Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sometimes, You're Ignored

My wife ordered some clothes from Catherine's, and decided to save on shipping by having them delivered to the local shop.  The local shop is a healthy walk from my office (less than 3/4 mile, I think) and I can easily drive past there on my way home.  So I offered to pick up her package.  I noticed some jewelry on clearance near the register ~ any item for $2.99.  I looked at them while waiting for her to retrieve the package, but didn't see anything I really loved, even at that price.

A couple of days later, my wife asked me to return one of the outfits.

In the past, I would have pushed the package back, looked at the floor, signed the card receipt and left.

That's in the past.

Catherine's only carries large sizes.

The saleslady asked if she could help me and I said "I'd like to return this.  It doesn't fit.  It's too big."  She said it wasn't a problem and asked if I wanted to look at other items while I was there.  This made me think she thought it was for me, which was fine.  I think she saw her mistake, because she followed this with "maybe we have the same outfit in a smaller size."  I said "no, that's OK.  I think I'll just return this one.  The other two were fine."  (There were three outfits on the receipt.)

I guess in larger size shops they get more men shopping for themselves, or their secret selves, than in, say, shops geared towards smaller women.  I seem to remember a shop called 2-4-6 or 3-5-7 or something like that, that only carried those sizes.  Not that I could ever shop there!

So I think her first impulse was to make me comfortable by assuming it was for me, and that was OK with her.  But I think she was confused because the other outfits were outside of my apparent size.

While she was handling the return, I was looking at a short-sleeve top near the register.  It was grey, with a large flower filling the bottom.  I thought it was pretty, and I asked what size it came in.  She said "0 through 5."  I said "what's that in regular sizes?"  and she said "0 is 14/16."  I said "it's very nice, but a bit too big."

By the end of my visit, I don't know what she thought.  I'd like to know, just because it's important to me to know how we're perceived.  But, really, I don't care.


  1. Catherine's is a part of the company that also owns Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant. I often order from FB on line and have it delivered (for free!) to the local shop. I suspect the woman who usually waits on me there knows that what I'm ordering is for me (I had to return a too-small jacket one time), but she has never said anything explicit.

    I keep thinking I should come right out and tell her, but everytime I go in there's somebody else around and I don't want to make it too common knowledge.

  2. I was out shopping as Diane all day Monday in the Mall -Macys ,Lord & Taylors etc also Kohls,Marshalls , Target, no sales person batted an eye. It also appeared none of the other shoppers read me . YEA!

  3. YAY Diane!

    If you'd like to send me a picture, I'll post it on an appropriate day.

  4. As I have done the shopping thing in drab, I have gotten to the point where I "just do it." I've gotten a couple of funny looks, but not many ... the only thing I don't buy is lingerie. I guess it's because there is a polite fiction maintained -- with the full collusion of the sales people -- that its for my wife, and what male buys normal, everyday panties and bras for his wife? (sexy lingerie is another story, of course). Buying everyday underwear would make it hard to maintain that polite fiction, and here in the Bible Belt, that's important!


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