I have to confess: A couple of weeks ago I swore at a shoe saleslady because I thought we were just joking around. Apparently I was wrong. Awkwardness ensued.
I went to the running shoe store and explained to the saleslady that I buy runners based only on comfort. Style is irrelevant, as long as my feet are happy.
“Oh,” she said snarkily. “It’s my lucky day. You’re going to make me drag out every pair of shoes in the store, aren’t you?”
I was slightly taken aback, but I decided she must be joking. After all, dragging out shoes is her job. So I laughed and said, “Yep, probably. Sorry about that.”
She brought out a couple of pairs and I tried them on. She immediately pointed to one pair. “Those are the ones. I like the way they look on your feet.”
“They’re nice,” I agreed. “But they don’t fit. Do you have any others?”
She made another remark about how I was inconveniencing her, and I dutifully laughed. She returned with a couple more pairs, and again pointed out the ones she liked; and again I explained that their appearance was irrelevant.
“Wait, I have the perfect shoes for you!” She scurried off and returned with another box. “Here! These are beautiful!”
She triumphantly displayed the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen. I mean, we’re talking about some unholy union between a giant marshmallow and neon bedroom slippers; and if you’re having difficulty visualizing that, you’re lucky. The reality was retina-scarring.
I burst out laughing and exclaimed, “Those are hideous!”
“They’re beautiful,” she insisted. “Just put them on. You’ll love them.”
So I put them on, because if they had fit well I would’ve bought them no matter how ugly they were. To my everlasting relief, they weren’t comfortable.
“Nope, sorry,” I said.
“But they look so lovely on your feet! Just walk around in them a bit more. They’re so beautiful! These are absolutely the right shoes for you!”
And that’s where I screwed up. I was sure she was joking. Why else would she hard-sell the shoes when I’d already clearly said I hated them and they weren’t comfortable?
“Oh, stop with the bullshit!” I said with a grin. “I’m up to my neck in it!”
A chilly silence ensued.
I did buy a pair of runners (not the hideous ones), but it was awkward.
I feel vaguely guilty. One might argue that if she wasn’t joking, then she deserved a verbal slapdown; but that’s not how I roll. If I had known she was serious, I would have politely deflected her like any other annoying salesperson.
This ‘social interaction’ stuff is ’way too complicated. Maybe I’ll just order everything online from now on. And if that limits my contact with other human beings to once or twice a year, well, what could possibly go wrong?
At least if I really offend somebody and have to run away, I’ve got a snazzy new pair of runners…
Book 15 update: A productive writing week! Chapter 7 ended with a bang, and Aydan and the gang are off and running (literally).