This morning as I lay in bed- having hit snooze for the third time- I reflected back on my unsuccessful trip the day prior at the powerhouse outlet mall that is the Great Mall of the Bay Area (yes, it’s seriously called that). How I’d managed to leave empty handed from a mall with over 200 stores made me question my shopping abilities. Had I lost my spark? Had I missed some store that held the evasive piece that I needed? Maybe fashion had gone downhill this season and that’s why I hadn’t found anything…Yes, that must be it… And then I remembered.
There had been an item lingering in the back of my mind since I saw it three months ago- a pair of grey Superga sneakers. I had reasoned with myself that it was an unnecessary purchase- as fashion purchases often are- since I still had a suitable pair of Roxy sneakers in a similar style. But those had recently become threadbare and therefore this purchase was now necessary! I jumped out of bed, pleased to feel that familiar excitement of adding a much wanted piece to my wardrobe.
I entered the department store two hours later (no, I don’t take that long to get ready. San Franciscan traffic is just terribly slow!) and casually strolled towards the juniors shoes. I usually try to avoid having to talking to salespeople whenever possible, but after circling the sales floor three times, they started to take notice. Like vultures, these commissioned sales associates sized up their prey. Who would get this tasty little morsel, this helpless creature trapped between the wall and a display of rather pointy, dangerous looking heeled shoes? I gulped. Unable to maintain the standoff any longer- a platinum blonde, dressed crisply in all white (did she not know the Memorial Day rule??) broke loose from the pack.
She strode towards me with confidence. Did I need any help, she asked? I gulped again. “Ummm..” I said. Quickly glancing over at those pointy shoes, wondering if they could assist in my escape. “Do you carry…su-per-gah shoes?”, I said quickly. She smirked- and definitely not the nice kind of smirk. “Oh yes, we have su-purrrr-guh”, she replied, rolling her r’s and drawing out the pronunciation. She beckoned me to follow her. “I just love my su-purrr-guh‘s” she gushed. I groaned inwardly. As we approached the table of shoes, she raised her finger, showcasing nails as pointy as the heeled shoes I’d just seen, and made a “come hither” motion to a rather friendly looking gentleman. “Would you like to show this nice lady our selection of su-purrr-guh‘s, Steve?” she said in a mapley sweet voice. As if I hadn’t gotten the pronunciation after the first time she corrected me. I mean, really. I worked in retail for many years, and yes, I admit to occasionally fighting the urge to chuckle at a particularly botched designer name pronunciation, but was this really called for? She wasn’t the shoe designer- she just sold the darn things. What was she all high and mighty for? Thankfully Steve missed her hint at my designer pronunciation faux pas, and kindly assisted me in purchasing my new shoes. Thanks, Steve.