Thursday, March 28, 2013
28:31 -- Buyers' remorse...
"You'll have to get in the next line, Ma'am," the clerk instructed. Ma'am? We're peers. You would've been in my kindergarten class, but... OK, calm down.
With a stylish orange and yellow sun suit in one hand and a tired baby in a pumpkin seat and purse in the other, I followed directions. Now, I waited behind a middle-age woman and her ready-to-pop daughter. They were already carrying a bag from this children's store...
I didn't pay attention at first; I hoarded the seconds over analyzing my prospective purchase. The cutesy little sun suit for my future niece...or the really, oh-so-practical terry sleeper? The inner debate roared as I celebrated the chance to actually buy pink, ruffly clothes from the girls' side of the shop.
Slowly, the pumpkin seat turned to lead in my arms.
The woolen scarf around my neck turned tight and scratchy.
The chocolate sweater I wore turned into a sauna.
My attention focused on the conversation ahead.
"No, Ma'am, they're not," the young clerk stated.
"Well, you have these little socks and shoes displayed underneath the 40% off sign," she continued her case.
"But, they aren't 40% off. The sign is for the clothing over there, not the accessories. The accessories are 25% off."
The expectant daughter chimed in, "Mom, I guess the signage is only for the clothing. That's what she's saying..."
My wondering eyes darted around the store for other onlookers. There were some. These words sprinkled heavily on them, too. And, feeling like I had more time than sense at this point, I mentally tried some wishful comments on for size.
THESE LITTLE SOCKS YOU WANT -- WELL, THEY AREN'T AS DEEPLY DISCOUNTED AS YOU THOUGHT. ARE YOU LISTENING? THAT'S WHAT SHE'S POLITELY TELLING YOU.
IF YOU CAN AFFORD FOUR-DOLLAR SOCKS, YOU CAN PROBABLY AFFORD ONES THAT ARE SLIGHTLY MORE EXPENSIVE. WHO CARES?
ARE YOU REALLY HOLDING UP THIS LINE OVER AN AMOUNT THAT WOULD TOTAL LESS THAN ONE DOLLAR?
WHY DON'T YOU ASK AGAIN? MAKE THIS POOR CLERK TELL YOU ONCE MORE THAT THE SIGNAGE IS FOR CLOTHING, NOT ACCESSORIES.
All my quips were completely unflattering, gaping at all the wrong places on my soul. The only answer that fit like a glove was to remain quiet. I tugged at my scarf and fidgeted, embarrassed for this shopping duo as they filed the clerk down with their words. I wanted to escape -- but I had Carter's bucks to use. Today. I shifted my gaze back toward a row of minuscule bathing suits.
"Well then, maybe you ought to say that on your sign -- CLOTHING ONLY," the insistent mother offered like a slap to the cheek.
The daughter agreed snottily, "Yeah," just one sentence away from echoing her mother's uncomplimentary behavior.
They noisily shoved the sweet, little pink and white striped socks back into their plastic bag and spun toward the door. The clerk's eyes were a fireworks display, although her voice was a snowy morning. "Can I help you?"
"Yes. You can. This will be easy," I encouraged, "I just need to buy this sun suit using my Carter's bucks."
With relief, she authored the transaction which took less than one minute. "Thank you. Come again."
I walked out to the car, happy that I had tried my remarks on for size before wearing an unflattering one. I could've looked really ugly...