Monday, May 18, 2009

Thinking (Thomas) Pink...

I should have learned this lesson a long time ago. I am not a rookie. I have been back in Chicago for seven years - even living within a John Daly tee shot from Michigan Avenue for five of those years - how did I think shopping on a Sunday afternoon when it was 65 degrees and sunny outside would turn out? My bad...actually - it was their bad - and by "their" I mean the customer 'service' representatives from Saks for Men, Bloomingdales, Brooks Brothers, Kenneth Cole and Hugo Boss. H and I are so sorry to have bothered you.

I have a birthday coming up - I will be 32 this Friday. Hold the applause and the zippy happy birthday song. As a gift - H wants to buy some of the items needed to complete my wedding 'look' - including the shirt, a pocket square and my tie. Normally, she could handle this - but because I have taken special care with what I have bought thus far for the wedding and because as of today I have lost 35 pounds (!) - I needed to go with her to get re-sized and pick out what I was feeling.

We have been so busy the last few weeks between Mothers Day weekend, my mom's surgery (she is Ok) and general wedding planning, that Sunday was the day for us. And - what a day it was. I would love to pick on each store and their employees. I explained to each one that I was getting married and wanted a quality slim-fit white dress shirt to go with my suit - and that my sugar mama (who was with me) would be purchasing it. We screamed "ready to buy." Unfortunately, nobody was ready to sell. Odell at Bloomingdales was nice enough to take my measurements - he couldn't be bothered to find me a shirt to actually try on. Peter from Saks on Michigan was too busy tinkering with lyrics for his next emo/garage rock album to actually be bothered. The guy at Brooks Brothers - I forgot his name - showed us to the pocket squares and left. Not to be outdone, the guy at Kenneth Cole didn't know what a pocket square was...and finally - Hugo Boss - I walked around store for 20 minutes and couldn't even find a sales representative. Well played.

I wonder if we went on a weekday whether we would have been treated better. I am not making excuses for these jackenapes, but I imagine that they get every Wes, Mark and Dunbar (obvious MTV Real World references) from Schaumburg coming in on the weekend and not buying a thing. I am guessing they're a little desensitized from it all. Knowing this, I was careful to point out that we live down the street and that we should know better than to shop on a weekend. That apparently didn't matter (I do need to give props to Eric at Paul Stuart - he was great)(the collar on the shirt wasn't).

Which leads me to this sage piece of advice - the Thomas Pink store at Macy's on State Street is a lifesaver. I popped in there after work yesterday and was immediately greeted by Crystal - I explained to her what I was looking for and low and behold - she grabbed it for me (as well as a size up and a size down). I tried it on and got her reaction and she put it on hold for H to pick up - this took 15 minutes - tops. Unreal. Obviously, I am happy - I wasn't ready for the tremendous disappointment of visiting high end and high middle ended stores and being treated like a second class citizen - so this made up for it. It felt good to matter again.

Next weekend I am going to get all dressed up in my suit (which is now complete) - walk in to each store and say it:

"Big. BIG mistake. Huge!"

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