Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dressing Room Diaries, Part Deux . . . . . . . . . or How to Lose Your Shirt (Literally) and Survive

There is nothing like a leisurely stroll through Macy's at 11 o'clock on a weekday - when the rest of the world is hard at work - to make me feel like I'm getting away with something. On this day, my first stop was the shoe department where I tried on five pairs of sandals. I wasn't going to buy sandals, I just tried them on because I still get giddy trying on strappy shoes. Thank you, Dr. Brian Donley, Orthopedic Surgeon Extraordinaire.
Then I allowed myself to be moisturized and pampered by the Clinique ladies, who promised me their potions would make me look 20 years younger. They seemed genuinely saddened by my decision to look my age and make a measly $32 purchase.
Next, I lingered by Fine Jewelry where they were thrilled that I wanted to see what it was like to wear a $6500 diamond bracelet. If you close your eyes, it feels just like wearing a $200 diamond bracelet (but let's not tell that to the menfolk.)
After that, it was on to Petites - and my real reason for shopping. I set about finding a pair of capris and jacket to go with the pink top I was wearing. It's the cutest thing - sleeveless with a little v-neck rimmed in tiny ruffles. I bought it during another foray to Macy's a week or so ago. But today - everything was on sale!! You know my penchant for bargains, so I skipped to the dressing room with an armful of sale goodies.
Since the store was virtually empty, the nicest saleslady hung about to see if I needed anything. I sometimes hate this, but this time it was quite helpful as I am now in between sizes. We will not pause here to contemplate how that came to be, but suffice it to say it involved cookies and was not the result of exercise of any kind.
This nice lady - Delores was her name - took over and brought me anything I needed. She even took the clothes I didn't want right out of the dressing room for me, pausing just long enough to tell my sensitive ego that I needed the next size up in that jacket.
She was right, of course, and before long she retreated to the hall, leaving me in my bra and one last pair of watermelon-colored capris, thus allowing me the dignity of contemplating the size of my rear end in private. After turning this way and that, I decided there's no way I could wear watermelon-colored capris without looking like I was using them to smuggle actual watermelons. I reluctantly shimmied out of the capris and - vowing to start running 15 miles every day - handed them out the door to Delores, who scurried off to the cash register.
I settled back into my favorite old khakis. And that's when I discovered my pink shirt was nowhere to be found.
What the. . . .? How could. . . .? I looked under my purse. I looked in my purse. I looked under the bench and while I was down there, looked beneath the door into the hall.
No pink shirt. Old Eager Beaver Delores must have grabbed it up by accident!
"Hello?" I called. "Delores? Are you out there?" but she'd gone.
I stared at my reflection in the mirror as though I expected to find me/it with an evil little smile on my/its face, dangling my pink shirt from my/its fingertips.
There was no way I was venturing out of this dressing room without every single piece of my clothing firmly on my body.
I sat down on the bench. It was so quiet. No one else petite trying on clothes. No noise from the sales floor. Where was Delores now, when I needed her most??? I tried to remember if there was one of those racks near the door where people hang the clothes they don't want. I'd have to open the door and extend my near-naked, pasty-white torso into the hallway to look. I took a breath, opened the door and took a quick peek into the hall much like the cops do in crime shows when they think someone might start shooting.
Nothing. But then my quick-peek skills are not up to cop standards so I looked out again.
Damn. My modesty being what it is, I had taken the dressing room farthest away from the sales floor and couldn't see around the corner to the doorway. No one would hear me even if I yelled. I hopped back into the dressing room and slammed the door.
Think! I told myself. Then it dawned on me. My cell phone! I dumped the contents of my purse on the floor, grabbed my phone and tried to dial 411 for Macy's phone number. Oh happy day! I'd ask for Petites, then tell Delores to get her helpful little patootie back in here with my pink shirt.
Except my cell phone had no reception. I held it up to the light, danced around on the bench with it over my head, even thrust it into the hallway but zip zero nada. After this was over, I was going to have a talk with Verizon.
I gathered all my junk back into my purse and slumped down on the bench. What in the hell was I going to do now?
Then it occurred to me that maybe Do Gooder Delores had left clothes in other dressing rooms! I listened to see if I could hear anyone - anyone at all - but it was quiet so I took another deep breath, threw open the dressing room door, shot into the hall and began lurching in and out of stalls in search of something . . . anything . . . I could put on to go in search of my pink shirt.
And at last, there it was. . . in the last dressing room across the hall. . .my salvation. It was truly such a ghastly looking piece of clothing I'm not surprised it was left behind. Apparently, it had aspirations of being a formal gown of some kind but to what kind of formal event it hoped to be invited was beyond me. It was very glittery and sort of a dirty yellow. Strapless with silver sequins and silver beading snaking all over it. Two long rows of silver sequins were stuck to the princess seams in the front, ending in a glittery dirty yellow ruffle to which someone had attached dirty pink sparkly flowers.
Sparkly crocheted flowers.
No matter. I snatched the ugly rag off the hanger, shot back into my dressing room and slammed the door. I could only get the zipper down partway, though, because more sparkly crocheted flowers were guarding it. I didn't care. I ripped off the top two, but the next one was stuck in the zipper like gum to a ponytail and there was no budging it.
Without unzipping it, there was no way I could get the offensive rag over my head. I thought for a minute, and decided just to wrap the dress around me horizontally and sally forth that way. Not ideal, but at least no one would see I was wearing my scrapping bra - my most comfortable bra with the misfortune of having an old pop dot stuck to the front of it like a wonky nipple. (Take note: Pop dots do not come out in the wash.) The beading and sequins wreaked havoc on my armpits but I barely noticed as I cautiously opened the dressing room door and sidled into the hallway.
With any luck, I'd meet another Petite taking advantage of sales. I'd explain my situation, we'd have a good laugh and she'd go find Dunderhead Delores to bring back my pink shirt. But the hallway was empty.
I tiptoed past the row of dressing rooms (why I tiptoed, I have no idea but it seemed appropriate at the time) and rounded the corner to the sales floor. There ahead of me were racks of Chaps and Claiborne and Hilfiger . . .but no people.
I was in luck. I could go snatch something decent off a rack, zip back in here to put it on and go in search of that delinquent, Delores. I decided to grab the first thing within reach. . . which turned out to be a bikini.
I poked my head out further and saw a fuzzy haired person across the way handing a bag to someone.
I tiptoe/hopped across the aisle, around a rack of jackets and another of tank tops and tapped her on the shoulder. After much stage whispering, I was able to make her understand my situation and that no - I did not want her to see if she had that gown in my size.
Unfortunately, Dippy Delores did not recall taking any pink shirt out of the dressing room. Nor did she recognize the shirt I described as being an actual Macy's product. At this point, I just wanted to strangle Delores and run back to the dressing room with anything decent in hand but I took a deep breath and described the shirt to her again.
Me: "You know. . . a sleeveless pink tank. Tshirt material. Tiny ruffles. Vneck!"
Delores: "Are you sure you had it on when you came in?"
I'm kid you not.
Insert sound of crickets here.
In total exasperation (and with one particularly vile sequin biting the hell out of my armpit), I asked her to go gather up all the clothes she could remember me trying on. That's when a light snapped on in Delores' little empty head.
"Wait!," she cried. "Pink shirt? With ruffles on it? No sleeves?"
"Yes, Delores! Yes!! That's it!! Where is it??"
"Well, I don't think we have any more of those. I only ever saw one, and it didn't have tags on it so I had to search for a price. I just sold it to that lady!"
Enter the Google Earth moment. You know the kind - when your mind is so freaked out by the total unreality of the moment that you feel just like you did the first time Google Earth zoomed you from mega outer space right down to your tiny itty bitty rooftop.
All I could see was Delores' beady eyes and her goofy half-smile, and suddenly my mind burst with visions of her wearing a dirty yellow sequiney thing tied tightly around her scrawny neck.
And that's when Delores' manager happened by. In short order, she had escorted me back to my dressing room (where I thankfully found my abandoned purse and Clinique moisturizer bag) and was plying me with an array of pink tops all of which coordinated beautifully with the capris and jacket Dipwad Delores had stashed at the check out. Then she personally rang up my order - crediting me in full for my new pink top - and handed me a $25 gift card before sending me on my way with Macy's sincerest apologies.
Ken was home for lunch when I pulled into the driveway. I told him about my morning and gave him the gift card. He wondered if I didn't want to use it myself the next time I went shopping.
No. thank. you.
From now on, this in-between-sizes girl is going to order two sizes of everything from Macy's online.


