Friday, December 09, 2011

occupy santa's lap

Raising three kids in the 90's and the '00's was sort of like being in Berlin just before the wall came down. Yeah, that metaphor's a stretch--but what I'm getting at is it's only been the last couple of years that social media and smart phones have become so ubiquitous, they've changed the way we do, well, everything! Even, as I found out today, visiting Santa Claus at a mall.

Turns out there's this website where you can virtually be in line, when in actuality, you're at Nordstrom purchasing the lacy, itchy party dress that you'll slap on little Sally in the restroom (tags tucked neatly inside the collar) and then, you'll get a text message, giving you 5 minutes to stride down the hall, sit Sally on Santa's lap, snap-snap, and then it's back to the restroom to take off the dress and return it.

Okay, that's a little Guerrilla. Seriously though, as much as I hated standing in that line with fussy kids (who would only be assuaged so long by the free See's Candy samples), it was part of the ritual. And the bonus was, it was the best people-watching of the year! What with all those reindeer sweaters and holly hair ornaments.

I heart my iPhone more than anything, so you won't hear me ranting about bringing back the good old days when we were all rotary dialing and if we weren't home when someone called, too bad. However. This enterprise is all about commerce. You don't want people just hanging out at the mall with their credit cards sealed up, growing moss. No. Every minute counts. I'm sure a few months back some IT company sat down with the big-wigs at all the stores and presented a power point with graphs and charts and metrics announcing the climb in POS-per-minute by instituting this brain child. I can hear their smarmy talking points:

"If you can't bring the merchandise to them while they're standing there, do the next best thing..."

"Your ROI on this puppy will pay out within a week!"

Of course, I'm a big, fat naysayer (and getting fatter by the minute with all the free samples I've been plugging in my pie hole) so I'm sort of eager to actually see this in action. I anticipate that there will be some angry moms without texting capabilities who are shit-out-of-luck, 'cause there they stand whilst their richer, smarter contemporaries breeze past them and their screaming kids holding their glowing iPhones up like MVP frequent fliers.


  1. I would definitely be irritated with my ancient Samsung to be standing in line while people who are already lucky enough to have iPhones sailed past me.

    The truth is I'm really glad those days are behind me.

  2. Oh Lisa, I hear you. By the time we have grandchildren I'm sure ALL shopping will be online, anyway. We've probably closed the door forever on the Santa excursions.


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