I'm going to post about my weekend experiences, but I thought this story would be a fun and refreshing one to share. Turtle Guy had a date on Sunday. Still rather blurry-eyed from the intense weekend, it was a last minute discovery: no good CLEAN clothes!! This will not do. Cannot meet the girl inappropriately dressed for the theatre! The timing for new additions to the wardrobe couldn't have been better. I'd worked hard, reaped some financial reward, and part of achieving balance is to enjoy a portion of the spoils! So, I set out to spoil myself. There is a men's clothing store close to where I live and a fellow there who has been a fairly good resource to me when in need. All available sales associates were busily helping customers, so I browsed. I found a few items of interest, and eventually this fellow passed by, recognized me and indicated he would be with me as soon as he was finished with his current client. Time went by. I had to be dressed appropriately, but late for the girl - unacceptable. I was approached by another salesperson who appeared to have some time to help. I accepted, feeling a little uncomfortable about not keeping my loyalty to my regular sales fellow... however, we're all busy, I was sure he would understand. Turns out, "Jane" (not her real name) was dealing with three clients simultaneously. I found a sweater I just LOVED, so we started there, matched some pants and so on. The sweater was large enough for two of me, and with no smaller sizes available I felt somewhat deflated. I waited for Jane to return from her rounds. She offered a number of other sweaters, but I really did LOVE that particular one. She convinced me to try a turtle-neck style (not sure if she was aware of my turtle-status... but perhaps she knows people who know people...) The neck really bothered me, but I thought, just to give it a fair shake, I'd hang for a bit and see if it would grow on me. Meanwhile, off Jane ran to tend to other clients. Found a coat I loved too, much like a balloon on me and so once again, deflated. The sweater wasn't doing it for me either. By this time, Jane was at the cash with her two clients and the two other sales associates - my regular guy included - were standing at the till talking. I waited. And waited. Finally, feeling there was really no selection of anything I LIKED and was in my SIZE, I then became frustrated about the lack of service. Jane had disappeared, and the boys were still at the cash. Noticing the time, (mindful of the girl, of course!) I decided to move on. I got as far as the door - suddenly the guys at the counter SPRINTED over to me... at that point, the answer was "no, you can't help me - nothing here fits!" I decided not to get into the service issue, but may still if I feel motivated.
Off to store #2. The malls this time of year are just crawling with mad Christmas shoppers - a breed all their own. I arrive - a little worse for wear, but in one piece - to store #2. started browsing - quickly. Immediately I had a fellow at my side asking if he could help. ABSOLUTELY! I told him my story of woe. He said "How about if we find you everything you need HERE, and quickly?" I liked him already. Told him I was off to the theatre and needed something appropriate. "With a girl?" he inquired. "Yes, as a matter of fact, a very special girl." He immediately tuned in. A sweater caught my eye, so I decided to start there. We matched a shirt, pants AND an outdoor jacket. I scored. It was a 10 minute decision... just the way I like to shop. What's that? About 2 minutes per item? Then of course there's the issue of the hemming. The pants needed to be hemmed. How long? "Oh, about an hour should do it." An hour. Checked my cell phone. It was ringing! "Hello, David speaking..." It was the girl. The most helpful sales associate stood in waiting. Now I had a hard and fast deadline. "An hour, hey?" "Well, let me see what I can do... I'll be right back" He returned with a smile on his face and said "I had a chat with them about your pants. They said since it's for a GIRL, 30 minutes." Excellent! Seems if your cause is noble enough, forces will unite! Again, I was impressed.
I went for a walk through the mall to spend my 30 minutes browsing. On my return through a large department store I realized I was missing a glove... one of a pair I purchase not two hours previously! MY knee-jerk reaction? Panic. Where is it!! I retraced my steps, no glove. I figured for the $7 that glove was worth - assuming the other one was also worth $7 - the stress wasn't worth it. I'm two stores away from store #2 and happened to notice a lady walking the other direction - talking to another lady pushing a stroller. "Oh, look, someone must have lost their glove!" As she points to the floor against the wall. Wouldn't you know it, IT WAS MY GLOVE! I immediately held up the matching glove "Wow, that's my glove! Thank you! Thank you! My thank-yous thank you!" We had a little laugh about it and moved on.
Sure enough, all was ready for me at store #2. I made it to the girl's place on time AND appropriately dressed - to the point of some very sweet compliments. The theatre was wonderful -- Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and to top it off, a lovely dinner with the girl to follow. A dinner, might I add, graciously offered by the girl. Dare I say, a keeper!