What a hoot. I was saved from being the token male because one woman brought along her husband - and the coach drive was also male - but the rest of the gang were female work colleagues, former work colleagues, and many of their friends and relatives, all armed with huge shopping bags and a purse full of credit cards. most were very experienced. a few had been joining this annual event for at least fifteen years.
The idea, I guess, was to raise funds (through commissions for dollars spent, and raffled prizes) but it was also an great excuse to bond with work colleagues, find some great bargains, enjoy a nice lunch, and have many laughs.
I am also thrilled with my purchases: some large Egyptian cotton bath towels, a glass wine decanter, an electric knife, cool new sneakers, a huge bag of assorted chocolates (based on the results of numerous free taste tests), a Homer Simpson Christmas decoration, an hilarious Batman Christmas stocking, and something I've been searching for, for about eighteen months: the elusive Julian MacMahon "Doctor Doom" action figure from "The Fantastic Four" motion picture! (What is more, he was only $8.95.)
Explaining my excitement for some of these unique finds was... interesting. I've already hung up the Batman stocking in case Santa visits early. Merry Christmas and my bats regards.