Maybe not; that’s how she got the monkey pillow. Friends said not to go down the toy aisle with a loaded child.
But this was a just simple errand: we… signed the kid up for gymnastics class; maybe we should get some of the clothes they wear in gymnastics. Fine. And I had even seen some of that stuff because when Olympics is on every four years, we watch the gymnastics part. The girls wear leotards – I knew that.
What I didn’t know was where you buy leotards. And where you can get them on short notice. The wife had made her additional suggestions, but the fastest route would be to try BuyMart, and if they had leotards, we would be done and they wouldn’t be too expensive. I agreed with her other point, too; I didn’t see a lot of benefit in spending big bucks over a class that our daughter might quit in two weeks. I’m not cheap; I spent a zillion dollars on Christmas toys that she didn’t play with. So I’m learning.
BuyMart isn’t too far from the house, so we get there in no time. We have one thing to buy, and only one thing: a leotard, and if they don’t have an official one of those, a cotton Danskin kind of leotard looking thing. At least, that’s what they called them when I was in school; I don’t know what they call them now.
We head to the ladies wear department, and pass through that to the kids’ department. Scanning, scanning, I glance around for a big leotard display. Failing that, I look for a clerk to help me. Savvy is patiently riding in the shopping cart, amusing herself. There’s nothing she really wants in this department, but that doesn’t stop her from grabbing packets of socks off the racks as we wheel by, and dropping them into our cart – and on the floor. I find a clerk. I always ask the clerk, who is wearing a blue BuyMart smock and a BuyMart nametag, if she works there. I have been accosted by many people in stores over the years because I walked in wearing a dress shirt and tie and they thought I was the manager. It’s not helpful when you’re in a rush, but it can be fun to direct them to the wrong aisle on purpose and then see their reaction when they start to get mad and realize you don’t even work there.
It’s fun for me.
But I don’t want to waste time with that today, and I don’t want to bother a woman wearing tan khakis and a blue pull-over shirt if she doesn’t actually work at BuyMart. Sometimes, they don’t. Folks wearing red shirts don’t always work at Target, either. You have to be careful.
“Excuse me,” I said, “Do you work here?”
Until that moment I had never thought about how possibly insulting it might be to imply that the blue smock might be mistaken for a part of a person’s actual wardrobe. The clerk shrugs it off.
“I need to find a leotard or some kind of dance clothing for my daughter,” I continue, motioning to the cart where Savvy has now started grabbing mini umbrellas off the shelves. Ignoring that, I go on. “Where would I find something like that? It’s for her gymnastics class.”
The clerk directs me to the end of the long display and begins to picks up all the umbrellas on the floor. I helped pick them up, too; I’m not an animal. Then we were off to what appeared to be the dancewear section.
There wasn’t much there, but it was next to the underwear section, so it seemed like we were getting close. I looked around for another clerk while Savvy loaded our cart with bras.
TO BE CONTINUED…