I try so hard…at the mall, at the bank, on the phone. I smile. I say thank you. I am polite. I cannot imagine what it must be like to deal with people all day who actually say what I am thinking. So I try. Very hard.
I enter with direction and purpose. Old Navy (2 plain t-shirts for me). Simple. Done. I head on to Gap Body (foundations, thank you very much). Am enjoying ‘Summer’s Almost Here’ sales. So far, so good. And then…a brick wall.
I enter…let’s say “Edmond Brower.” You with me? I make a bee line for the men’s polos and khakis. The Boy is in desperate need of pants and I am making an executive decision to shop without him. This, after a quick phone call, goes over very well.
clerk #1: Just to let you know, the polos are buy 7 get one free and there’s a whole table of more colors in the back. They’re nice aren’t they? They just FLY off the shelves!
me with polite smile: Thank you.
quick browsing, locate size, begin to pull
clerk #2: Well! You’re just a professional! People always destroy those piles! Did you hear about the polos…
me: Yep…thank you.
pull, pull…head to fancy pants…pull…deep breath…head deeper into store
clerk #3: Hi! Just to let you know, the sale rack at the back is an additional 30% off today…so, that’s an additional 30% off of the discount price.
me: Thank. You.
divert to to belt rack
clerk #4: Belts are so fun, aren’t they?! [Seriously. I’m not making this up.]
me: slight glance with brief smile
check out line…total time in store: 15 minutes
clerk #4 who is apparently following me: You’ve got 2 pair of pants there. Just to let you know, you get $5 off a belt for yourself or your hubby!
my turn…Check. Me. Out. PUHleeze.
clerk #5: My, you have some gifts there, eh?
me: Nope. Just shopping for my husband…his work closet is a little bare. [See! I try- I really try.]
clerk #5: Will you be putting this on your EB card today?
me: No, thank you.
clerk #5: We have some great men’s flip-flops over there- would you like to throw in a pair?
me, trying to picture The Boy in flip-flops: No, thank you.
clerk #5: You qualify for $5 off a belt. Would you like to grab one real quick?
me, nearing explosion: No. That’s ALL. FOR. ME. TODAY. Thank you.
clerk #5: I can save you $21 today by opening an EB credit Card…
me: NO. Thank You.
clerk #5: Okay! Your total is 5 million dollars. I’ve put everything in this nice big logo bag with real cotton handles.
clerk #5: AND, there’s a customer survey on your receipt…
I couldn’t hear the rest. I was running out the door.
I struggle in mass-people situations. I feel SO awkward! I am much much more comfortable in groups numbering under 4- and even that’s hit or miss most of the time. I find myself easily frustrated, thinking horrible things, blowing up buildings, and physically merging with people who walk in the left ‘lane.’ I know I have a problem. This is half the battle, I’m told. It allows me to take deep breaths and really try to make it work. I try I try I try. But, truly…I am so much more of a better person in letters, on the computer, in crafts, and with children under the age of 5. I go to the mall maybe once a year. More would put other people at risk. People who are just trying to eat their pretzels and power walk their 70 mile mall-loops in white Natural Balance shoes.
This is me, your friend, people. Love me.
My child is crying it out across the hall.
My heart is breaking.
She hates me.