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Rant alert: Salesladies

February 4, 2011

The real thing

Apparently, my quest for the perfect jar of goo irritates salesladies.

One day, I was at Nordstrom’s. This is not a store I go into willingly, since fancier stores intimidate me and heighten the overall sense of rejection I feel all the time anyway. To explain the background of my umbrage, there was a time when Nordstrom’s was pretty definitively never going to carry larger sizes for women who are not stick figures, until they gave in to a) reality and b) statistics and c) their profit margin. Now they carry larger sizes, and perhaps have learned a modicum of humility, like the rest of us who were forced to learn humility earlier in life.

Those who don’t measure up to Nordstrom’s standards of thinness, monetary capacity (a.k.a. ‘wealth’) and ability to wear 4″ heels, don’t enter the hallowed portals without serious preparation. We revamp our closet, get our hair done, and put on makeup. All to go buy a jar of goo. So already, I’ve got built-up resentment when I attempt to swish in, looking as ‘fashionable’ as I can manage, appearing nonchalant. I haven’t been this superficial since I was in high school, and I think that’s the point of stores like Nordstrom’s:  to intimidate you into buying things that will make you feel like you fit in.

Anyway, so I was doing my typical whining routine with a busy 20-something one day. I like to try things. It’s called ‘experimentation.’ My goal, of course, ultimately, if you scoured the blackness that is my soul, is to find the fountain of youth and undo all the damage 12 hours of sun every summer did to my fair Irish skin. Not gonna happen, I know. I need serious facial reconstructive surgery, or to find inner peace. I don’t want surgery, so I have pointed my compass toward Inner Peace.

The 20-something was “helping” me, but she was also stocking shelves. She was also not, technically, working for Nordies. She was restocking Nordstrom’s supplies of her product. I was being my typical resistant, whiney self, who nonetheless, longs to be like everyone else. I am difficult, I fully admit it. So I was trying to get her to tell me what the advantage of her product is. The product is this weird green goo you put on to correct redness. Assuming she gave a damn, I expressed my Inner Pain, in that I whined some version of “I don’t want to look like I just smeared pea soup all over my face.”

She snapped back, “You will NOT look like you just smeared pea soup all over your face!” She was polite enough not to say “Oh my god, you stupid old woman, just buy the damned stuff and get off my 28 year old case! Don’t you know I am ambitious and overachieving!? I have a degree from a good school, and I can’t BELIEVE I am stocking these shelves! This is menial labor, for god’s sake! And now I have YOU to deal with!!”

But her tone conveyed all these things, and was pretty rude, and I’m over-sensitive to begin with, so you gotta know that I know from rude. And on top of it all, she was dressed nicely, looked cute and pulled together, even though she was on her knees, stocking shelves. Little did she know that this combination of looking nice while you’re performing manual labor is the ultimate insult to the Aging Whiney Woman.

Her enthusiasm for her product and ability to sell convinced me, though, let me tell you, and I was intimidated into buying the damned stuff, which doesn’t really work and looks like I smeared pea soup all over my face.

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