The Smell of Commerce in the Morning

Retail stores, right?

Nothing makes me want to go Patrick Bateman on someone more than a retail clothing store.

I can barely make it through the door before an associate (usually on a lethal dose of Adderall) rushes over to greet me.

Do I have sauce on my face? Is there a giant insect crawling on my shoulder? No? So that was just the complimentary anxiety attack that apparently comes with this shopping experience? Great, thanks.

After my heart rate stabilizes, all I want to do is commend this perky creature for managing to portray that level of extreme [unrealistic] enthusiasm for my presence. (Very theatrical display. Now please, thank the Academy and kindly move aside.)

But I refrain.

Yeah hi, I’m doing fine. No, you can’t help me find anything. I’m almost 30 years old and I have eyes and hands, so I’m pretty familiar with what to do here. I’ve also been alive long enough to have mastered the art of asking questions, so if I need your help, your opinion, or a reminder about the sale you’ve already informed me of six times (all of which I tuned out), I’ll be sure to let you know.

Don’t make suggestions or read me your personal advice column on the latest trends in fashion. As I generally despise shopping, there’s a 100% chance I already know what I’m here for. (And you can probably tell by the simplicity of my style that I’m not here for anything too extravagant.)

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 two 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. As long as the jeans I brought in here don’t suddenly transform into a wedding dress, I’ll be good.

If and when I come to purchase the item I’ve chosen, 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, no. I don’t want it.

I know. The benefits are enormous. I’ll save so much money. I could save 20 percent right at this very moment. I’d be crazy not to sign up. A membership to 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 mood 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.



Published by GramenVox

I love hypothetical conversations about how to survive the apocalypse. I love arguing over which musicians I could combine together to form the perfect band. I love conducting research, and I appreciate my resources. I love freedom (or at least the ones that haven't yet been revoked), and look forward to the day that everyone will have the same ones.

2 thoughts on “The Smell of Commerce in the Morning

    1. Haha, thanks! I don’t know whether to glad or sorry that you related to it. This post started off as a rant to my sister about our shopping experiences and so many other smartass comments started coming to mind that I just went with it. On the upside, we did have a good laugh about it. 🙂


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