Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Look at me! Or don't.

Oh my gosh, I'm Julia Roberts! Yes indeed. Today I was "Pretty Woman." Well not really. That's not accurate. I'll start again. Look at me, I'm Harry Potter! Nope. Ah, here it is. Obscure to most, but on target. Heeeere's Claude Raines! That's the ticket.

I went to the mall today. That's a bigger deal than you'd think. I hate shopping and I despise the mall. Not just because lugging my kids through the teeming throng (mere trickle) of shoppers is agony for everyone within ten feet of us, epicenter included; I've hating shopping since I was a kid. I got the "anti-girl" gene on that one.

I need an outfit for a wedding in Cleveland next weekend. The glamorous life of an autism mom/writer/chief, cook and bottle washer does NOT entail sparkly or festive evening attire, unless you count a pair of Nick and Nora PJ's with pink poodles. PJ's are rarely considered wedding attire, even in Cleveland. (Now now, don't scowl Clevelanders, I enjoyed living there for close to a decade. But it is my solemn East Coast, NY proximity duty to toss out that little barb. When you pay your mortgage this month and have money left over to buy food, sparkly evening attire and have change left over, feel free to have a laugh at my expense.)

So I dragged myself to the mall today. I walked through the women's (misses not "women's" as in womanly. I'm about as curvy as the number seven.) department in Lord & Taylor and Macy's without ever establishing human contact. Yes, today I was completely invisible to the sales clerks' eyes. All of them, and I saw several. I wasn't dressed like a shlub - I had on a nice turquoise sweater and Levi's and my new black short Uggs (which Mark had shipped from down under in time for Christmas, God bless him. See? HE knows how to shop.) and a gorgeous leather and fur jacket Mark bought me for my 39th birthday. Which means it's practically new...ish. So, there I was sauntering by the silk, meandering past the moire, veering toward the velvet and no one, I mean no one even asked "May I help you?" They didn't sneer at me or anything a la Pretty Woman. But I did have money to spend and was ready to plunk down cash for a new outfit.

The experience was depressing. The mall was deserted. The stores look ratty. I left empty handed and still have to find an outfit. Maybe the kids in Cleveland will elope - tonight?


M. G. Tarquini said...

Wow. Why were they ignoring you? Maybe they don't work on commission?

I remember wandering Bloomie's in New York once, wondering if Jesus had finally returned and taken all sales clerks back with him to Glory.

Thank you for your kind words re: my story. There's a sculpted green carpet on the floor also, but I saved that for a later chapter.

Anonymous said...

I hear ya on the hating shopping thing. I loathe going into a store. Any store. I don't even do the grocery shopping ~ my husband does.
Whatever I want, I buy online, and if I can't get it there, I don't buy it.

And how stupid are the salesclerks in that store? You would think that during a very slow time that they would be tripping over each other to get a sale. (another reason why I hate shopping.)

No panicking on the dress, tho. You will find one where you least expect it!


Laura said...

Maybe they thought you were too cool for them? "Wow, she's better dressed than I am!" says the sales clerk to herself, figuring she'll be of no use to you. If you showed up wearing MOM jeans, a matching denim vest, AND a clueless look...wait, that probably would have scared them off.

Anonymous said...

gosh, i think your writing is really boring. good luck with that book thang. practice makes perfect, they say

Tena said...

Hi Kim,

Ah,the dreaded dress dilemma! I can't speak to the lack of service in the stores or about shopping with three autistic kids in tow, but I have a suggestion. If it's an evening wedding, consider wearing a top over a pair of great-fitting crepe pants. I have a collection of brocade jackets that I've bought in Chinatown over the years. You know, the ones with the frog closures and Mandarin collars. I've worn them to black tie events and they always receive compliments. They look like a million bucks but my most expensive jacket cost about $80. The least expensive was about $60. They're sophisticated and unique, and you'll receive many compliments. Good luck!

Kim Stagliano said...

Thanks, Tena. Excellent "thinking outside the box!" I still hate shopping - and I had the kids at SCHOOl yesterday when I twirled through the mall!

Crepe pants and funky jacket... Check.