I must have been hiding behind a tree when God passed out the “shopping bug.” I HATE shopping! I especially hate shopping for clothes for me. I’m a large woman. I’m also a short woman, which is a double whammy. The option to shop online isn’t practical for me because nothing ever fits, and then I have to pay postage for the returns. Shopping in stores requires weeks (and sometimes months) of preparing myself mentally to look in a 3-way mirror at every bulge and every old lady sag. Then I have to search for a day when I’m in a really good mood with nothing on my schedule (yeah, right), because shopping in a bad mood will result in either tears or returning home to screech at a family member.
Now I know I’m not the only woman who suffers from this malady. I don’t have any scientific studies or research papers to back me up on this, but I would venture to say there are probably many more tears shed in dressing rooms than at funerals. Clothing stores make the process worse; not better. If I haven’t already shed tears in the dressing room, I’m sure to shed tears going out the door after experiencing the check-out line.
1) Not everyone wears pants 365 days a year. Some of us are professionals and we need professional looking clothing. Stock dresses and skirts. Some of those dresses need sleeves!
2) Not every large woman wants to wear safari clothes, or huge flowers on her boobs. Show us some femininity and beauty! We are beautiful people!
3) STOP THE GIMMICKS! Place a reasonable price tag on each item, and let me pay for it. If you want to put an item on sale, put a sale price on it.
I was given a $50 gift card for Christmas 2012 — which I couldn’t spend until today, April 26, 2013, because I need dresses and/or skirts and tops, and none of the three stores mentioned above had anything but pants until now. Today almost all of the dresses were sleeveless (totally inappropriate professional wear), and most of them looked like jungle wear.
In addition, Catherine’s was having a 30% off sale for most items in the store, but as usual, nothing was marked with the sales price. I admit, math is not my best subject. If shopping isn’t already stressful enough, trying to figure in my head what 30% off of each item is and then adding up the total in my head of all the items, well, gee, just give me one of those hand guns everyone wants to ban and let me shoot myself in the foot with it.
Shopping at Catherine’s is also the “Perks” card experience. Heaven forbid that you should not own a current “Perks” card. Today, I discovered my “Perks” card expired in 2010, and I had no intention of renewing it. I purchased three items: 1) a skirt ($74 minus 30% discount), 2) a blouse ($26.50 with no discount), and a blouse ($22.50 with no discount). First, let me say that $74 is a ridiculous price for a skirt — and frankly, the blouses were over-priced as well — but that’s beside the point. The woman at the check stand wanted to sell me a “Perks” card, so she told me that the three items totalled $180, but that I would save a bundle if I bought a “Perks” card for $25. Okay, so I’m not the brightest bulb on the planet, but even I know that those three items don’t total $180. I need two hearing aides which I can’t yet afford, so I thought maybe I had misunderstood until my husband who happened to walk into the store at just the right moment almost had a heart attack.
Ten minutes into the discussion, I finally walked out of the store having spent my $50 gift card from Christmas and putting $62.50 on my Catherine’s credit card — but I’m supposed to be happy with that because that included a “Perks” card which is supposed to save me money for the next 12 months (as if I could afford to shop again in the next 12 months), and two “Catherine’s Cash” cards for $25 off my next purchase of $50 or more (valid only May 13 through May 19, 2013) — which I can’t spend because I won’t have the $62.50 paid for yet on the Catherine’s card. My receipt also gives me a $15 discount on $75 or more between 4/27/13 and 5/26/13, with a whole lot of “exclusions” that I don’t even want to take the time to read since I won’t be using that either. With the instant discount from the “Perks” card, I think the card ended up costing me about $5 — which I might use within the next 12 months.
Shopping at Avenue with my daughter is always such a dreadful experience when we get to the check stand because the lovely woman who has helped us find our purchases disappears and turns us over to the Wicked Witch of the West who gives us the hard sell on the Avenue credit card which I don’t need and don’t want. No matter how many times I shop there, we get the same run around, and I get mad.
Shopping at Lane Bryant only happens if we are desperate because the sales people are so nasty and look down their noses at you if you dare look at the price tag.
So here’s the deal, people: Make me want to shop in your store. Make me want to spend my money in your store. MAKE SHOPPING IN YOUR STORE A PLEASANT EXPERIENCE!! STOP THE GIMMICKS!! Put a reasonable price tag on each item in your store, and let me shed a few tears in the dressing room, pay for my purchases, and be on my way without feeling like I need to shoot myself in the foot before I get out the door! If you make it a pleasant experience, I might even shop more often! Maybe it wouldn’t take me 6 or 8 months to work up the courage to walk through your door!
Rant over! I feel much better now!
Short, dumpy me!