“When I was around 15 years old, my much older cousin and I decided to go shopping in ‘town.’ At the time, we lived in a small Texas town, and the closest place to do any serious shopping was a 40-minute drive away to ‘town.’
I was excited to go to town with my cousin. She was pretty cool, and we were really as close as sisters at that time. Once we got dolled up in our town clothes and put on a little makeup, we then left.
When we got to town, we first ran some errands for my mom and then had lunch at a burger joint. After that, we decided to look for a birthday gift for my mom. At that time, she liked a perfume called Tabu, which was a little pricey for me. However, I was hoping I could find a teeny tiny bottle and then get her some flowers too. My cousin was all for shopping, and she remembered the name of a quaint little shop in an older part of town her friends frequented. She wanted to take a look to see if they had the perfume, so that was our first stop after lunch.
We found the place, it was situated in a little plaza with an ice cream shop next door. My cousin and I walked in, and a sales lady appeared as if by magic. She greeted us and asked if she could help us.
We said, ‘No thanks.’ We just wanted to browse around for a gift for my mom’s birthday.
She was sweet, so I asked her if she carried Tabu. She told me she did, and to follow her. We went up to a locked glass case, and she pointed out the Tabu, which she had in a few different sizes. Even the smallest bottle was too expensive for me, so I told her I wanted to look around for a bit. The sales lady’s demeanor changed instantly, her sweet smile disappeared into pursed lips. She nodded her head, closed the glass door, pulled out the key, and walked away. I remember thinking, ‘What the heck?’
So I walked over to my cousin and put my head near hers and whispered to her, ‘Let’s go.’
My cousin looked up at me with a big question mark all over her face. Before I could tell my cousin what just happened, the sales lady came striding over to us, where we were looking at a display of earrings.
‘Perhaps if you haven’t found anything satisfactory here at (name of the store), you might want to try the Walgreens down the street, or perhaps the Five and Dime,’ she said, snottily.
She didn’t even try to hide her disdain. My cousin and I were both taken aback, and pretty mortified too.
Sure, we shopped at both of those places too, but we were looking for something special for my mom’s gift. Neither of us said a word, but both of us were flushed red from indignation as we turned on our heels and walked out of the store.
The sales lady stood in the window and watched as we got into the car and backed out of the parking space. My cousin and I had found our voices by then and were both fussing and carrying on about how rude that sales lady was. How we felt that she had more than insinuated that we were too trashy for her store. Sure we were small-town girls, but we knew how to act right, and we weren’t trashy either.
That sales witch intimidated me so badly that I didn’t want to go into shops like hers anymore.”