Before I go into my grievances, ladies, I’d like to take the time to, at the very least, give you a little pat on the back for your wise choices in shopping facilities. With such trendy names as Gapped, Ralphonso Lauren, DKNY, Calvin and Anne Klein and Sons, Banana Republicans, Urban Outies and Prada-hucci gracing every other page of our magazines, sporting pictures of shiny, languid heroin addicts, we’re inclined to seek out those particular labels in the hopes that we, too, will become shiny, languid heroin addicts as fashion dictates we must. Those particular labels are more than likely found at those particular stores. Here in my swank area of the country, we’re graced with their presence in various outlet malls found at every major intersection in every major city and every major subdivision owned by Mickey Mouse.
However, there are those of us who are disinclined to believe that outlet malls are the end-all, be-all to the fashion-conscious, discount shopper. Like you, I’d rather find my labels OFF the “off the rack.” I shop at Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, and Ross, to name but a handful of places where I can find a floral sheath dress for $40 or a pair of Lee’s in exactly my size for $25.
Unlike some of you, on the other hand, I am a well-mannered discount shopper.
There are certain rules of shopping etiquette I wish — how I wish — some of you would abide by. They are common rules that, sadly, are never taught within the pages of those glossy mags. However, while we were growing up, our mothers ought to have given us little smacks on the bums whenever we took it upon our tatty selves to break any of those rules.
In case any of you have already forgotten (as age strikes us down with inevitable onset Alzheimer’s), the rules are as follows:
- Keep your shopping carts out of the aisles of clothing racks.
- Put it back.
- Say “excuse me” and politely. Don’t sneer as you say it. You will wrinkle.
- Switch your shiny gold iPhone off. No one wishes to hear about your female ministrations and menstruations.
- Dress decently when in public. That means —
- Ultra-low-rise jeans are only for ultra-low-rise girls.
- Sweats are for the gym.
- Wife-beaters garnered the nickname for a reason.
- Sizes 0-6 should be worn by sizes 0-6, not by sizes 10-56.
- Brazen words tattooed on your thighs will be read by men you do not wish to associate yourself with.
- Brazen words tattooed on your chest will be read by men you do not wish to associate yourself with.
- Brazen words tattooed on your lower back will be read by men you do not wish to associate yourself with (see the first rule of dress).
- Big, slouchy bags may be en vogue, but they also look as if you’re trying to imitate Winona Ryder circa 2001.
- Hide your mullet. Be ashamed of your mullet. It’s a mullet, for heaven’s sake.
- A nice manicure is one thing. To look akin to Edward Scissorhands is another.
- Deodorant in clear form, please (and deodorant is NOT optional).
- Head and Shoulders helps. They now have conditioner, too.
- Have the decency to wear underwear.
- Thin, white, cotton or yoga pants. No. Not ever. Not on you.
- If you are a lady over the age of 25, avoid clothing designed for those under the age of 25, even if you’re of similar size. It’s called the Junior section for a reason.
- When in the dressing room, talk quietly to your friends and family, or else there are those of us who will be bold enough to answer, “Yes, it certainly DOES make you look fat.”
- Gum and acrylic fingernails do not belong on the floor. There’s this wonderful receptacle called a trashcan…
- Try to be sympathetic to the sales staff. If they’re grouchy, it’s probably they’re overworked and severely underpaid with no benefits in their immediate future whatsoever. You know how that goes; you shop at a discount place, don’t you?
- Try ON the clothing before you buy it… and then it may be…MAY be…fine to return it.
- Wild animals, hyperactive children, and meandering boyfriends/husbands should be kept on a short leash at all times.
Lesson learned. Now shop to your tacky little heart’s content.