Why I Gave Up Shopping

At the start of the year I made a commitment to not buy anything new unless it is a consumable, like toothpaste or milk, or a gift for someone else. Nothing new for me all year. I have succeeded so far with the one caveat that is if I was given a gift certificate I could trade it in for something new for myself. That being said, the only new thing I have gotten are two needlepoint canvasses. So I have not bought any clothes or shoes or things for the house and I have not missed it one bit.

Today I had to make a trip to go to Crab Tree Valley Mall to take two pairs of Russ’ shoes to a store so they could be sent off to be repaired. Since this is the only shoe maker who makes his size shoe I am not going to name them here because it is important for us that they stay in business, but that is the only reason. Russ mainly orders online since no stores carry size 14AAA and that is a good thing because if we had to go in this store again I might lose it.

I entered said store with a big canvas tote carrying the two giant pairs of shoes. There was an elderly man trying on shoes and a middle aged man with his teenage boy looking at shoes. Another well dressed man loitered and there was one clerk, who strongly resembled a straight Cam from Modern Family, with an untucked checked shirt, khakis and casual shoes from this manufacturer.

At first I thought the well dressed man might work there because he had the nicest shoes on. Turned out he used to work there and was just stopping in to say hi. I waited by the counter since I was at least third of fourth in line to be helped. I understand the hierarchy of helping customers and took note of my place. That being said I was not used to being completely ignored to the point that it was very difficult for the Cam-like clerk to not look in me in the eye, let alone just say, “Hello, I will be with you in a minute.”while he looked things up on the computer at the front counter where I stood patiently.

I stood waiting quietly and you know how hard that was for me for over three minutes, I know because I started my watch timer as soon as it was apparent that the sole clerk was not interested in my business in the least. I just waited in the same spot. There were times when I could have asked as question like, “Should I come back later,” but I didn’t. I just wanted to see if I ever was going to be acknowledged.

Did I have a big blinking sign on me that said, “She’s not buying anything this year?” I think not. I was well dressed, clean, had a nice pocketbook, good shoes and jewelry. Nothing about me screamed, homeless person. Eventually the clerk turned to me and asked “Are you looking for something.” I made no comment about his superior skill at not looking at me until that moment. I did not want to jeopardize getting these valuable shoes repaired. I did my business with him, which took less than two minutes, paid with my platinum card and left the store. I was going to look for a father’s day gift there, but couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I walked in the store next door because I saw something I thought would be a good gift for someone I was looking for. I picked up the item and went to the counter to ask a question. One clerk was checking out another customer, but a second clerk was talking to her. I waited, again patiently. The free clerk did everything possible not to look me in the eye. WHAT THE HELL. Two stores in a row. She walked right in front of me skillfully adverting her eyes. I had my eyes right on her, As she bent down, I did the same mirroring her body hoping to get her attention, or at least make her feel like the ass she was for not even speaking to me.

Eventually after she turned her back on me twice she spun around and said, “Do you need something?” HONEST TO GOD? I looked at her and said in my sweetest voice, which you know is so hard for me. “I was considering buying 10 of these, but I have had plenty of time waiting here to decided I don’t think I ever want to buy anything in this store. So I guess I DON’T need anything.”

Oh lord, I am not sure I will ever go back to shopping again. Being away from stores for six months I have forgotten how horrible they are.



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