08 December 2007

You've seen them

Oh, yes you have. Small groups of forty something friends, parents quite likely, shopping together for the holidays. I'm thinking this should be outlawed.

After carefully selecting two stuffed animals for my niece, one very huggable silly rhino and one nicely sized for carrying everywhere moose, I tried to stand in line to buy them. It wasn't clear if there was a line because two women were standing at the counter asking tons of questions. There were two store clerks and the women demanded the full attention of both.

They were buying stuff, but the questions and jibber jabber were incessant. The woman on the left wanted bigger blocks and sent a clerk off to look for them but decided she didn't want them before the clerk returned. The shopping women compared notes on what games were too old or young for their respective children and how many gifts to buy them.

There was a third friend with them but she was keeping mostly out of the fray. In an effort to be helpful, she announced to her oblivious friends and the not oblivious cashier, "That gentleman's trying to check out."

She meant me. I was a little surprised because my hair was down (though short, it's not a masculine cut), but then I considered what I was wearing and noticed what they were wearing. Me: over-sized black men's corduroy jacket, maroon hoodie, t-shirt, cargo pants. Them: a puffy fuchsia winter coat nipped in at the waist is all that really registered beyond stereotypical femininity- pastels, earrings, makeup. Well, at least I'm a gentleman, I thought to myself.

Pointing out my presence (gender confusion aside) didn't stop her friends from monopolizing all the store help though. Had I not been overheating, my patience would've sustained better.

The first woman finally finished her transaction and since the second was still getting second opinions, the clerk asked, "Are you all set?"

I quickly said, "Yes," while putting the animals in her hands.

The first woman started pulling purchases out of her bag, commenting, "Oh, I need this wrapped."

The clerk handed me my credit card slip to sign when the first shopper interrupted, "Do you gift wrap?"

I just needed ten more seconds of the clerk's time, and she couldn't fucking wait. A little consideration, please! The clerk deftly passed off wrapping duties to her just-returned associate so she could give me my receipt.

Good grief. Allow for a little retail triage, ladies, so the rest of us can get out of the frakking store!

One year ago on TTaT: I must admit, Beauty Parlor Nostalgia (Part 3)
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