Monday, July 14, 2008

Corrupting a Friend: A Modern Retail Tragedy in Three Acts

Act One: The Coupons

We enter The Limited, my friend and I. On a Sunday, no less. I whip open my purse and start waving around my coupons.

ME
I have !coupons! (I shout.) (Sales girls eye us suspiciously.)

LB (friend)
(Peeping over my shoulder.)
Wow. That’s a really good coupon. You should be able to get a bunch of great stuff.

ME
But look! There is….ANOTHER COUPON! It says “for a friend”.

LB
(Looks at me uncomprehendingly.)

ME
Hey… that’s YOU….YOU are “the friend”!
(I rip the second coupon from the flier.)
Here…put this in your pocket.

Act Two: The Conversion

I begin pawing through the racks of clothes. LB hovers by my side.

ME
Will you even look at this vest? Ohmygosh, SO super cute with a little blue stripe. And pants too! (gasp!) OH! And this little blouse…let’s see what sizes…!!

LB
That would be cute on you.

ME
I’m not talking about me, I’m talking about YOU.

LB
Me?

Me
(Suddenly stopping and really looking at LB.)
What are you doing?

LB
Um…Shopping?

ME
No. You’re shopping with me, for me.

LB
(Looking confused.)

ME
What is the matter with you? You have a coupon, woman! Now get over there and shop! For yourself! SCOOT!

LB
(Takes off uncertainly for the other side of the store.)

Act Three: Breakthrough

The sales girls have warmed to us. They have deposited three armloads of possibles into my assigned dressing room which is next to LB’s. LB meets me at the dressing room. She is holding exactly one pink shirt.

ME
What are you doing?

LB
What?

ME
You’re not going in there with one pink shirt.

LB
Why?

ME
(Sighing. I walk over and grab the nearest black blazer with white trim, the matching pant, and a black and white print sleeveless shell.)
Now get in there and get this on. You can’t possibly fulfill your coupon requirements with a pink shirt.

Sales Girls #1 & #2
(Smelling a commission now, they hover hopefully near our dressing rooms. They silently shake their heads at me in reaction to LB’s lack of retail motivation. I roll my eyes. Both LB and I disappear into our dressing rooms.)

ME
(From in the dressing room.)
Oh. MYGOSH! This is the cutest sweater EVER.
(I emerge from the dressing room with a flourish wearing a B&W sweater and a-line black skirt.)

Sales Girl #1
(Squeal!)
I’m buying that!

Sales Girl #2
LOVE!

ME
It just needs…

Sales Girl #2
Jewelry!

ME
Exactly!

LB
(Emerges from her dressing room in the black pants and shell.)
Hey. I think I like this.

ME
You don’t say!

LB
What do you think?

ME
Cute, but where’s the blazer?

LB
In there. (She shrugs toward the dressing room.)

Sales Girl #1
I don’t know….

ME
It needs more punch, doesn’t it?

LB
I have that pink shirt…

ME, Sales Girl #1, Sales Girl #2
NO!

LB
What’s wrong with a pink…

ME
(To SG #1)
Don’t you have, like, a purple…

SG#1
Blouse? Oh, yes, that would be perfect. I’ll go get one.

LB
I really like this shirt? I mean, look, it’s cute.

ME
It is cute, but it’s kind of…

SG #2
Blah.

ME
Exactly.

SG #1
(Returns with the deep purple blouse and hands it to LB.)

LB
Um…this? Are you kidding? It’s like…

ME, SG #1, SG #2
Purple.

LB
(Begins to look frightened. Disappears back into the dressing room with the purple blouse.)

ME
(Meanwhile, I settle on another on-sale blazer and a red scarf.)

SG #1
(Hands a safari print blouse with an empire waist over my dressing room door.)
You can’t leave without this.

ME
(Gasp!)
Done!

LB
(From her dressing room.)
Hey! I think I like this color.

We both emerge from the dressing rooms.

ME
LOVE that purple color on you.

SG#1 & SG#2
(Approving clucks and nods.)

LB
But…how much do you like the blouse?

ME
A lot.

LB
How much is “a lot”? Like, it’s the best thing EVER?

ME, SG #1 SG #2
(Looking at each other confusedly)

LB
Because…you know, I just don’t want to buy it if it’s “okay”. But if it’s great then…well…

ME
You know what? She needs a blazer.

SG #1
(Points to the back wall where a black tie-front blazer with three-quarter sleeves hangs.)
I’ve got just the thing!

LB
…I’ll buy it, but if…

ME
Perfect!

SG #1
(Returns w/blazer.)

LB
…it’s just average…or just slightly above average…

ME
(Handing LB the blazer.)
Put this on.

LB
(Automatically puts it on.)

ME, SG #1, SG #2
(squeals!)

ME
Perfect!

SG#1
That tie really works!

ME
We should try that other pant too….

SG #1
And jewelry!

LB
How much is the blazer?

ME
(To SG #1)
Did you get that pant?

SG #1
Right here.

ME
(Handing the pants to LB)
Try these.
(She disappears into the dressing room.)

Suddenly we hear an extra harsh ragged gasp from LB’s dressing room. Alarmed, we all look toward the door. The door opens and LB emerges eyes wide, face pale. She has on the pants.

LB
These?

ME
Yes?

LB
(Breathlessly)
These are.

ME
Yes?

LB
The. Perfect. Pants.

ME, SG#1, SG #2
(Nod knowingly.)

LB
(Suddenly regaining her color and composure.)
How much are these pants?

SG #1
Ahem. Well…um…they would be…uh…Seventy dollars?

LB
But! They are. The. Perfect. Pant.

ME
(Wiping away a tear…)
My baby! She’s all grown up!

2 comments:

Brenda said...

Ha ha ha...love it!

Jeanna said...

Too funny! I needed a good laugh. (Yet, so true, doncha know.)