DEAR TRENDY CLOTHING STORE EMPLOYEE:
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!