Another Awkward Week [3.6.15]

Hiii guys! Happy Friday! How was everyone's week? I'm not even going to mention the s-n-o-w word because I'm over it. Yesterday I decided I'm taking a zen sort of approach to this winter situation. I will acknowledge the s-n-o-w, marvel at its beauty, accept it for what it is - one of the four glorious seasons of this planet - and then move along. I'm hoping Mother Nature will pick up on my gracious 'tude and usher in spring like, stat.

Listen, I'm not saying that makes any sense but it doesn't NOT make sense, you know? Just trying to embrace the power of a positive attitude. 

I'm also a leeetle frazzled this morning. I walked all the way to the subway (five blocks! uphill! in the slush!) before realizing I'd forgotten my cell phone, so I raced back (5 blocks! uphill! in the slush!) to get it and then had to go allll the way back, yes, 5 blocks, ok no it's not really uphill but it is covered in slush, to the subway again. My life is so hard!!!! 

This was a marginally better morning than the last time I forgot my cell phone, though. That day I didn't realize until I was on the train and should have just kept on keepin' on, but instead made the ill-advised decision to get off at the next stop and go back home instead I accidentally just got on a different train still going towards Manhattan, instead of back to my home, and then that train got rerouted due to track issues and then I had to transfer to yet another train and that line was so backed up I had to let three trains pass me by before I could finally squeeze onto one and I was 45 minutes late to work ... and still had no phone.

There is nothing sadder, though, than forgetting your phone all day and panicking about all the messages you're surely missing, only to come home and find ZERO texts and realize no one missed you as much as you thought.

So somebody make my running around this morning! First person to send me a business sext wins...nothing. But do it anyway!

Ok, move along, weirdo. I have a story to share! One quick tale of what was keeping it oh-so-awkward this week.

This Dressing Room:

dressing room TRAUMA


Ok numero uno, yes this is an all around amazing photo. I know. Where am I looking? Would it have killed me to wipe off last night's mascara before going out in public? Woof. Stars, they're just like us!

ANYWAY. As I mentioned earlier this week, we're trying to pack super light for our big trip (next week!!) which for me means buying a whole new wardrobe because if I'm packing light, I'm packing right. 

Last Sunday I woke up bright and early and took the bus to the Atlantic Terminal Mall, just across the street from the Barclay's Center. The plus side to this "mall" is that it contains both a Target and an Old Navy, which are basically the only 2 places I ever shop. The down side is that it is the worst goddamn "mall" in all of American and I'M NOT EVEN EXAGGERATING. It's always over crowded and understocked, with abandoned carts everywhere and children screaming. When I first moved to NYC lo those million years ago, my mom came up to help me move in. We went down to the Tar-jay to stock up on household items and we two country mice were terrified by the sadness that is a city Target. We needed a dish drying rack and curtains. There were no dish drying racks in the kitchen aisles, but we did find one laying on the floor in the middle of the curtain aisle.

HORRIBLE I SAY. That is one thing the suburbs has over the city (aside from cheaper rents) (and outdoor space): better Targets. I have been brought to actual sexual climax just walking in the doors of a big suburban Target. Goodness, I'm getting all worked up just thinking about it now. 

Gotta cool myself down over here!

But, alas for me, I've become a city mouse through and through so the best I can get is this shithole of a Target and the adjacent shithole of an Old Navy located next-door. 

So blah blah BLAHHH what a saga this is becoming (!), on Sunday I bussed my buns down to the Atlantic "Mall", stopping first in Target to stock up on household goods (ok mainly just scented candles) and first aid items for our trip (lots and lots and LOTS of Immodium) before popping down to Old Navy. By the time I got to ON, I had my hands full with bags from Target so I was delighted to see that the store was stocked with shopping carts!

Shopping carts at Old Navy?! Is this a thing now? Whatever, I'm on board. It was one of those little double-decker ones, so I put my Target purchases in the bottom and set to shoppin'. I quickly filled the top row with clothes and made my way to the dressing room. 

