Shopping Does This to Me

The Holidays are fast upon us which means soon, we will all be spending way more time in malls and major department stores than we prefer. There will be consumers everywhere. Oversized bags, strollers, and bell ringers will impede our movement throughout the malls of America. But it isn’t the other shoppers in the store that will cause the most stress.

There is a disease that affects millions of shoppers every year, and there is no cure. It is both annoying and frustrating. Have I mentioned there is no cure?

I’m talking about Commercial Retail Anxious Paranoia. People across the country and the world suffer from Commercial Retail Anxious Paranoia, or CRAP. Symptoms of CRAP include

-Frequently purchasing items you don’t need
-Yelling at store clerks
-Wandering aimlessly through the women’s intimates department looking for power tools

I really enjoy shopping. I don’t always have the money for it but I like looking at stuff I might one day own. A nice suit, a sweet laptop, or even a fancy watch are some things that might catch my eye. But when I walk into a store I am so fearful of being accosted by a sales rep or other employee that I go into CRAP Red Alert.

I know most sales people work on commission and they are hungry for that percentage. So when I walk in it is quite an uncomfortable scenario.
Employee: Hi welcome to…
Me: JUST LOOKING THANK YOU!
And I run to the back of the store and hide in a sale rack.
Somewhere along the line I got it in my head that every salesperson in every store is a used car sleeze trying to sell me a 1976 Jalopy. It’s not like I have to leave there with a car, or they are going to try and rip me off on price. But I get so stressed about it that I freak the hell out.
I don’t want to hear what they have to say. I don’t want to know about the sales or special items. And I certainly don’t want to know their name. I am terrified that I am going to be duped, or confused. I struggle to balance my desire to be nice to the clerk, with my desire to get something I actually want. And the internal battle ends up making me look like a raving lunatic. CRAP does that to you.
On the off chance that there is something in the store I am going to purchase, when I get to the register and they ask me if anybody helped me I usually point to the person who tried to say hello to me because I feel so bad.
I think I feel pressured by the pushy sales people. I remember trying on these jeans once at some mall store. I told the woman my size and she brought me some different kinds. “This pair is slim fitting but their great.” Ok jean lady. Do you normally wear boys’ pants? We’ll see if their great.
So cut to the dressing room and she knocks on the door while I’m shoving my legs into these pant legs like a fat kid trying to get into a snowsuit. “How are you doing in there?” I look at the pair of pants that have become immobilized halfway up my thighs, “I can’t get my legs into them.”
Pause.
“Well that’s normal their supposed fit tight.”
If I had been able to move my legs I would have run out of the dressing room and drop kicked her in the face.
I don’t even like going shopping with my friends. I like to go shopping by myself. I can’t be talked into anything that way. This is what is known as Amicable CRAP. Even though your friends mean well, they can cause CRAP to come out quite quickly. Shopping alone is easier. If I don’t love something, I put it back; if I can’t put it down I buy it. And I don’t have to worry about somebody else hating the thing I love, because I’m the only one there. I always agree with myself.
Even when I ask for feedback I don’t trust it.
There is one store that I go into, staffed by a lot of women in black clothes, where everything I try on looks good to them. I can’t not look good in something.
One woman even said to me, “Oh you’re the perfect size, you could be a model… ya know, for fit.”
Thank you for pointing out that I could not be a model on looks alone, because I HADN’T realized that already.
But everything I try on looks great. I could be wearing a sundress made of pink marshmallow peeps and they would say, “Oh yea absolutely, its so you.”
Shut up lady, you’re giving me CRAP.
CRAP does not only apply to the retail industry. Service industry folk are responsible. Like my nice Asian cleaners for example.
I recently brought 4 pairs of pants to my dry cleaner to have them hemmed. They were about 2 inches too long. A week, and 36 dollars later, they are all an inch too short. How did this happen?
Well to be perfectly honest my dry cleaner doesn’t speak the best English. And I was duped into thinking he was a skilled tailor by the sign in the window that said “Tailor.” Any other sign I would have doubted. If the sign had said “Plumber” or “Accountant” I might have been skeptical. But somehow in my head, since this man washed pants, he must also be able to sew them.
When was the last time you asked the guy at the car wash who wipes off your vehicle to take a look under the hood?
Everything looked normal when my “tailor” pinned the pants for the fitting, and then when I came back to try them on, he kept saying “It’s good, it’s good.” I didn’t really think so because it felt a little short, plus I’m standing in front of a shit mirror in a dry cleaner and I know he’s kind of rushed because there are other customers. So I say yes, pay and leave.
I didn’t realize it at the time but I was having a CRAP attack.
It’s not until I start wearing these pants to work that I notice I can feel the refreshing breeze on my ankles. A wonderful feeling if you are at a beach, or in a meadow, not when you are wearing a suit in an office.
My point is, as you rush out in droves to the retailers that haven’t yet gone out of business, and you realize the salespeople on the floor are even hungrier to make a sale; you are likely to have CRAP attack. But don’t worry. CRAP can be avoided. Just stay home and do all your shopping in your pajamas while surfing the internet. You don’t even need to shower to do this, and most importantly, you will never have CRAP again.