Perks, Cards, and Gimmicks

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.

Catherine’s, Avenue, Lane Bryant — LISTEN UP!

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!

Dumpy Me

 

Short, dumpy me!

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8 thoughts on “Perks, Cards, and Gimmicks

  1. Here’s my deal. Avenue employees in my area are idiots, and can’t help me clothes or run the register. I like Lane Bryant pants, but can never find a professional top (collar, sleeves, cuff – hopefully cotton w/ a tiny bit of spandex). However, I’m finding that Lane Bryant uses the cheapest thread. I usually end up mending the buttons within the month (yes, on loose clothing). So, I’ve been ordering online from LLBean and Lands End. Returns are usually free postage, and I’m getting pretty good (after a few tries) about knowing my right fit, size, and color. HOWEVER, I did get a too large blouse lost in my closet last year and found it only recently – waste of money. Sears never has shoes for work, and lately, not for my kids either. I found dress jackets and shoes at Macy’s recently so I may shop there more.

  2. I simply loved your rant Tudie and absolutly agree with you 100%, and further more let me add you’re not a dumpy woman. You may be shorter then the average lady, but you’re beautiful and have a wonderful sense of humor. Your article was like re-reading one of my old Erma Bombeck books. Have you ever considered writing professionally? Maybe you should because you have a real nac for it.
    I sincerely hope your shopping experiences get better for you, as a charming and funny lady like yourself deserves the best of treatment.

    Oh, btw, how are things going with that new perks card? Lol

    • Oh, you’re such a sweetie! Thanks for the nice comments. You didn’t know that Erma Bombeck was my absolute favorite writer! I loved her — so real. Thank you for recognizing my writing talent too. You made my day. I have been doing a bit of writing the last couple of years. This year I wrote weekly articles on the subject of marriage on LDSBlogs. In January I will be switching from marriage to a quote of the week and develop an article around the quote. I’m also writing articles for Mormon Women Stand (under my real name Laurie White). I’ve previously written a few articles for Familius and Meridian Magazine. The Meridian articles are under my real name too. I have the first draft of a young adult novel sitting around here, and I’ve written a children’s book that needs an illustrator. I have another blog (under my real name) Thoroughly Mormon. I also have an old inactive blog LaurieBee’s Family Hive. So I’ve had a bit of practice the last few years, and it was a big ego boost when I read your sweet compliment! I’m sure I’ll never write the great American novel, and I’ll probably never make a penny at this, but it doesn’t matter because writing brings me great joy. Thanks again for taking the time to make my day!

  3. I love how ‘real’ you are and your sense of humor. I am built like you so totally understand what you are saying. I used to be very small so for me shopping for clothing is not much fun anymore but I make the best of it. Thanks for the smile you put on my face while I was nodding my head at the same time. May God bless you!

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