I was to write about heartbreak, but I chose to write about an experience I had a few hours ago. I have no sense of style, what I find in my closet is what I wear. I decide to buy a pair of jeans at the local supermarket seeing as I have none right now. I look at the sizes, and I pick what suits me in quick succession. The young girl staffing the aisle walks up to me. I quickly tell her that I know where the dressing room is. I thought that she wanted to point me in that direction. She says okay and allows me to proceed.
I come out of the tiny dressing room, and she asks me if the jeans fit. I tell her yes and immediately she says, “That is nice, but these jeans are the one you will be taking with you.” I feel surprised. She is not rude at all. She says it so softly you would think she knows me. I indulge her by saying that I am not sure the one she is holding up fits. She gestures for me to give her the one I am holding. I oblige her and then she hands me the one she has in mind. “Try it,” she says, “it will look good on you.”
I protest stating that people ‘will see me.’ She almost laughs, but she manages to feign seriousness. “Well, that is the point” she answers. I take it feeling as though I have no choice. She somehow wrestled power out of my hands, and her decision is final even though it is my money. I had already decided to buy the other one, so it is not about her earning commission or making sales. It is even more puzzling because supermarket attendants receive basic pay. I felt startled by her calmness, amazed at her audacity and flattered by her concern.
I look at myself in the tiny dressing room, in those skinny yet stylish jeans. I mock them regularly, and here I was, wearing them, and they start looking good. I do not see how they look good, but they must because I am about to buy them. I would not do it if I were alone, but she has decided that it looks good on me. No does not seem to be part of her vocabulary. I walk out of the dressing room wearing it just to show her how hideous it looks on me. It was a big mistake. She likes it, and so does her co-worker. An old woman just passing stops to see what we three are talking about with such fervor. She jumps in the conversation and soon, it is three against one.
I concede defeat, change into what I came with and then I find her holding another pair of trousers. “The ones you have on are too big for you. You will come for this one next time,” she asserts, without twitching an eye. I want to protest, but I cannot. It is true. The one I have on is a bit big for me and the one she picked looks like it will fit me perfectly. Then she moves on to the shoe section showing me which ones are in and out of style. At this point, I thank God that I do not have any money. “You will buy these later,” she says and then she adds, “I cannot believe that you wanted to buy that jean trouser, so boring.”