Sunday, September 5, 2010

An Overshare and a Fashion Faux Pas

You know how you know you shouldn't go anywhere after the gym, but you go against your better judgment sometimes? Yeah, I did that.

The other day I decided to visit a gym near work. This is not my normal gym, but mine was closed so I decided to venture off to a different gym that I had a pass to visit. I checked the trunk of my car to see if I had any emergency clothing, and by sheer luck, I did. Success! There was no need to drive all the way home just to get some gym clothes.

So, I visit the gym. I do a lazy, I'm-tired-after-a-long-day-at-work workout (you know the type) and leave the gym. This particular gym does not offer showers, so I venture out into the open feeling slightly sweaty and gross.

As I approach my car, a local store starts beckoning me to visit. It seems to say "Come on, Cadence, who cares if you're in your ugly gym clothes? Come shop. Come shop!"

I give in to the urge, as I suffer from the disease of being a shopaholic. I sigh, and assess the situation.

Pros: I like to shop. This is a fun store. I've never been to this particular location. I just got paid. It's still early.

Cons: I'm wearing clothes that are so ugly that I was able to throw them in the back of my car for several years and not care that they were missing. (The outfit was comprised of Payless sneakers, ill-fitting flared stretch pants and a t-shirt circa 1999.) That and I'm gross from working out.

The urge to shop won out.

I entered the store and shopped successfully for a moment. I stopped to talk to a woman who questioned if I liked an item I was going to purchase. Easy. No problem. Next up was the guy who helped me find vitamins. Following that, a salesperson asked if he could bring my basket to the register so I could grab a new one and shop more. I said no, as I had already shopped too much and was using the full basket as a deterrent against buying more, and the salesperson scampered away.

Next up, I approached the facial products aisle. My goal was to find the absolute cheapest product in the store, make sure it fit my needs and get out. As I'm scouring the aisle for the cheapest thing, a salesperson approaches me. He asks if I need help.

Here's the dialogue that ensued:

Sales guy: Hi, can I help you find anything?
Me: No, just looking for facial cream. Apparently the rage now is to get moisturizer that prevents wrinkles before you get them.
Sales guy: Oh, I use this one. It's great! I don't have any wrinkles, so it must work.
Me: (Looks at it.) Thanks. Good to know.
Sales guy: My mom uses this one.
Me: Cool.

The conversation continues on this topic, with me offering weak smiles and one word responses. At this point, I'm getting a bit annoyed. The sales guy lurks around nearby as I stare at products.

Sales guy: I like your earrings.
Me: Thanks.
Sales guy: I had some but I had to take them out for work.

At this point, I'm actually mildly interested in the conversation, but my basket is getting heavy, I remember that I'm dressed like a gym student in 1999 and my hair is a state of madness.

The sales guy continued to tell me about his piercings and how getting his tattoos removed is expensive. While this might actually be an interesting conversation, I just want to leave. All I can think about are the atrocious underwear lines that are probably visible through my stretch pants. I finally find a super cheap moisturizer and make my escape.

I fully appreciate service with a smile, as sales representatives sometimes look at people with "K thanks die" looks on their faces, but this was a bit much for me in my awful stretch pants and ill-fitting t-shirt.

So, what are the lessons learned here?

* Even though the clothes in your car are only for emergencies, they should at least be fashion forward, or at least not ten years old and ugly.

* Be prepared for an overshare kind of conversation when you need it least. Had I not been so completely horrified by my wardrobe, I may have actually enjoyed the conversation at the store. Or, I would have at least known how to make a better exit.

* If you really think it's a bad idea to visit a store post-gym, trust your instinct. You'll save some cash, as well as your self esteem.

Note: Random store guy, if you happen to read this, please do not take offense. You were a cool guy. I liked learning about your piercings and stuff, as I also had lots of facial piercings until work dictated otherwise. However, my fugly clothing and lack of cleanliness horrified me, and I didn't want to talk to anyone. Plus, it's kind of embarrassing to tell you how super cheap I am, and that product quality was taking a backseat to my urge to spend the least amount of money possible.

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