Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Shopping Scents

I like shopping by myself. I am not an impulsive shopper, usually. If I am heading out to a store, I usually have an intended purchase in mind. Sometimes other things will wind up in my cart, draped over my arms, or in my driveway (??), but generally I think through my purchases. I will mentally tally up my bank account minus the purchase. I will pair it up with things in my closet (or where it will go in my house). I will dream about other accessories I need to buy to complete the purchase. But this all takes place in my own head. If I need to rationalize something, I will call for help. I'll call my friends, my mom, my sister, my brother. With all due respect, I almost never seek the opinion of the salesperson. They're biased.

But sometimes you get the overzealous salesperson who thinks they know you better than you know yourself. They think they know how you decorate your home. Yes, these chili pepper Christmas lights will add that something-something your home is missing. They think they can dress you better. They think they are Coco Chanel and you are a KMart Special. Personally, if you want to wear the purple with the green with the orange with the pink - then color away! If we all wore that outfit off of the mannequin in the front window we'd be rather ordinary.

Unless I am shopping in territory I am unfamiliar. In that case, help will be needed by the salespeople. I'll find you. Let me ask the questions. When I am in Home Depot and looking at the power tools or getting keys made or in a nursery deciphering the green and flowering and what I will or will not eventually kill, I will ask for some help. I know when the Shopping becomes too big for me to handle. By the way, shopping for a car? Been there, done that, on my very own, thank you very much. And most certainly when I am in any clothing, general retail, department, fabric, or liquor store, I can almost always hold my own.

So over the weekend, I went to this lovely store to pick up three things that I use all the time: my very favorite hand soap, my very favorite Dishwashing Soap and a waterless hand sanitizer ("The Soap, The Soap, and The Other Soap"). All three different brands (and three different scents apparently, you'll see). Here, I encountered one of those overzealous salespeople.

Going into this conversation imagine the Clerk as Jack from Will and Grace. Flitting about with a sing-song voice. The exclamations are necessary. Imagine me deadpan, not cracking. It's Super Shopping Deameanor, A Force To Be Reckoned With. Learn, kiddies.

Clerk: You know you have three different scents going on here! *smile*
Me: Yes. I do.
Clerk: So these aren't all for you then! Oh, I love giving gifts! I'll just wrap them up for you! *smile* {Clerk rummaging under counter}
Me: No-not necessary. They are all for me.
Clerk: But you have three different scents! *frown*
Me: Yes? *blink*
Clerk: Hmmm...well what are you using them for? *quizzical look*

Me: *blink*
Me: Well, they all have three different purposes. I am not using them simultaneously, if that is what you are asking. It's kind of like buying a deodorant, a perfume, and a hair gel - they don't need to match, now do they? {Inner Me: Good one!}
Clerk: Oh honey - mine do! *smile*
Me: *blink*

Clerk: Let's go take a look at some of the other scents - maybe we can get you in the same scent family! *smile* {Turns and assumes a running start to the dish soaps.}
Me: No-really-this is what I want today. Thanks for your concern though.
Clerk: OK. *frown* {Yes, disappointed he is but he finally begins ringing up the purchases of The Soap, The Soap, and The Other Soap.}

Clerk: {But not satisfied to stop there with this stubborn customer.} Oh. *frown* You were at our Clearance Table. You know this Dishwashing Soap is their Holiday Scent? {Takes his glasses off now to give me a good looking down upon.}
Me: Well, I kind of gathered that since it is Pumpkin Spice.
Clerk: Oh! So you are going to save it for next Thanksgiving! *smile*
Me: No. I will use it today when I get home. I like the smell. And it is on sale.
Clerk: Yes, we put it on sale because it is ssoooo last season. *tsk, tsk* We have some other more spring-like scents. Shall we go look? {Starts the sprint to the Clearance Table.}
Me: I like pumpkin in the spring. In fact, I am going to go home and bake a pumpkin pie. {Inner Me: Good one!}

