A Plea from the Woman with the VISA

credit cards
Close-up of payment machine buttons with human hand holding plastic card near by

credit cards


I know that everything in your store has been designed to fit and flatter my teenage daughters and that my presence is an unappreciated reminder that you will all someday sacrifice beauty for comfortable footwear.  However, as the woman with the VISA, I have no choice but to lurk around the racks and there will be occasions when verbal communication between you and I will be unavoidable.

To reduce my stress levels as well as yours I plea with you to consider lowering the music volume and perhaps turning up the lighting.  I could potentially lip read over the pounding, highly-synthesized rhythm, if only there was enough light for me to make out your facial features.  Alternatively, I could have my children verbally guide me through the store if I could make out their voices over the dance-party “mash up” that is playing at a stadium-concert volume.  However, the sensation of being both blind and deaf overwhelms me and makes me want to run back to the bright fluorescent lighting and calming pan-flute muzak of the food court.  And my VISA, along with its purchasing power, will of course accompany me, so…

May I also plea with you NOT to show open disdain when I ask you how much an item might shrink upon washing.  I know that in your magical retail world everyone washes their clothes in cold water then stretches each garment out on a bed of roses, under a moonlight sky, to dry.  And I know that the teenager who is begging me to purchase this item truly believes that she will treasure it forever.  But a few weeks from now when I sweep under her bed and discover it, covered in lint balls and dog hair and pizza sauce stains, there is a strong possibility that I will throw it in the washing machine and the dryer, along with an armful of towels and a single sock (because there is ALWAYS a single sock!).  So please help me out a bit and discourage her from buying this item in Small if it is going to be reduced to XXSmall (which really only fits American Girl dolls) the first time heat blows on it.

And lastly, may I plea for compassion when we finally find our way to the cash register?  I know that my giant mom-purse is taking up precious counter space and I am truly sorry that I cannot find my credit card as quickly as you might like.  I apologize for trying to “swipe” when you wanted me to “insert” or for trying to “insert” when you had clearly stuck a piece of duct tape over the bottom of the credit card thingie because that part wasn’t working properly.  And I am super sorry that I said “no” when you asked me for my email address.  It’s nothing personal… I am sure that you are a wonderful person and if you like, perhaps we can become facebook friends, or maybe I could follow you on Twitter.  But if I give you that email address, we both know that my inbox will overflow with endless promotions from your store and that no matter how many times I “unsubscribe” they will just keep coming!

I know that I am an unwanted necessity… the woman with the VISA card.  But I hope that you will show me a bit of mercy next time I am in your store.  Perhaps offer up a smile or two instead of so much eye-rolling and deep sighing.  Better yet, a flashlight and some earplugs!

Author: Kim Scaravelli

Kim Scaravelli is an entrepreneur, marketer, content consultant, and author of “Making Words Work”. The best way to keep in touch is to subscribe to Kim’s popular newsletter. Every second Wednesday, she shares practical writing tips, timely insights, and resources to make your work easier and your content better. To learn more about Kim, visit her website.

19 thoughts

  1. I can sympathize with the whole shopping experience – although mine does not include teenagers (or children of any age). Perhaps you should email a copy of your post to the store’s Customer Service department for consideration 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Considering that the Abercrombie and Fitch motto is that they “go after the cool kids” and they take actual pride in being exclusionary and given that most “trendy” retail stores that feature clothing for teens aspire to be A&E, I am worried that my letter my actually be construed as a compliment!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As one of my former students — a model for A&E (male) said, “No one who is really cool needs a moose on their shirt.” And he was REALLY cool.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. He was pretty horrified when his interview for a Christmas job at A&F started with, “Take off your shirt.” He worked there over the holidays but had nothing but contempt for the place and the company.


          2. yes… it is strange to decorate the outside of your store with half naked boys. Seems like something people should be at least slightly put off about


    1. An actual thank you! Wow… you certainly have high goals. I just want to get out of the store with at least a small portion of my self-esteem intact!


      1. ….and as much money left in may wallet as I can. Regarding your response to Vintage 1956, Abercrombie and Fitch need not worry about our family frequenting their store or website.


  2. OMG Kim I’m laughing so hard. You must live in my life. Now I’m laughing twice as hard cause I want to put this on Facebook and don’t know how. Duh!!!


  3. Great piece! What gets my goat is in large stores when, after going through the endless aisles and selecting my goods, I arrive at the cash only to find three or four very long lines and eight cashes closed!! There should never … never be a long line AND closed cashes! Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.


    1. Sometimes a short rant is necessary. It’s like taking the top off the noodle pot… lets a little steam out so the whole damn thing doesn’t boil over.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on SERENDIPITY and commented:
    Ah, the holidays. Oh the joys of shopping. All I can say is ‘THANK YOU ONLINE WORLD” because I no long have to go to the mall to do my holiday shopping. It gets delivered to me door and most of the time, it’s on time and in the same number of pieces it started out its journey. Sometimes, change is good.


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