Yesterday I went to a city a few hours from here. They have a huge mall, something that is fairly non-existent in the area I live in, so I thought there was a good possibility I might find something interesting. Like I said some posts ago, I’ve been searching for boots. It was also just an excuse to get out, and my mom loves to go driving to new places, so it worked out.
I never did find my boots, though I got more useless clothes as a buffer for my depression. No, it doesn’t work, except for the first five minutes. Afterward, meaning today, I regretted some of my purchases. I actually would throw some of them in the trash in frustration, but then it really would be useless, now wouldn’t it? Doesn’t that sound like something a spoiled little child would do? Throw things away in a fit of rage? Hm. For some reason that still does nothing to quell the thoughts. I buy things on impulse; I hate it when I do that. I already took the tags off; no taking it back. It’s too far away anyway.
We stopped at a surplus store on the way home. I walk in the door, wearing my old pair of boots. They’re ready to fall apart, but I don’t care. I immediately get cornered by some man I don’t recognize, and find him asking me too many questions for me to really recall. He gives some sort of comment on my boots, about liking them, etc. After I give an automated answer, I give him a sideways glance and stalk away, realizing that he’s not some random person, he works at the store. Maybe it’s okay then? I still thought he was a little overbearing, but given that I was in the perfume section at Macy’s only an hour earlier, with saleswomen circling me like vultures, I figure, hey, maybe he’s just nice and shrug it off.
I’m alone all of…a minute? If that. He’s back again. I’m examining a tactical vest and he’s saying, “Oh, you’re that kind of girl.” I mutter something about “just looking”, and he laughs. He tries to start yet another conversation, but I manage to get away after a few murmured answers. Now I’m starting to think something’s weird. There are other people in the store, so I’m hoping he’ll go bother them, as there is a huge boot section I need to investigate further.
Now if he was not around 50 years old, this wouldn’t have been as strange. I wander into the boots, glance around and realize there are no knee highs to be found. When I see used army and navy uniforms I make a beeline for the back of the store, and immediately start trying things on. Naturally everything is all out of order, so I have to sort through an entire rack to find my size. I see my mom moving through the displays, and end up showing her the things I’m looking at. Then he’s back again. Internally I groan. I know that I can’t tell him off, because I’m deeply considering buying something and I don’t want anything fucked up on account of my being a cold bitch.
He says something like “so that’s where you went”, as though he’s been looking for me. Now I’m getting not only uncomfortable, but more than a little irritated. I haven’t been without his presence for even five minutes. I release the jacket I’m about to try on when he says something about it looking good on me. I’m not at all in the mood to be examined. I grind my teeth at this point and my mom is not saying anything either, though we exchange a “what is with him?” glance.
This is when it gets into a conversation. He’s asking a bunch of questions again, and I just let my mom answer. Somehow we get on the topics of boots for a second time, and mom ends up telling him that was the reason we came to town. This is where it goes from mildly irritating to screaming in frustration. He keeps talking about how they don’t have any knee high boots but they might be able to order some. In order to get the the right sizing I’d have to try some on.
I confess, my social anxiety makes me want to curl up in a corner and die. I can’t stand trying things on in front of people, shoes or otherwise. It just makes me very uncomfortable, same thing with eating. I can’t eat in front of strangers. I pick at food, then wind up eating nothing. Strange, I know, but I’ve been that way since I was a child.
Thankfully he runs off to do whatever, and I stomp over to the jackets, hoping he’ll forget, though I know it will never happen. I never did find one of those jackets in my size, as I didn’t get all that much time to look.
Back he is again. I only tolerate all of it because I’m hopeful that there might actually be boots that I want in that stupid magazine. All of them are steel toed and lined for cold weather. The fact that they all seem to run upwards of $300 puts me off though. He comes back with a 7.5 when I told him an 8 or a 9 (they’re men’s shoes, so the sizing was all off for me), but I grudgingly try it on anyway, and barely manage to get my foot in. My toes are all smashed into themselves, so he goes and gets yet another. My mom is with me the entire time, like a protective bear—it makes me want to smile.
