Still the Same (Bob Seger, 1978)

aCS blog: Confessions of a Trophy DadKevin Rudge


Any similarities to actual events and persons in my family are not coincidental. This story took place on Tuesday, May 12, 2009.

“The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her.” ~ Marcelene Cox, a woman

Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, we sometimes find our heart’s desire in our own backyard — or like my wife Elizabeth, there, not even an arms length away, sitting right before our very eyes . . .

Having a bit of time before having to pick Lauren up from dance class, Elizabeth stopped in a local shop. She soon found herself at the sunglass display rack with not one, but two twenty-something sales girls attending to her every shopping need.

As she tried on sunglasses, Elizabeth received varying levels of approval from Sales Girl #1 and #2 — amazingly mirroring her every comment and facial expression.

“Those look so good,” said Sales Girl #1, referring to a pair of black oversized designer sunglasses Elizabeth had on. “I saw Angela Jolie with a pair just like them.”

Elizabeth studied the glasses in the mirror. “Don’t you think they are too wide for my face?”

“Yeah, maybe, like a little too big for your face,” said Sales Girl #1, nodding her head.

Elizabeth tried on a pair of light beige framed and brown lensed glasses. “What about these?”

“Ooooh, I like those a lot,” said Sales Girl #2.

“I don’t like the the color,” Elizabeth said.

“I was going to say, except for the color,” said Sales Girl #2.  “Yes, definitely do not like the color.”

This went on as Elizabeth tried on pair after pair.  Discarded and prospective sunglasses littered the glass countertop.  She had gone through a dozen or so before picking-up a two-toned brown lensed pair made by Izod.  Elizabeth looked in the mirror and said, “Wow, I like the black and brown two-tone.”

“Oh, those are cool! Yeah, two-tone. They look fantastic on you!” said Sales Girl #2.

“Do you think?” said Elizabeth.

“Love them!” said Sales Girl #1. “Oh yeah, like they are so you.”

Elizabeth lingered at the mirror a few seconds longer before agreeing, they did look good.  She took them off to look at the price, but there was no tag. Upon further inspection she noticed a small scratch on the frame.

She wasn’t concerned, all the sunglasses on the rack were priced generally the same and the scratch was not large enough to be a show-stopper. Elizabeth showed the scratch to the sales girls and being half-Italian, asked if they could take a percentage off the listed price because of it.

Sales Girl #2 was game, “Yeah maybe. Let me ask my manager.”

She paged her manager overhead and as quick as you can say  “Discount Designer Sunglasses, Great Choices for Under $100,” the boss woman was at the display rack.

With the backing of Sales Girl #1 and #2, Elizabeth again asked for an additional discount.  After studying the glasses the Manager announced, “These are not our glasses. We don’t sell Izod. Someone must have switched them.”

Sales Girl #2 gasped.

Sales Girl #1 stood motionless, her mouth open.  “We’ve been like so scammed,”  she whispered.

Elizabeth was also surprised. Surprised she had been brushed by an apparent crime — but also that the Manager said they didn’t carry Izod.  “You do sell Izod,” she said.  “I bought a pair here before.”

“If we did, we have not sold them for a long time,” said the Manager.

While the Sales Manager lectured Sales Girl #1 and #2 about keeping a closer eye on the store merchandise — reminding them that they were not to remove the tags on the glasses when customers are trying them on — a horrific thought entered Elizabeth’s mind.

She rummaged through her bag in search of something.  It was not there.  She looked again, double checking all pockets.  It definitely was not there — her worst fear materialized.

“Oh, you know what?” said Elizabeth, interrupting the Manager.  “Those are my sunglasses.”

“Excuse me?” said the Manager.

Smiling, Elizabeth said, “The Izod sunglasses.  They’re mine.  I bought them here awhile back.”

“They’re like yours?” said Sales Girl #1.

“Yes,” said Elizabeth, now laughing. “They are mine.”

“Oh my God,” whispered Sales Girl #2.

Elizabeth had just tried to purchase her own sunglasses. She wore them into the store on her head and must have placed them on the counter, mixing them with the store owned sunglasses.

Elizabeth failed to recognize her own glasses; the sales girls and manager failed to recognize the humor in it all.

It was time to go get Lauren.  Elizabeth left the store wearing her two-tone, brown lensed, Izod shades — her heart’s desire — all along right there before her very eyes — and she didn’t have to pay a penny for it.

“Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was . . .” ~ Talking Heads, “Once In A Lifetime”

Kevin Rudge is a stay-at-home dad of three girls and practicing trophy husband.  He lives and writes from his home in suburban Chicago.  More of his humorous observations and confessions can be found at MyDadDoesNotWork.com.

Kevin’s Mother’s Day Note:  “My three daughters have an amazing mother, who lives her life with purpose, style, and grace — and an uncanny ability to lose things.  She is quick with encouragement and a side of fruit or vegetables.  Her love for them is infinite and her desire to cuddle — boundless.    She embraces their lives with happiness, and gives their days and memories newfangled reasons to smile . . . Happy Mother’s Day Elizabeth!”


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