Half Old, Half Young (Half Empty, Half Full)

25 November 2013, Wednesday

Walking home with my four, we made a treat stop at the last shopping mall along the way. We passed by a spa-product shop that always has a sales person planted outside its doors handing out soap samples. Over the past year, we had been the beneficiary of quite a number of them samples from different sales personnel.

The sample-bait

Those long rectangular bars embedded with floral parts, wrapped like a sweet (adding to their attraction) with clean-white smooth wax paper, came in different scents. My kids (& I) love the novelty.

The cost of these baits to the company must be well worth it. Once, I got caught feeling bad to walk away and ended up relenting to the offer of a hand-scrub demo, then a facial-treatment demo, and then a “huge” discount to some products recommended for my skin type and kids’ needs. Altogether, five products worth SGD400+.

The price tags of their products are pegged to their USP of being based on minerals and mud retrieved from the magical Dead Sea.

Affinity for the free

We were handed another pretty soap bar when my pre-teen and I locked eyes and flashed each other a “we shouldn’t but we would like” smile. She broke the awkward hesitance with “We have already”. In the next split second, I felt my want show in my reflex facial expression, along with my reluctance to proceed on our walk.

The sales lady caught on and handed the bar to my pre-schooler who was all too happy to be the recipient (she started using it when she showered that very night).

As young as my teen

As we began to leave, the salesgirl looked at A1 and I, and blurted out, “Are you both sisters?”

My self-professed cool pre-teen winced as I expected her to.

Middle-aged mommy me grinned and gloated, of course!

(After-note: Was that the salesgirl’s ploy to prolong the small talk to increase her chances of making a sale? Well, I choose to believe not. I choose to believe she really thought my pre-teen and I were sisters. I choose to believe I look as young as my pre-teen)

“Four” the shock value

A small talk ensued. I explained no, that I was mom. The surprised salesgirl asked if these (gesturing to the other three) are all my kids. And as always, whenever we get such reactions from strangers (which is very often), I proudly said “yes” with a grin.

The salesgirl rephrased, “You have four?!”
Or “Mother of four?!” Something like that.

I smiled and nodded.

We finally left, evilly enjoying having shocked yet another unsuspecting stranger. šŸ™‚

(Side note: Once we thought we held a record number of children in a country facing declining birth rate. Then we realised that somehow, within our 3-block housing estate of 288 homes, four children in a family is considered commonplace. Three or four other families have as many children as us. A friend of mine once poked fun at this, commenting “Must be something in the water”. But the record is about to be broken. One of the big families is expecting their fifth! … I am so envious!)


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