Shopping Experience

Today I did something that I don’t do often.

I went shopping.

At a department store.

With my mother-in-law.

The experience reminded me why I don’t like to shop – trying things on is tiring, department stores are smelly and full of glitzy lights and difficult to navigate. It also reminded me why sometimes it’s nice to shop in person, especially at a store that prides itself on excellent customer service. Nordstrom’s really does hit the whole customer service thing right on the head. We picked up a saleslady while we were skimming the racks and she was courteous and helpful without being pushy. It was nice to try something on and if I liked it, simply hand the item to her and say “I need this in a smaller/bigger size” and she’d run off with it and come back while I continued to work my way through the pile of things she’d helped me find to try on.

I walked away from the store with a gorgeous new coat, it’s black accented with a sand-colored lining in the hood, on the cuffs and along the placket. It’s light enough to wear in the spring, water-resistant for rainy days and has a zip-out liner that makes it warm enough for fall without an extra layer underneath and perfect for winter with a sweater. It also has a “BART pocket” – a small pocket in the lining that I can get to easily but is protected from the weather so I can slip my BART pass in and out simply. I also have two new pairs of swanky pants to wear to work and two new shirts, one in red which I think is pretty sexy.

I also walked away having spent several hours bonding with my mother-in-law. It was nice to spend some time with her free of a lot of the pressures and expectations that sometimes get in the way of smooth relations. After we shopped for me, we slipped over to cookwares to shop for Sebastien. I’d like to think we had fun picking things out for him – my mother-in-law wasn’t sure what to get him and didn’t know what kinds of things he might need, all information that I was able to provide. So I got to be helpful, Florence got to finish her Christmas shopping for her son and we both went home happy. At least, I hope so.

I’m still not overly fond of shopping, and will probably continue to do the bulk of my clothes purchasing via the ‘net and mail-order catalogues, but this evening was a positive experience overall and I’m glad that it turned out the way that it did.