This dressing room is absolute crap. It's in the middle of the store and really cramped and every time I've been there, there are just clothes EVERYWHERE. Everywhere. I don't think they have a back-of-store inventory. They just throw everything in there and hope for the best. This place is the worst.

A middle-aged man was working the dressing room and showed me to a room, large enough even for me to push in my cart. Hoorah. 

I tried on a number of items - primarily various different shapes of pants, in an on-going attempt to break out of my strict jeggings-only wardrobe, but alas, I still don't think I can pull off any pants but jeggs. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I guess!

I had just finished trying on and was getting ready to re-dress in my clothes I came in, when suddenly the dressing room door swung open! I guess in my haste to pull that goddamn cart in with me and start trying things on, I forgot to lock the door behind me. Maybe I thought it locked automatically? Who knows. All I can say is I did not lock the door and the dressing room manager must have not realized I was still in there, for he pulled the door wiiiiiide open to find me inside in nothing but my bra and underpants.

Kill me now?

It gets worse.

He quickly slammed the door shut, all the while yelling and I do mean YELLING what began as an apology and turned into a full on exercise in mansplaining and humiliation. 

"I'm sorry," he began, "I didn't see anything. You should have locked the door. You didn't lock the door. It wasn't my fault, you need to lock the door." 

"I know!" I yelled back "it's Ok!"

He kept going.

"She didn't lock the door, everyone!" he yelled to ALL THE OTHER CUSTOMERS. "You have to lock your doors. Everyone lock your doors." 

In my room I quickly pulled my clothes back on, and outside I could hear other shoppers LAUGING at me, talking among themselves about how another shopper (ME ME ME!!) had just inadvertently flashed the entire dressing room, all the while the attendant kept repeating how vital it is for us to lock our doors, continually asserting his own blamelessness.

Guys. It was MORTIFYING. 

And I don't mean being seen half starkers by a bunch of strangers in an Old Navy, I don't give a shit about that kind of stuff.  I mean the whole scene that followed. 

Why did he have to keep TALKING about it?! He just made it worse!! I understand it must be difficult as a man to work in a lady-heavy dressing room and I'm sure he was worried I'd complain or accuse him of being a pervert or something but a simple apology would have done the trick. He did not need to call me out, loudly, to all of the other shoppers and shame me for not locking my door. I get it, dude. I should have locked the goddamn door. I didn't. We're all still alive, move along here.

Not to get all preachy (JK I LOVE BEING PREACHY!!!) but this is the kind of low level, pervasive #yesallwomen, sexism that women face every day. This guy was so hellbent on making sure everyone in the store knew not to worry, he didn't MEAN to peep on ladies in their undies, he's actually a good guy that instead of being an actual good guy, he humiliated a woman in public to reassure himself. Screw you, dude. 

I should have actually reported that behavior to his manager but I was too stressed and shocked to do anything. I just kind of threw my clothes back on and fled.

Well, as fast as a woman with a loaded shopping cart can flee out of a crowded Old Navy dressing room. With a short break to snap this attractive photo, natch. 

I still managed to drop a cool $100 and I'd so love to say I'll never shop there again butttt let's be real. I'll be back this weekend. Ugh.

So what did we learn today, kids?

1. Ladies: lock your dressing rooms.

2. Men: don't be dicks.

3. Apparently I'll let nothing stop me from scoring those sweet Old Navy Deals.

Le sigh.

And that, friends, was that! It was so weird!!! I think I just realized re-telling it how actually traumatizing and not that funny it was.

debbie downer

Whomp whompppppp. 

THE END! Good story, as always. I know! 

I hope everyone has a delicious weekend and if you are shopping BE CAREFUL. I have a few more pre-travel errands to run...including Old Navy, ha! I think I'll try one of NYC's myriad other locations, though. It may be time for me and the nightmare Atlantic Mall to take a little break. 

xoxoxo Liz