Attack of the Panther in Polyester

Hello again world…

So here’s where we stand… Yesterday was my birthday. As a rule I try not to make a big deal of it because I didn’t really do anything particularly worth praise or recognition regarding that day. Mom should be the one congratulated for surviving the horror that is passing a football sized human being out her nether-region. I just don’t feel, from the football’s perspective, that I did anything special. Technically everyone does something similar at least once in their life.

Anyway, may I direct you to the point of my story. This way….just follow me….yep that’s it….not to far now….almost there…aaannd, there, go ahead.

Today I went to the mall with my birthday loot, and had laid out the trip in a strict “this is all I’m going to get” fashion. This plan included a nice pair of black dress shoes (for mine have all bit the dust or just don’t match anything), cat litter, potatoes and asparagus. Very exciting list, I know. So off I went on this rather rainy day, on the bus towards the scariest place humanity and civilization has dreamt up since public execution platforms and the alter. The place was noisy and buzzing with people, mostly aged and frail at this time in the morning, huddling around the Tim Hortons. They shuffled down the hall and went about their business at a snails pace, because face it, they had nothing better to be doing, but I needed shoes, so I scurry past them on my youthful legs and then head for the shoe store.

I mentally push past the financial guilt, repeating this mantra in my head “it is my birthday…it’s my birthday dammit”, and as I am thoroughly convinced I need new shoes, I try to hold firmly to a budget that I  imagined for myself. Completely arbitrary of course. I eventually reach said shoe store and with poise and confidence stroll in. The woman who governs this hovel of footwear is on me instantly. but no, I won’t have any bit of pushy sales people today! I am on a very important mission, clearly. I shoo her away with polite niceties and get down to business,

Shoes…

Black…

Heels…

Size 9…nope too big

8 1/2?…Nope too big

8?…alright there we go.

After 20 minutes of ‘hmm’ing and ‘haw’ing, I decide, with will power of steel, that the pair I like are too much money, and technically not exactly what I’m looking for. So with that, I leave. Leave the store FOREVER! (Well no, not really but I thought more drama was needed just there).

I am proud of averting the sale rack, the sales pitches and shining beautiful expensive shoes in the store on the way out. It’s almost one for the record books. I leave disappointed but impressed with myself. No regret will be felt tonight! *Cue dramatic sound effect*

You know that moment in a story, when the main character can either chose one seemingly innocent thing to do, or another, and when they do it all goes to shit? Pay close attention here…

I decide then, that I’ll have a quick look in the bookstore. As I head in that direction I pass several clothing stores. But no, I say to myself, I don’t need anything, nor can I really afford it at this particular juncture. Will power of steel remember? But then when my guard was down due to self praise and basking in my own awesomeness, I saw in the window of a shop, my demise.  THEY HAD WAISTCOATS! (or vests….you might call them vests here, not sure). I was compelled to enter, “just a look” I thought. They were just too fantastic.

The woman of the store was on me before I had entirely committed to seriously looking around. She was like a panther in polyester! And she had her mind set on my blood!

“Hello…how are you today?” she asked with a sly grin…I know she has no business knowing how I am. Even if she did, I also know she doesn’t care even the slightest bit whether I’m feeling elated from having just solved world peace, or a bit like shit because my home planet has just been blown up. I wonder if there is a place to go to learn to be like this?

“Good, just having a look thanks.” …hmm I’ll bet it’s part of the same company that teaches us to respond to social converse with completely benign and uninformative standards.

“OK, well let me tell you about all of the [ridiculous, fanciful, full of lies and false advertising] sales we are having today!” Like there isn’t a different variant of the same thing tomorrow, next week, next month.

I don’t even have time to retort and she is already 300 words into a prepared speech about pants, tops, 70% off this and $5.00 off that, and if you do this small mundane thing you get a small savings but we’ll harass you for the indefinite future.  As she’s rambling I see that the lace cami’s next to me are only $4.95…which I judge as actually a good deal. I do tend to need those….

And that is how they get you. At that moment I was in for it…A cami, a white sweater, a dress shirt, a pashmina and a pair of purple pants later, I come to. The room is still spinning. What just happened??

Upon reflection the cost was reasonable for what I got, but I still feel as though I’ve been had. The woman was so nice, so friendly, so helpful. It was almost like she really cared about whether or not that pashmina brought out my eyes. Do I want my eyes brought out? I kind of like them where they are actually. She says she’ll start a change room for me? How lovely, right? Wrong, now I HAVE to try them on…seriously increasing the likelihood of desire and ultimately purchase.  Oh look, she’s bringing me more things that I didn’t ask for? Great, how sweet and considerate! Except I really didn’t need these things!  She even gave seemingly professional opinions on my selections, yet always encouraging more purchases.

Sure, I felt fantastic and euphoric in the process, pampered, looked after and cared for, but that’s all part of their little scheme. The truth is I bought things I didn’t plan on, and technically don’t need.

Also…I still don’t have shoes….

So world…civilization…humanity, you win this round. Oh well, it is my birthday after all.

-Miss Hailey Jane

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4 responses to “Attack of the Panther in Polyester

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