  1. OH MY GOODNESS - you made me both laugh and cry already this morning. It was difficult to hold back the giggles without snorting like a fool - but since I was reading this while in my office at work - I had to hold back. Otherwise I would have been in full-out rolling laughter! Only YOU Lori - This could only happen to YOU!

  2. LOL!!! Lori only you could have something like this happen! You've totally made my day. I don't think I'll be looking for Delores's help at Macy's in the foreseeable future!

    Karen R.

  3. This could be a scene from a movie or sitcom (would have been great on Seinfeld...) Anyway, I'm glad they got you fixed up and thanks for the smile, no, I mean laugh!

  4. OMG... sitting here crying I'm laughing so hard. I had SUCH visuals...

  5. Sandi told us about your post. If it wasn't so funny, I could be angry. But outside of Delores you have to admit, that was good customer service. I love your blog.

  6. Oh...mah...gawd! Girl, you are killing me! This could only happen to YOU! I can't WAIT for Houston! Maybe we should add a trip to Macys to our Sunday itinerary! ;)

  7. Too funny Lori, but so glad they found you a new pink shirt to match your pants and gave you a gift card, after all deserved it!!

  8. OMG Lori! this is too funny! thanks for starting my day out right!

  9. Lori, I'm not sure I want to go shopping with you!! Actually, it might be a good thing, I can guard your clothes!

  10. Thanks for a good laugh this morning, Lori! :)

  11. OMG..girl you are hoot and something like would only happen to

  12. Lori, I don't know whether to hug you for the laughs you just gave me or go wring Delores's neck for you with that sequined gown myself!!! I'm SO very glad you survived and was able to tell on yourself with such wonderfully descriptive words!!! I can't WAIT to share this with some people I know!!! LOVE YOU GF!!! And next time take a security guard with you into the dressing room!!! ;)

  13. GinniG sent this to me. What a laugh I had (at your expense). Thanks for the chuckle. I couldn't laugh too aloud as Dh would have heard me and I just couldn't try and explain to him!

  14. OMG the wonky nipple is just hilarious!!! I laughed out lous so many time!!! thanks so much for this!

  15. Oh my, that is hilarious and awful all at the same time!! bless your soul!