Girls Write Out
Friday, April 27, 2012
I'm not saying I've exactly been a bear lately, but I've maybe been a tad bearISH at times. You might have picked up on that from my post last week. Well, nothing's changed. For instance, what's a somewhat not unattractive woman (leave me to my delusions, girls) to think when she walks past a kiosk in a mall and a young man tries to hand her a brochure about wrinkle cream? What would YOU have done? I looked straight ahead and kept walking--to the nearest Godiva shop. Mel was pleased when I saved some for him. He needed it, too.

It had been a long time since the two of us had gotten out for a nice dinner and some play. We discovered we have forgotten how to play, at least, in a mall. Business was slow and there were a lot of parking spaces. That should have been our first clue. Filled with crab legs and shrimp nachos from Red Lobster, Mel was in a chattering mood, and as we entered through Sears he started teasing me about buying a big screen television. There was my second clue. My silence was HIS second clue. It was going to be that kind of night.

We walked into the mall proper without being accosted by a salesperson--when we're together, we're scary. The two of us together can out-chatter a couple of chickadees. If I don't place my hands over both our mouths, no one else ever gets a word in. But I think Mel picked up on my somber mood, and suggested we divide and conquer the mall. He wanted to look at gadgets and I wanted to look for scented things like candles and soaps and do some walking. So he stopped at the closest sports store and I kissed him goodbye and headed toward the scents.

I avoided the cookie kiosk and managed to keep the girl at Annie's Pretzels from sticking a cinnamon pretzel in my mouth, but when I reached the first scent shop, I saw trouble. There were no customers, and there seemed to be three people working. I stopped at the very front edge of the store without stepping inside. I was not in the mood to brave three hungry salespeople. Apparently, however, they are now able to sell their wares outside the store. I saw some interesting items on a front shelf and focused on them. A sales lady, likely a district manager showing the teens how it was done, asked me if she could help me. I shook my head, avoiding eye contact. She crossed her arms and moved closer, asked if I was a member of something, I shook my head. She asked if I'd received their latest email. I shook my head and left. I didn't even go inside. I wanted to sniff and look, I didn't want to push off a pushy salesperson who couldn't read body language. Please don't be angry with me, lots of people have sales jobs. I'm not usually that rude, but last night I was.

Mel, in the meantime, had found something to pique his interest. Someone was setting up a toy helicopter in the center of the mall to fly and entice the men and children. Mel stood far to the edge of the area so the man wouldn't accost him for a sale. The man didn't. He crashed the helicopter three times before he broke it. A saleswoman from the women's apparel shop nearby stepped out and tried to draw Mel inside with her. He took off like a scared bunny.

After walking through several stores in the mall with body language that dared anyone to say a word to me, I finally found my scent shop, hesitated at the entrance, sniffed some candles, eased inside, skin tested some soaps, and was at the far back of the store before a salesgirl approached. She was sweet, didn't push, helped me sniff several new scents. "These are good," I told her, "but nothing beats Warm Vanilla Sugar." She grimaced. "Oh. That's my mother's favorite." I grimaced back and thought, "Honey, I could be your grandmother. Don't talk like that to me."

Mel and I left the city earlier than we expected to, both of us looking like deer in headlights. We still weren't ready to face the real world after a year of major stress. We're still suffering from PTSD. We came home, let the cats entertain us, and watched four episodes of NCIS and Bones reruns. For now, the real world can stay outside our house.  We'll let dear, sweet Bonnie, our assistant, run interference for us while we hide and recover a little longer.

Have you ever had one of those days?

Hannah Alexander  
posted at 8:44 PM  
  Comments (18)
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At 8:59 PM, Blogger jel said...


and I'm sorry you are grumpy! :(

At 10:43 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, Janice, tell me all about it! (And I'm not THAT grumpy) ;-)

At 8:46 AM, Blogger SheilaG @ Plum Doodles said...

Hmm, that same wrinkle cream devil must be making the mall rounds. Unfortunately, I was in a weird mood to be entertained with the sales tricks (have you noticed the same tricks they all use?), so I allowed the guy to smear goop and talk it up, all the while telling him I wasn't buying anything. Do you know how much that goop cost? $600!!! He finally realized I was telling the truth when I said I wasn't buying anything and got really nasty with me. Started pointing out age spots, told me to just use my credit card (it'll go through, right?), you color your hair, you have other mall purchases in that bag.... Yikes- what started out as a little amusement pretty much spoiled my day.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, yikes, SheilaG! What is it with some creepy salespeople ruining it for the normal ones? Worse, I made timeshare reservations for a week and someone from the same town where we plan to stay made a cold sales call (against the law with me) and said he'd take my timeshare off my hands. I told him absolutely not, that I loved my timeshare. And do you know this smart aleck actually said, "Well, why don't you marry it?" You know, I have a whistle for those kinds of calls, but I never use it. I need it by the phone. I did report the man. You could have reported the creep who accosted you to mall authorities.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger jel said...

