Shopping is an activity that is dull, repetitive and soul-numbing. So, yesterday I took the time to do it.
Monday, October 31, 2016
I do it as little shopping as possible, although it’s nice to look at the clothes I would be buying if I were a clothes horse. Instead, I prefer to know what I want, get in the store, find the desired pieces and get out. I make one big exception with music shopping, but that ritual has been facing a slow death over the past decades, anyway.
I’m looking for “the perfect brown leather jacket.” I feel that it’s a cardinal sin to mismatch colors of leather: Black leathers go together, and so do browns. Plus, I like the softer, sometimes more studious look that brown leather offers, for when I don’t want to look “edgy.”‘
I took trips through K-Mart (why?), H&M (more sensible, but nothing for me, there) and Macy’s. I saw some jackets that were getting close to what I wanted and took a mental note of them.
Then I thought of the Men’s Wearhouse on 6th Avenue. I thought it might be a good place to find a brown leather jacket, so I ventured there to see what goods awaited me. I entered and was approached by a salesman who was obviously slick (although I didn’t yet know HOW slick). I mentioned that I was looking for a leather jacket and the salesman immediately and confidently took me to a rack of jackets. I was actually impressed by the cut and color of one of the jackets quite quickly. Could this be my perfect brown leather jacket? At the time, it seemed like it was, so I quickly decided to buy. The salesman also noted that there was a “buy one, get one free” special on the clothes, and I decided on a quilted piece that – although not perfect – would be a nice addition to my repertoire.
I should have known just how slick the salesman was when he noted that the quilted jacket was the more expensive and that it would be THAT jacket I’d be buying, instead of the cheaper, brown jacket. I protested, noting that the sale should apply to the price of the jacket I actually wanted, and he quickly capitulated. He noted that I’d have to return to get the other jacket, which was on order because I wanted a jacket color that was not in stock.
I was fairly pleased with the deal I was getting, and walked out with the brown jacket with another on order. As I carried the jacket in the bag, I started to notice just how light the bag was. In addition, I couldn’t smell new leather on the jacket: that lovely clean musky smell.
I got the jacket home and was trying it on when I got really curious about the makeup of the jacket. I looked on the tag and — damn it! The jacket was wholly synthetic: something like 90% polyester. I felt immediately offended and stupid: offended that the guy would be so disingenuous as to lead me to jackets that weren’t leather, as I asked, and stupid that I trusted him so quickly. But, who wouldn’t believe a salesman who led you to something for which someone asked?
It was a waste of my time to even walk in that store, but I marched back in after going back out of my way and demanded a refund. The even more bizarre moment was when the same salesman asked me if I’d like to see the actual leather jackets. Are you kidding me?