I try on the new ones, and he just HAS to say something about my socks. The bottom part is covered in rainbow stars (don’t laugh…), which is fortunately all he can see. In actuality they are knee high with GIR from Invader Zim all over them. Another compliment comes that makes me want to throw the heavy shoe at him, but I smile benignly. What can you do? This time it was something about how I have style or some such bullshit. I was dressed like a preteen, wearing purple pants, combat boots, and a shirt with GIR and neon stripes on it. I had to change in the car from my “adult” clothes because it was so stiflingly hot, and because we had nowhere to go, I didn’t give a shit if I looked like crap. Now I know he’s just after something and I’m completely suspicious.
It gets weirder. I have to get wide shoes because I’m flat footed, and when I mutter it (becuase all of the shoes are narrow as fuck), he automatically pipes up that he is too. Oh yay. He lifts his hand up for a high five and I consider ignoring it. I’m too old for it, far too old. I went to college, I’m not 12. Then the more malicious, clever side tells me “could mean a discount if you treat him nice”. That’s all the encouragement I need, so I humor him.
The second shoe doesn’t fit either, so he steals my boot and tries to look for a difference. I’m kind of miffed because I hate people touching my things. My boots are sacred, more so than just about anything. I keep them impeccably clean, even in my messy room and from the sloppy, muddy roads.
Finally we go to the register to see this magazine, and he leaves us alone for a moment, not before introducing himself a SECOND time, and shaking my hand. This is the second time I’ve heard his name, and I still for the life of me, can’t remember what it was. I’m too busy trying to gauge the smile—what does it mean? The humanist wants to assume that he’s just one of those annoying, overly nice people that you sometimes want to club, but tolerate, due to the fact that you know only a jackass would crush such a optimistic moron with cruelty. But he’s touched me a couple of times, laying a hand on my arm, etc., so it’s boiled down to something being quite wrong. Too many red flags. He asks me my name, and I give it, then turn away. I guess I had a high tolerance for bullshit that day. Or maybe I just really wanted boots.
Of course, he isn’t gone forever. He comes back after we talk to the guy at the register about the shoes. They do have one type of knee highs that they’re going to check up on. There’s no hope though; there was no price. I’m sure they aren’t even going to be a whopping $300, but more in the $500-600 range. Still, we leave our number (something I later regret, though nothing has come of it…yet). Mom has already said we are in a hurry (we are both looking to get away from the place, though there are about a hundred unique things there that I’d love to buy), so we finally depart rather quickly.
We laugh about it in the car, discomfort gone. Yes…it was a little weird. I’m writing this all down so that I don’t relapse into thinking I’m crazy later. I keep doubting things that have happened; my memory has been completely shot lately.
About the boots, not that anyone would care, but if I come back and read this later I might want to know. I bid on some on ebay, but eventually gave up when they went to high. I’ve decided I want New Rocks, either the 161 or the 272. I was going to buy another pair of Demonias, but I’m finally facing up to the fact that I want what I want, and if I buy the ones I’ve been looking at from them, I’m merely settling (I already got the Reapers; they can’t make anything more impressive). Now I’m going to have to save up a good, solid $300 to cover them…. That $2oo more than I wanted to spend. Oh well. I guess I can save for it. At least that way I have something to look forward to when nothing else seems to get me interested.
I also might get a job in a few months where my dad works. They might be hiring soon, and they usually take employees’ kids no questions asked when they are short on staff (they always are during spring and summer). Might get me work for 6 months at least, so I can help my parents out with the bills—and of course, buy insanely expensive boots from Spain because I’m materialistic and don’t give a fuck about it. I guess I’m Jack today.
There’s nothing to do anymore but what brings a little bit of pleasure. There isn’t anything else. It’s all useless now, and I don’t want any of it.