leave your inhibitions at the door
Sometimes I really hate shopping, but not for the same reasons that others give. Most people say they hate shopping because of the crowded malls and parking lots that are like the 8th ring of hell. Many don’t like the process of trying on clothes – either because of the hassle or how those too tight jeans in that unflattering dressing room light are a grim reminder that Ronald McDonald is not your friend. Some people just hate shopping because they’re flat-out cheap.
Not me. I don’t mind crowds because I love people-watching. And while I’m no David Beckham, I work out enough so trying on clothes doesn’t leave me reaching for the Prozac.
So what makes me hate shopping? Two words – OTHER MEN.
I was recently at the mall picking out a gift for Boom Boom and I knew she had one of those Pandora bracelets that hold little charms.
The little charms represent different things – signifying life events like a birth of a child, interests like travel or exercise, or other things that are special to the owner. She got the bracelet with a couple charms from some friends a couple years ago and she’s collected quite a few since.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the bracelets. I prefer to give something with a little more oomph to it. Like diamonds, custom jewelry, or anything that comes in a little blue box.
Sorry ladies, I’m taken.
Now, I KNOW that just about EVERY MAN that’s reading this right now has no clue what I’m talking about with the blue Pandora’s box or whatever the heck it was that I mentioned.
And THAT’S the problem.
I was at the Pandora store in the mall and was greeted by the assistant manager who then proceeded to follow me around the store. But it wasn’t because she was copping some Swiss anti-Oprah attitude or thought I was going to steal everything in sight.
It was worse – she was treating my like an absolute imbecile. When I first got to the store she asked whether I’ve been there before and whether I knew what they sold. Despite my telling her “yes” she went into a ten-minute explanation in one-syllable words of the concept of a charm bracelet. And how I can actually purchase the charms there. But not just any charm, charms that mean something to my wife. Is there anything in particular that you know of that’s special to your wife? Is this a special occasion? Because, you know, many people get these charms for special occasions. They make terrific birthday gifts or for Mothers’ Day. They come in many pretty colors and we have all kinds of them in these clear boxes called “display cases.” All you have to do is point out which ones you think she might like, and…
You get the point.
And it wasn’t just her. I don’t know how many times I’ve shopped for Boom Boom and had the salespeople treat me like this. Especially at Victoria’s Secret. That place is the worst. They only treat you like a moron after they make sure you’re not some perv trying to sneak a peek in the fitting room.
But they can’t help it. They’re used to the rubes coming in trying to apply shopping logic they use at Cabela’s – “hmmm, ya got that bra in camouflage? And bigger’s always better, right?”
So the salespeople do a quick assessment by following a really simple decision tree.
I think that all salespeople should undergo sensitivity training. It wouldn’t take long or cost much, either. All they have to do is have them watch a little Veronica Mars –
I think when you get out into the world, you’ll find that not all well-dressed, articulate, detail-oriented men are gay. Many of them are just Asian.
– Mr. Wu, Veronica Mars
I don’t know how many times I hear about how women are either patronized or swindled when going to the mechanic. It’s sweeps-week fodder for Dateline, 20/20, and shows like that. It’s the same thing here! There are guys out there who know how to shop and I’m one of them! I know the difference between mauve and magenta! I know what Hermes and Burberry are! I know that women shorter than 5’4” might want to consider petite sizes! SO, DARN IT, TREAT ME WITH RESPECT!
PS: The funnest time you can ever have while shopping is when a Victoria’s Secret salesperson asks if they can help you, you say, “I’m looking for something, you know, really sexy. It’s for my sister.”