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Shopping Wisdom

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Every so often, former Saturday Night Live writer Patricia Marx appears in the New Yorker with a fast-talking overview of some aspect of the shopping world. This time around, it's discount stores. Her sage advice: "Beware the price tag with crossed-out numerals that plot the downward journey of a thing from thirty per cent to seventy-five per cent off. No matter what your friends who used to work at Lehman Brothers tell you, this is not money you earn. In fact, do not so much as peek at the price tag without first looking into your soul—I mean, your closet. Then ask yourself: Am I ever going to wear a three-tiered aqua almost-satin skirt hemmed with lace (Daffy's, 125 East 57th Street; $13.99)?" [New Yorker; subscription req'd]