Clerk: *frown* {Proceeds with the ring up of The Soap, The Soap, and The Other Soap.}
Clerk: *aha!* OK. Now this Hand Soap you bought - you haven't used it before now have you? *pursed lips*
Me: Actually, it is all I use. I have been using it for five years now. {Inner Me: No lie!}
Clerk: Then you should buy the economy jug! *smile* Let's go look! {Starts the sprint back to the soap.}
Me: I don't want the economy jug. {Now smarting to his next move.} Sure, I understand in the long run, I would probably save money that way. But I have nowhere to store it and I am fickle and may decide I don't like the scent in 6 months and I prefer to buy the new pretty bottle everytime.
Clerk: They make this one in a different scent too. What is it called- *perplexed*
Me: Don't want that.
Clerk: Umm...what is it called...umm..... *perplexed*
Me: *blink* {
Inner Me: Doonn'tt wwaaanntt iittt.... }
Clerk: I'll be back-

Me: That won't be nec-
Clerk: {Darts off faster than a speeding bullet, jumps display tables in a single bound.}

Clerk: {Running back.} Fruits and passion! Fruits and passion! *smile, smile, smile*
Me: Yeah, thanks. Still don't want it.

Clerk: *frown* {But proceeds with the ringing up.}
Clerk: OK. Now this hand sanitizer... {Takes off glasses again.}
Me: *sigh* What about the hand sanitizer?
Clerk: You know they make it in a bigger size?
Me: Yes, I want this size.
Clerk: You'll go through it pretty fast.
Me: I need it for my purse so I need that size.
Clerk: *frown* {Finishes ringing me up.}

Clerk: {Hands me the bag.} Enjoy your soaps! *smile*

In the end, I got out of there with my intended purchase: The Soap, The Soap, And The Other Soap. And when I got home I squirted them all over the sink together to break the scents in and boy did it smell like lemon, roses, pumpkin, cinnamon, verbena, lavender, sugar and spice and everything nice. *sniff, sniff* Smell that? An olio of scents. My nose was loving it.

So does my stubborn proclivity to my own shopping scents make me a good consumer or a bad consumer?

Cash Register: Ka-ching!
Apartment: I can't breathe. If I eat another thing I will explode.
Closets: Can you move out some of the derelicts in here?
Cat: Bags! Yeah, let me put my head in here and breathe. Let's play! Uh-oh. Yak. Yak.
Carpet: Dirty! Clean me!
Vacuum: Sick. Cough. Cough. Dying. Dying. Dy.....sssssssssssss...
Nose: Eww. What happened to the "olio of scents"?! Smells like someone is burning plastic.
The Soap, The Soap, and The Other Soap: Squirt us! Squirt us!
Carpet: Still dirty! Don't invite anyone over. I'm ashamed to have anyone see me like this.
Vacuum Store: Oh, you need my help, huh? We have special vacuums for people like you. That will be one million and sixty-two dollars. And it will die in a year. See you next year!
Wallet and Bank Account: Feed me.
Credit Card Company: Will you marry me?
Clerk who sold me The Soap, The Soap, and The Other Soap: Bitch! *smile*

In the end, the splurge on The Soap, The Soap, and The Other Soap ended up costing me a vacuum and not the unifying scented soaps, or the economy jug, or the "in season" scents the clerk was pusing. Nope. A vacuum. Or, that is how I rationalized it in my head. That clerk had some all-mighty powers that transcended my "shopping scents." Damn. He's good.


Morgan said...

One million and sixty two dollars? I'd say you got a bargain...gotta love hardwood floors...swiffer wet jet only costs $350,000 for the number of replacement pads to clean such a dusty/pollen-y place. Hope your carpet is feeling better even if your wallet isn't.

james said...

i like for the sales people to ask once if i need help and then back off. if i need help i'll ask. the other week i was in nordstrom on a saturday moments after they opened. so i was one of the few people in the store. so i'm looking at clothes and someone asks if i need help. no thanks just browsing. i pick up a pair of lucky you jeans to try on. so as i'm browsing the rest of the mens section no fewer than three different people come up to me with other pairs of jeans in various even more expensive brands going "oh here you should try these, you'll just love them" i'm a big boy. i can shop for myself. i'm not an 8 year old picking out a mothers day gift here. damn that annoys me. in the end none of the jeans fit, b/c ofcourse stores like that only carry jeans designed for underweight pencil thin boys you see in A&F ads.

rant. rant complete.