Nothing makes me want to go Patrick Bateman on someone more than a retail clothing store.
I can barely make it in the door before someone who’s clearly consumed one too many Adderall rushes over to greet me.
“Do I have sauce on my face or something? No? Oh, so that was just the complimentary anxiety attack that apparently comes with this shopping experience? Great.”
So after my heart rate stabilizes, all I can think about is how much I really just want to commend this perky creature for managing to portray that level of extreme, unrealistic happiness over a stranger walking through the door. (“That drama was so convincing I almost thought you were Meryl Streep. Now thank the Academy and kindly move aside.”)
But I refrain.
Yes, hi, I’m doing fine. No, you can’t help me find anything. I’m almost 30 years old and I’ve spent quite a bit of time shopping in my life, so I’m pretty familiar with what to do here. I’ve also lived life long enough to know how to ask questions, so if I need your help, your opinion, information on sales you’re having, or if I just get a sudden urge to make a new friend, I’ll be sure to let you know.
The truth is, I really prefer the “I’m-here-if-you-need-me” type when it comes to my sales clerk. This is not Pretty Woman, we are not on Rodeo Drive or Fifth Avenue, and I promise not to get a complex if you and I don’t exchange more than four words while I’m here.
While we’re at it, there’s no need to check on me while I’m in the dressing room. Once again, I learned how to button and zip things when I was quite young. You don’t have to ask what my name is and write it on a cute little dry erase board (although it is adorable) that hangs on the door. As traumatizing as trying on clothes can be, I don’t think I’ll forget my name while I’m in here. It’s not like the pair of jeans I brought in here suddenly transformed into a wedding dress or anything. Relax. I’ll be fine.
If and when I come to purchase this item, it’s unnecessary to ask if I “found everything okay”. If I didn’t, we wouldn’t be conducting this transaction now, would we? And no, you can’t have my email address, phone number, mother’s maiden name, college transcripts, or first born child. I don’t have your rewards card and before you even ask, I don’t want it.
I know. The benefits are enormous. I’ll save so much money. I could save 20 percent right this instant. I’d be crazy not to sign up. Your rewards program will literally cook and serve me dinner. It will fetch my slippers. It sounds amazing. And it’s still gonna be a no.
What happened to etiquette? There is absolutely no shame anymore in completely invading a person’s privacy in these places. At this point, my personal bubble has officially been popped. I’m THIS close to dropping everything I just picked out and rushing to my favorite pressure-free thrift shop.
I HAVE TO RETURN SOME VIDEOTAPES.