Well I've returned from my annual Christmas shopping trip with a few new understandings of life, at least in terms of retail dos and don'ts.
1. Do not buy from kiosks in the mall, particularly if they are operated by people for whom English is a second language.
2. If you do buy from kiosks in the mall, be absolutely certain that you really want/need/can afford what they are selling. Because most of them are NO REFUND/EXCHANGE ONLY, even if they tell you that only after they've already swiped your debit/credit card and you've signed the receipt.
3. If you choose to buy something from a kiosk in the mall anyway and they offer to give you a second item at half-price, do not invite a member of the family (say, your sister) to buy the half-price item and then change your mind at the last minute to take advantage of a better deal, leaving Shelley -- I mean, your family member, to buy the item for full price.
4. If you do change your mind at the last minute and go for, say a free herbal eye mask, instead of the half-price item, which then leaves your sister to buy her item at full price, do not admit afterwards that your thinking was "every man for himself -- I wanted the free stuff."
None of the above is worth the hassle of having your family member mildly irritated with you for the rest of the trip, even if the scenario does bring lots of laughter to the other members of your party and gives you something to blog about.
You know what? On second thought, the next time you are at the mall and a non-native person approaches you from one of those enticing kiosk carts, fix your eyes on your shoes and make a beeline for the nearest real store where refunds are indeed allowed. Better yet, skip the mall and stick to Target.
On a mildly mall-related note, if you live in or near one of these cities, be sure to check back tomorrow for a high octane giveaway!