so your not like grumpy, off of Snow White? ;)
one of the reason I don't like to shop, or answer the phone,

so if by chance anyone ever wants to call me , ya have to talk to the man on the answering dodad thing. ;)

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

LOL. Nope, not like Grumpy, but also nothing like Snow White, either. I think you're wise to screen phone calls. I actually got scammed to the tune of 1,000.00 last fall, when I was very susceptible, by a salesman who called and talked a very good sale. I thought he was with the time share company we were with. He lied. That's why I plan to use the whistle next time someone calls like that.

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Jackie S. said...

Cheryl, don't feel bad.....we all have "those" days!!! lol Last week we were eating out and seemed to have TWO was so annoying with each of them constantly asking this or that and then "did she do it for you".....I lost my appetite! Never going there again! lol

At 1:09 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Jackie, that is so wrong on so many levels. You go out to have a relaxing time and you get pitched to be a contest judge. Were you expected to tip both of them? What gives?

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Mary F. Allen said...

The way I see it, you didn't bite anybody's head off, so you weren't over-the-top grumpy. Hope Tomorrow is a sunshine-in-your-soul kind of day.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thank you, Mary! I've bitten off no heads all week, in fact. It's been a good week. ;-)

At 10:17 PM, Blogger Dawn Turner said...

Reminds me of the day I went shopping for my new laptop. Hubby abandoned me with not ONE, but TWO Best Buy sales people who thought they were dealing with a computer-stupid woman. After humoring them for a bit, I let them both have the full force of the fact I actually knew more than they did. I'm not even the computer geek in the family - that's my hubby - but I knew more than they did. I was aggravated with hubby for abandoning me with them, and I was aggravated with them for treating me like some helpless, computer-dumb female who could be talked into anything if they scared me enough. I walked out of there with two very unhappy sales people, the computer I wanted, and spent no more money than I intended when I walked in the door.

At 1:02 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Dawn, my heroine! I love it!

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Ruth Smith said...

When I went shopping for a laptop I took my brother-in-law with me who has been into PC's before most of the salespeople were even thought of. It was funny when they would talk up a certain model and he would reply disagreeing with them. As the saying goes, "He's forgotten more things then they will ever know". They knew to leave us alone.

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

LOL, Ruth! That's the way to do it--take an expert along with you for the big stuff. Mel usually goes with me to get a new car--which we've done three times in the 16 years we've been married, and one was because our other car was totaled. He does tons of research first, so he can quote what he's read, and since he's got an IQ out of the stratosphere, he remembers everything he's read. But I have to leave because I hate the stress of barter. For me, it's just--give me the right price, tell me the truth in the first place, and I'll buy from you. If you can't respect my wishes, I'll never see you again.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Tracy Ruckman said...

We all must be in a similar season or something - I made a comment to Tim that this world had gone mad and it just wasn't good for us to leave the house any more. My son went to a restaurant this weekend where they pat down all the guys before they let them in, and they look in all the ladies' purses. Uh - no.

A few weeks ago, we went out to "play" and stopped in a Harley dealership - Tim dreams of owning a trike one day. We knew we were just going in to LOOK, nothing more, but the first salesman latched onto us, and within a few seconds, Tim gave him MY business card. Ack!!!

I'm ready to purchase a family compound - then I wouldn't have to leave home. I'd order groceries and supplies online and have them delivered.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Miriam said...

Cheryl, I didn't see you as grumpy either. I've worked retail before(years ago) and we were taught to respect the customer and greet them, but learn to read their body language.
I've been out shopping before and I have to admit unattentive (like talking on cellphones or fellow workers) salespeople annoy me just as much as pushy ones! I've been in stores before and could not get someone to help me and so I simply walk out. If this happens more than once in a store, then they have just lost a potential customer. I have reported this to managers before, always trying to be polite, but my family have told me I would never be good at poker--I think they mean that my face didn't get the memo...LOL!

BTW, same is true for those computer phone calls from businesses, if it's not a real person, then it can talk to my answering machine and I just delete later.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Tracy, we started looking for a new Forester online so we wouldn't have to deal with ultra pushy salesmen. All Mel did was check a few out and checked "browse only" as to his interests on their sporty model. They've called and emailed him constantly ever since. I knew better than to give my number. I think a family compound sounds wonderful, especially since you're treated like a criminal when eating at a restaurant.

At 9:30 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Miriam, a good salesperson is the best thing one can find when shopping. Someone who knows the wares she's selling and can read body language and watches her customers instead of filing her nails or talking on the phone, that's a great salesperson. She deserves a raise.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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