Tag Archives: Dominicans shopping

Warped in the Wrapping

Something Islanders are known for is their inability to do something for themselves or the more popular term: cogerlo suave. Of course when Islanders come to NYC a dar una trabajaíta, they find themselves shocked at the notion that in The City you actually have to not only work hard, but be efficient, sharp, punctual or you get the The Donald. I have heard uno que otro Islander say that allá se trabaja demasiado when speaking of the work dynamic in The States. But the pinnacle of Island laziness is the merger of lethargy and the Olympic gold of the cogerlo suave jobs: Gift Wrapping.

Gift wrapping is a win-win trade. The Islander, too lazy to wrap his own gifts, will drop off a box full of bottles for los clientes, toys for los ahijados, and cariñitos for the angelitos. In turn, la muchacha que envuelve gets paid for a hobby that is hardly a job, although Islanders consider it a talent in it of itself.

Gift wrapping starts with the selection of gift paper. This requires a tremendous amount of time and consideration for you have to answer the pre-wrapping questionnaire about the gift receiver: ¿Para hembra o varón? ¿Adulto o niño? ¿Liso o estampado? ¿Con brillo o sin brillo? After a good fifteen minutes, the gift wrapper then proceeds to “measure” the exact amount of paper to be used. This is done by unfurling some paper off the roll, placing the box on the uncut piece, folding the paper over the box, and then assessing whether or not she will cut. Upon her approval (which involves retracting the extra paper or unfurling some more) the gift-wrapper will cut the piece of measured paper. She will then carefully and painstakingly begin wrapping origami style, cautiously folding and delicately placing small amounts of tape on the gift, stopping at intervals to contemplate if the process is going well. This will take about twenty minutes. Then comes the placing of the ribbon or la moña. Ribbons are not ready-made, so you should feel very special that you will get a custom-made ribbon based on yet another questionnaire. ¿De qué color quiere la cinta? ¿Cómo la quiere, un lazo o una moña?  ¿De uno o dos colores? ¿La quiere rizada? Once you have answered all of these questions, the gift-wrapper will once again ever so delicately make a moña of about twenty buclés, again stopping at crucial intervals to make sure that the process is going as expected. One false move, and the gift wrapper will quickly toss the half-made moña to make a new one. Of course, this does not happen to veteran gift-wrappers. Finally and ceremoniously the gift-wrapper ties the ribbon onto the gift, fixing each individual buclé, splitting and curling the extra ribbon which result in about ten to fifteen individual curled tendrils of ribbon. The wait has been worthwhile because what Islanders hope for is that the receiver mesmerizes on the wrapping so, that she will forget how cheap the gift inside is.

Another day of Island life observed. I hope the cold isn’t hitting you guys too hard, but just in case, I send you some Dom-York love laced with some Anís del Mono. Oh! and a very special shout-out to my Eurodoms, Phillydoms, Bostondoms, and D.C.doms! Thanks for following!

Mum’s The Word

No accomplishment compares to walking down 5th Avenue clutching handfuls of black, purple, striped, and brown bags full of merchandise that has been purchased at 80% off.  We know every sale, sample sale, final sale, clearance sale, and warehouse sale throughout the tri-state area. Most importantly, as we parade our new acquisitions to close friends, (shamelessly admitting what we paid) the approving winks and high-fives secure our title as the undefeated champs of fab finds. Indeed, if shopping were an Olympic sport, New Yorkers would bring home Gold every time.

Of course, leave it to Islanders to put a wet rag on our fun, with the  ever so opportune statement:  allá se consiguen las cosas baratíííísimas. While it is true that We enjoy a good sale, not all that we own has been purchased in Chinatown or at Marshall’s. I mean, don’t get me wrong.  I love deeply discounted stuff off the rack, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything we own, (all of it) costs five dollars. The absolute worst is traveling for hours on foot to find the perfect regalito or encargo for your relatives, and after shelling a couple of hundred dollars for something you think they might appreciate, it comes back to you as “Eso de seguro lo consiguió en especial.”

Islanders are first in line to admire your closet, while simultaneously qualifying your purchasing power. Every acquisition move has its respective comment.  If you are always buying on sale, you are a tacaña. Buy at designer discount stores, and expect “¿Y será falsificada esa cartera?” and when you think your are safe in the buying-retail-all-the-time zone,  brace yourself for the most obnoxious of  remarks: “¿Pero será verdad que ella gana tanto dinero para poder comprar esas cosas tan caras?”

It happens to the best of us. We can’t help the euphoria of seeing family and friends.  We get caught up in the moment, and before we know it, we start spilling all of our savvy shopper tips.  However, we fail to realize that our good intentions inevitably backfire.  I once made the mistake of taking an Islander to a sample sale, only to get “¡Ay no! Eso está muy tirado… hay que escarbar demasiado en ese reguero, y sabrá dios si esa ropa es auténtica.” Did I mention this was a Ralph Lauren Black Label sale?

“¡A ti ta’ bueno que te pase!” scolded my friend over brunch mimosas.

It is why from this time forth, every inquiry pertaining to places donde venden bueno, will prompt the response:  “Imagínate eso está lejíííísimo… en Pennsylvania.”

Devious? Hardly. It’s called learning my lesson. Besides… nothing compares to the pleasure I get from seeing Islanders sweat it out as They peruse the pristine racks of  glossy-shopping-bag department stores, only to conclude that “todo está muy bonito, pero no es ‘exactamente’ lo que ando buscando,” which you and I know quite well is code for This shit is way too expensive.