales of luxury homes. Federated Department Stores has had the audacity to not only acquire many locally branded department stores all over the country, but also decided to unite them under the Macy’s name. The stores included such venerable names as Marshall Field’s in Chicago and Strawbridge’s in Philadelphia. Strawbridge’s apparently divested itself of the unpronounceable “& Clothier” portion of its name years ago (although not before having started and closed a series of discount stores called “Clover”, a play on the Clothier name, and running “Clover Days” sales every few months), but you didn’t hear anyone protesting that de facto name change.

As a way of celebrating the demise of Strawbridge’s and the long-live-Macy’s jubilee, I received a card in the mail providing me a generous $10 reduction on ANYTHING in the store! ANYTHING!! Imagine that! It made me almost as happy as if Ben and Jerry’s created a zero-calorie New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream. But then I turned the card over and squinted to make out the ultra-fine-.5-point-font print. Macy’s definition of ANYTHING varies just a tad from that of the rest of the world. It excluded, and I kid you not:

“cosmetics [can’t look good], fragrances [can’t smell good], Coach, Dooney&Bourke [can’t carry an overpriced purse], kate spade [can’t support she who is capitalization-challenged], Louis Vuitton [can’t buy the real thing instead of a knock-off from eBay], regular-priced Tommy Bahama [can’t dress tropical] & Lauren [can’t dress snooty WASP] . For Him/Kids: Tommy Bahama, Polo/Ralph Lauren [can’t wear horses], Lacoste [can’t wear crocodiles]. For Home: furniture [can’t sit], mattresses [can’t sleep], rugs [can’t stand], Waterford [can’t support the Irish], Bacarat [or the French], Lalique [or other French], All Clad [can’t cook], Frango [can’t do fuck knows what], bridal kiosks [can’t get married]. Not valid on specials, super buys, Everyday Values, previous purchases, services [can’t use to tip the masseuse], gift certificates/cards [can’t get your nephew who is turning 18 a gift card for the masseuse], lease departments [what the hell do they lease?], optical [can’t see], Neuhaus [can’t eat chocolate, though I suppose some smart-ass Macy’s marketing person snickered “Let them eat cake” while coming up with this gift to the masses], vitamins [can’t be healthy], T-Mobile [can’t talk on a cell phone], StrideRite [can’t buy shoes for baby], Bridal Salons [still can’t get married], Maternity [can’t breed], Wigs [can’t get cancer, have chemo and cover your bald pate], special orders, restaurants [can’t eat], wine [can’t drink in moderation], liquor [can’t drink to sloppy drunkenness], gourmet foods [can’t eat fine foods, although you *can* eat that plebian swill], macysweddingchannel.com [what is this thing they have against marriage?], thisit.com [wtf?], and macys.com [everything else that is not already excluded].”

Come on people. This was a $10 certificate!!

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