Tag Archives: Shopping

See Something, Say Something: Shopping Etiquette

The other time this slogan goes into effect…During a sale at a New York City flagship. Because we are not in suburbia, ladies…

When you are in an epic line to pay and a girl “hops in” with her friend when you’re nearly at the register. And then doesn’t go up to pay at the same time as her friend. See something, Say something. Something along the lines of, “Oh I thought you were together since you cut me in line! You should be with her because the next register that opens up is mine!”

The approving eye contact and knowing nod of one listening sales associate will be all you need to feel sure you’ve done your daily duty to deal-hunting New Yorkers, old and new alike.

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Tactless Acts of Public Preening

Tuesday morning, en route to Jury Duty, I wrote a little poem. It goes like this:

Mirror, mirror
Or subway door,
Public preening
Is the worst.
Get a room, people!

This phenomenon, the Tactless Act of Public Preening, is quickly becoming one of my most amusing, befuddling, disturbing preoccupations. First, it was the woman who arrived to the Barnes and Noble Starbucks, took up a table and two chairs when people were waiting, and proceeded to apply three brand new, fresh-from-the-wrapper tubs of fancy creams to her face, neck, legs and ashy elbows. And then packed up and left.

Then it was this girl, who rode the entire E train stretch from 42nd Street–Port Authority to 14th Street looking at her reflection in the window, adjusting her dress. She tugged, she twisted, she tucked, she bloused, she shifted…on and on to no end. Until it had to end because she had to get off. Don’t get me wrong. It was a great dress. And I have a feeling it looked like J. Crew perfection when she left her apartment that morning. But she was compelled to primp. Something incredibly strange happens in New York when millions of people are around and one feels entirely anonymous. It’s the same phenomenon that allowed a man to fondle his wife’s foot across a booth during dinner in a Mexican restaurant. And the same syndrome that led this woman to believe she could try a heap (heap!) of bras on in front of a mirror in the middle of a SoHo Forever 21:

Yes, lady. It fits. As did the prior 9 bras you tried on over your white button down. Meanwhile, in the time it took you to try on said bras, I waited for, entered, used and exited the dressing room. Why not just take in six at a time? Try them on in the privacy of a dressing room? Where you can put them on as one would a real bra, underneath your clothes?

So my question is this: If a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound? And if a person tries on bras in public, are they no longer undergarments? Where is the urban line between private and public drawn? Maybe New Yorkers just forget they’re in public because so much of our day is spent in anonymity that we might as well be alone. Maybe, though, there is an element of intentional boundary blurring on a subconscious level so as not to feel so disconnected in a place where one is so easily set adrift.

I wanted desperately to tell the Bra Lady that the green was not her color. But then I hesitated. What if she wasn’t actually soliciting public feedback by dressing in a public venue?? What if this phenomena, so bizarrely inappropriate to me, is considered normal by native New Yorkers? What if, one day soon, I find myself finishing up my morning routine in the middle of a full subway car as strangers look on? So I snapped my picture and proceeded to lock the dressing room door behind me.

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My Black Friday Diaries

I need to come clean. It’s been a week and this is still weighing on my mind. You see, today I was wearing a great new pair of Kelly green skinny jeans and, well, it just kept coming up. So I’ve nothing left to do but confess.

Last Friday, the 25th of Novemeber a.k.a. Day of Chaos, I, great critic of crowded sidewalks and bumbling tourists, joined the American masses, ventured out while the sun was still rising in the sky and shopped. That’s right, I Black Fridayed.

I hadn’t planned to and I never have before (I swear! You can ask my mom!) but when the email from my One True Love (Anthropologie) came to my inbox saying the magic words (50% off all Sale items) I knew what I had to do. I set my alarm like it was a regular work day, donned my baddest “I actually live here” outfit and headed out into the great twinkling wilderness of Rockefeller Center.

The sun was shining gently on the waking city; the flags above the skating rink flapped playfully in the breeze; my heart was beating like a hummingbird as I walked skipped the last block to the store.

And you know what?

It was MARVELOUS! I felt like it was Night at the Museum, except it was dawn and I played Ben Stiller and my favorite store was the set–it was sneaky, illicit, majestic, an inside joke I was in on. The racks upon racks of sale items were gloriously displayed throughout the lower level and (could it be, among New Yorkers?) there was a feeling of actual cameraderie ricocheting off of the shabby-chic walls.

While I’m not going to tell you what I did after I left with my bounty, suffice it to say that this new New Yorker would (and will) do it all again next year.

(Okay if you’re going to drag it out of me, I popped by the plaza to check in on the Today Show. You probably saw my smug mug on camera because this new New Yorker is not too cool for school! Hi Matt, Hi Ann!)

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