Socially unacceptable responses to give when greeted by a shopkeeper

Misadventures of a girl with too much time

It is practically a given that I am awkward. I’m that person who talks to herself in the car because she gets bored and doesn’t realize that hey, I have a radio. But I’m also person who talks to herself to keep herself company in lieu of having anything interesting to listen to. Sometimes, I end up with a little too much time on my hands, mostly because an errand that I thought would take a lot longer, even with turning down the wrong street four or five times because of construction, didn’t take as long as I thought it should have.

So, sometimes, I end up browsing the mall. I’m no shopper. I don’t have strong consumer tendencies, mostly because I don’t have the capabilities of one of those elite marathoners, financially or emotionally. I have very specific tastes, mostly made up of nice investments like jeans and cool t-shirts and warm sweaters. Sometimes I indulge and fixate on a very specific dress that’s also very hard to find.

At the mall, I had three very important tasks to complete: 1) figure out what I wanted to replace my ratty, 5-year-old Converse with, 2) go pet the narwhals, and 3) figure out how to grow up from cool t-shirts and teen jeans.

I decided very quickly that I wanted to replace my old shoes with new, differently colored ones (like I said, specific tastes), perhaps orange or lite blue or purple. I also decided that I’d check out Fred Meyer to see if they were on sale, since if I could get the same kind of shoes for $30 at Fred Meyer, why spend $45 at Nordstrom? Given that I had all the time in the world, however, it seemed prudent that I should meander slowly to my second destination. I decided that, in order to extend my trip, I’d also continue my futile search for a deep emerald green prom dress (obviously, the specific dream fixation). I wound my way around the different stores, wondering if I’d ever actually find something that wasn’t neon.

Stopping by a store going out of business, I saw a the dress. had  to go check it out to see if it was worth buying. Unfortunately, the only two dresses left were far too large for my body, and so I left, adding to my list of tasks 4) check online for a similar dress.

I went to pet the narwhals afterwards. God, they’re so fluffy. And cute. I wish I could take them home.

With too much time on my hands now, I began browsing out of boredom, hoping to gain some sort of insight of how to dress like a young professional who hadn’t raided her mother’s closet for business wear. At this point, the awkward began.

What not to say to greeters.

They’re only doing their job, trying to gain commissions, even though it’s only 10:30 in the morning and there’s barely anyone in the mall. I can’t help but feel guilty, however, when I walk in and have to make small talk to answer their questions of “Hi, what can I help you with?”

“Uhh, I don’t know.” This was the answer I gave to a nice lady in a Talbot’s store. I’d frozen, unsure of what to say when she approached, and she ended up laughing it off awkwardly and telling me to let her know if I came up with anything. I walked out shortly after this encounter, mostly because Talbot’s is basically my mom’s closet.

“I’m not shopping for anything. I’m just sticking around because I like the music you’re playing,” I almost answered to a salesman in Nordstrom as I walked around looking at their rather aesthetically pleasing ties. The latter sentence died in my throat, however, as he jovially told me that everything was on sale, so if I needed to buy a gift just come get him and he’ll be happy to help me out before returning to his conversation with coworker about basketball. I continued on my way after lingering for a little longer to take in the different patterns.

“I’m really just waiting for it to be socially acceptable to buy food again” never made it out of my mouth, mostly because wandering around Anthropologie didn’t really lend itself to conversation when there were many, many interesting candles to smell. “I only walked in because I liked how it smelled in here” also never left my mouth.

Let it officially be known that I am sometimes not a very smart person. But I think I will leave off here and continue to search for that elusive green dress.

And, really, the only acceptable answer to give is, “No, thank you, I’m just looking.”

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2 responses to “Socially unacceptable responses to give when greeted by a shopkeeper

  1. Sometimes, it can be truly awesome to blurt out your first thought for a response. It can be fun to throw people off their routine. Often it is greatly appreciated. It can be seen as a nice break in their mundane work day.

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