Monday, August 3, 2009

Life Lessons

This weekend my parents paid Randy and me a visit to celebrate my birthday... one month early. After looking at our calendar, it turns out there was no better weekend between now and my birthday to celebrate, so Mom and Dad made the trek to Alton. And because it seemed silly for me to open presents a month before my actual birthday, Mom decided to take me shopping for professional clothes to start my career. 

We head to JCPenny, one of the only good stores in the area. JCPenny is having a lot of great sales, which excites both my mom and myself. So, we begin to comb through the racks and start adding to a pile of "try-on" clothes. We soon make our way to the dressing room. 

I begin trying on cute dresses and could be dressed up or down for school purposes. The first two that I try on are perfect. Fit nicely. Look professional, yet stylish. Nice! Mom tells me she'll take the ones I want and hang them on the outside of the dressing room door, so I don't get them mixed up with the clothes I don't want or haven't tried on yet. Seems like a good plan... teamwork can be efficient. Except when I need a different size. 

Mom heads out to get me a different size, and I continue trying dresses on. We've done this before. Not a big deal. As I'm putting on the next item, I see a pair a lady's tennis shoes and jeans come close to my door. I figure she's just seeing if someone is in the dressing room; after all, it's busy from all the sales. After I finish dressing, I open the door to show Mom, who isn't back yet from retrieving another size. It's at this point I realize the two dresses Mom put on the outside of the door aren't there. Weird. Maybe Mom took them with her. I slip outside the dressing room and see my mom empty-handed. I go back to my room. Another lady is standing in near the dressing rooms. I nicely ask her, "Did you see anyone take two dresses that were hanging on my door?" The lady tells me she didn't see anyone come out of the dressing room. Hm. Things are getting weird. 

Mom comes back to my room, and I tell her that someone took my dresses. She's flabbergasted. I told her I saw two white tennis shoes and jeans. Mom goes on a hunt around the department to see if someone has the two dresses. She comes back defeated. No one had them. 

Just then, a mother comes out of her daughter's dressing room one door down from mine. Mom gets a glimpse of the daughter's pile of try-on clothes. One of my dresses is there. Mom nicely confronts the lady by asking if she had taken some dresses off of my dressing room door. The lady quickly retreats back into her daughter's dressing room and mumbles that her daughter is undressed. Now, we hear mumbles. Lots of whispering. For about 5 minutes. We are waiting it out. I have all day.

After what seems like forever, the mother and daughter duo (along with the mother's much younger daughter... I'd say she was about 6 years-old) come out. The daughter slips behind her mother with a clump of clothes. The mother stops and looks at me. I ask her if I could see her pile of clumped up clothes. I can see she has one of the dresses I had. She lets me look through the pile, telling me that she found it on the rack. She could be right... except she wasn't. I found the dresses on the clearance rack, which was extremely limited in sizes. There was not another size of those dresses. I don't see my favorite one of the two dresses, so I let her pass. Again she insists she didn't have them. I tell her I saw her white tennis shoes and jeans. She brushes me off and leaves.

I don't let things go easily. Especially when I know I'm right. So, I tell Mom to watch them check out to make sure they don't have the one dress I didn't see in their crumpled pile of clothes to buy. The mother and daughter notice Mom, so they split up. Mom notices the daughter coming back from the clearance rack. And then, she sees the one dress I really wanted hanging from the clearance rack again. It was the only dress like it. And it was back on the rack. The daughter had slipped behind her mom, so she could put it back on the rack. 

At this time, I'm furious and worked-up. This lady has been completely rude to my mother, and she has her daughter in on the scheme. They continue to check out, and I finish up in the dressing room... with my favorite dress retrieved from the rack again and a size bigger of the second dress I had liked (since the stupid lady had taken mine to buy). 

I'm willing to take some of the blame. We shouldn't have put the dresses I wanted on the outside of the door. But that's where the blame ends on my end. I'm sure the mother probably thought those dresses were discarded and up for grabs. But she shouldn't have assumed so, especially when someone was still in the dressing room. Plus, the return rack was 4 feet from my door. The dresses were not on the return rack. She can't just assume. 

It's one thing to make a mistake, but it's how one recovers from that mistake that counts. She made a simple mistake of assuming the dresses were up for grabs. Fine. If she would have told me the truth that she had innocently taken them thinking that they were not wanted and that she was sorry, I would have been grateful for her honesty and taken the dresses back. No big deal. I'm sure it was embarrassing for her, but I'm very forgiving when the truth is told. It's the lying ... her blatant lying that boiled my blood. I saw her exact shoes. Mom saw one of the dresses in the fitting room. There was no way this lady had any case. That's what this mother is teaching her daughters. Lie. It's okay. Make the other people think that they are the wrong ones... that they are the crazy ones. Do anything you have to do to defend your lies. It's okay.

Except it's not okay. Life lessons are taught in these little moments. And this mother just taught her daughters that dishonesty and rudeness should be the course of action when they have made a mistake. 


waitingforcider said...

WOW. Some nerve. um... and liquid chlorophyll? are you turning into a plant?

Mom said...

I had calmed down since Saturday-reading the play-by-play of that
experience has gotten my blood boiling again. That @$%&%^) lady.
I shouldn't wish ill-will on anyone, but I do hope she gets hers some day.