I turned 30 on Wednesday - hands down one of the best bdays I've ever had, but I'll tell you more about the actual celebration on Sunday.
Tomorrow night, we're actually celebrating my big 3-0 at a great bar with no kids, good music, better friends, and alcoholic drinks. I'm really looking forward to it! Looking forward to it so much that I decided tonight that I wanted to get a new outfit for the occasion.
After a quick run to Target tonight with Chris and the two younger kiddos, and searching to no avail for a decent top, I asked if we had time for me to go into Maurice's and look around. It was 8:30, the store closed at 9, and I told him I'd be quick since they were closing soon.
Chris said yes, that he and Miles would stay in the car and Marlee and I were on our way to find something fab for Mommy's big grown up fun night. This is kind of a big deal for me to even go inside a store. I loathe every bit of the clothes shopping experience, mainly because I hate to be followed around by anyone remotely pushy. Helpful is good, pushy is not. Because I hate to get into these situations, I do almost all of my shopping online.
And now, friends, a tale of how NOT to 'help' your customers...
SALESGIRL 1: Hi! How are you?! What are you looking for?! Are you looking for something specific?!
ME: Oh, a shirt for a birthday party...
SALESGIRL 2: Oh a party! Is it formal? Semi-formal? Casual? Do you want a dress? Pants? A skirt? Where's it at?
ME: It's at a friend's bar. I just need a shirt. Something kind of dressy. I just bought new jeans. My husband and 3 year old are in the car, I promised we wouldn't be long so I'm just going to try a few things on and hope I find the right thing.
SALESGIRL 2: Ohhhhh I'll help you find something! What about this top? (holds tiny shirt out for me to see) This is really cute, isn't it? I really love this one!
ME: Oh... um yeah, it's kind of cute, but I don't...
SALESGIRL 2: Now what size do you need?
Let's stop for a minute. This entire portion of the conversation happened in a 1 minute span. I'm not even shitting you. High energy? Definitely. Girl had some pep!
Secondly - I knew with one look that the shirt she wanted me to try was not a shirt I was going to buy. White cotton, strapless with a lace print. Sweetheart neckline. Peplum. Ain't no way in hell that top was going to look good on this body! I've been dressing myself for the last 25 years, ok? I know what works and what doesn't!
But I didn't want to be rude, so I decided I'd try it on for the sake of pleasing her.
ME: Um... (eyeballing the tiny shirt she was holding up) maybe... a large?
SALESGIRL 2: (shaking her head) Uh, no. Not with that waistline. I'd say you're more of an XL or XXL definitely.
I swear by all that is holy, my eyes popped out of my head cartoon style! Exqueeze me?!
Now I've never sold clothing before, but I'd say "Not with that waistline" probably isn't the best way to tell a customer that they might need a bigger size. How about "This style runs small, let's size up a little!" or "You have a large chest, we don't want anything popping out!"
Not very tactful, this one, but I kind of shrugged it off because I had zero intentions of even buying that shirt.
SALESGIRL 2: Ok now let's find you something to wear with it!
ME: Oh, I have something already! I just need a shirt!
SALESGIRL 2: Honey, do you want a skirt or pants?
ME: (giving up) Uh pants...
SALESGIRL 2: Great! Now you go try these on. It'll look perfect! And come out and show me once you're dressed!
Annnnnnd with that, she handed me a pair of skinny black dress pants. People who know me in real life - you've seen me. I'm 5'4 and I weigh 145lb on a really good day. I have big boobs, hips, a short torso, and legs that look good in control top pantyhose. I'm a fan of the skinny leg pants - on other people. I just can't pull it off!
Mar & I went to the dressing room and I began to change.
MAR: Mommy, yuh boobies aw sooo squishy!
ME: Boo, stop touching my boobs. (pulling the shirt over my head) Oh shit. This isn't going to work...
MAR: No, itz beau-yiful! I yove it!
ME: No. It looks like a maternity shirt that's not long enough. And it's stuck on my rib cage.
MAR: Whatz a wib cage?
I pried the shirt off and put my own clothes back on, eager to go out and find a shirt I actually liked... and I almost ran into the salesgirl, who had thoughtfully pulled together 4 more shirts for me. All XXLs, all looking too big.
SALESGIRL 2: You're done? ALREADY?! You didn't even show me!
ME: Yeah... that's not going to work... It didn't fit me right. I'm just going to look around.
SALESGIRL 2: I didn't get to see it though! What was wrong with it? (exasperated)
ME: I've had 3 kids. Thiiiiis (pointing to my abdomen) works better with something more... flowy. Longer.
SALESGIRL 2: Well, ok. I got you some more tops. They're pretty flowy. Did you even try the pants on at all?
ME: No I didn't try them on. I already have pants.
SALESGIRL 2: What kind of pants?
SALESGIRL 2: Hahaha! Honey, you can't wear jeans with these tops!
I'm clearly losing my temper here. Why does it freaking matter what kind of pants?
And then it hits me that she thinks I don't have any style and I'm obviously clueless about how to dress up for a night out. BECAUSE I'M WEARING BAGGY JEANS, FLIP FLOPS, AND A MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE T-SHIRT AND HAVE MY 5 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER FOLLOWING ME THROUGH THE STORE!
God damn it! Pigeon holed as a mom who gives less than a fuck! Oh sweetie, you couldn't be more wrong! I just happened to roll up into that Maurice's on Casual Friday! This mama lives for a chance to dress up!
My. Blood. Was. Boiling.
ME: You wouldn't wear jeans with any of these?
SALESGIRL 2: No! No I definitely wouldn't wear these with jeans.
ME: Well I would. And I'm going to. Also, can I actually take a look around the store and maybe, I don't know, pick out something myself?
SALESGIRL 2: What? (looking shocked)
ME: I'd like to look at the clothes if that's allowed. Or is that some rule here, that you have to pick out my clothes for me? Because so far, all I've seen are the things you want me to try on. I'd like to look around
SALESGIRL 2: Look, I was just helping because you said you were in a hurry.
ME: I'm not in such a hurry that I can't pick out my own clothing.
SALESGIRL 2: Oh um... ok (translation: whatever)
Then Marlee and I proceeded to look around the store grabbing 2 tops, trying them on, and really liking them. One shirt, a pale gray chiffon definitely needed a camisole underneath.
I asked the salesgirls 3 separate times "Do you guys have any camisoles without the lace trim?" and each time, they either didn't hear me or simply ignored me. A fourth time, I walked directly in front of one of the girls and repeated my question. She informed me that no, they only sold tank tops with lace trim.
Shitty experience or not, they do have cute clothes and I did end up buying both shirts. And a pair of earrings.
After paying, I went to the car to tell Chris about the experience and he laughed as I told him that I'd bought two shirts that the salesgirl hadn't picked out "just to prove that I have decent taste and can shop for myself".
CHRIS: Yeah, you really stuck it to that bitch. Buying not one, but two shirts AND a pair of earrings after she pissed you off. You're such a bad ass, Jen.
ME: Shut up.