Sunday, January 30, 2011

Would you like socks and srunchie with those?

My first experience with a salesperson attempting to sell me additional items while making a purchase was at Nordstrom when I was nine.

I had finally saved up enough allowance and dog-sitting money to buy a new pair of Guess jeans (yes with zippers). As I counted out my money at the counter, the woman asked me, "would you like some slouch socks or a scrunchie with these?"

Caught off guard by this new (to me) sales approach, I mumbled, "yes" before realizing I only had enough for the stone-wash jeans. The scrunchie and socks would have to wait.

As I grew older, I realized this was a common tactic of sales people and I even practiced it myself while working in the student store in high school ("would you like a soda with your Otis Spunkmeyer cookies") as well as when I worked at Abercromie and Fitch ("perhaps some perfume with your ripped jeans?")
Usually, the items offered make "go" with the original purchase. However, I have noticed lately this is not always the case. See the following incident below:

Today, I decided a nice vanilla ice cream cone would really hit the spot after walking my dog. I cruised in the drive-thru and placed my order via the screen and waited for my total.

Instead the voice replied, "would you like some oatmeal to go with that?" Oatmeal? really? Not only does oatmeal NOT go with ice cream, but it was also three in the afternoon. Hardly oatmeal time.
"No thanks," I replied.

But the voice did not give up on me yet..." Would you like to try a large fry or a large soda with that?" Now I was just getting annoyed. If I wanted a large soda or large fries I would have ordered them. And again, neither really compliments a small ice cream cone.

Pulling up to the window, I retrieved my ice cream cone (sans oatmeal, fries, or a large soda) and drove off.

I did not go for the sales pitch, but my guess is many people do. My only objective is: if you are going to try to tag on additional purchases at least make sure they compliment the original.

Also, if I could go back to that day where I bought those Guess jeans, I wish I could have also purchased the slouch socks AND a scrunchie. Both of those go with the jeans much better than the oatmeal would have gone with my ice cream...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Not trendy?

For some reason, when something is trendy (or "on-trend" as Meaghan told me to say), I make an honest stab at trying to like it. This attempt usually fails miserably and I decide to stick with what I know and like. Maybe I am boring. Maybe I am not trendy. At least I am being me, and that is what matters, right?

List of my failures with pop culture:

1) Twilight. No, not the time of day. The books. The movies. Basically anything to do with this phenomenon. And yes, I did read the first book and could barely get through it. Worst writing ever. It sounded like how I teach my students to get rid of dead words. The author does not use "said" once. Not once. Really?

2) Skinny jeans...I just feel they make my legs look like pig legs. Half a dozen times, I have hit up the stores in pursuit of these jeans. I have tried both cheap and expensive ones- they looked equally disgusting. Big thighs, small ankles. Yuck. I did however buckle and go for a straight-leg option (necessary for tucking into boots).

3) Ballet-style flats. This is one trend I wish I could wear, but I need the heel height, and always feel I make others uncomfortable when wearing flat shoes.

4) scarves and long necklaces. Again, I really like both of these styles, but cannot seem to pull them off. Seeing others pulling together an outift with a big necklace inspires me to find one as well, but to no avail. Same with scarves. When I try to wear either, I look like a kid playing with my grandmothers costume jewelry, or they do not quite go with my outfit.

5) Most fantasy movies. My sister, Meaghan, will agree with me on this one. They just plain creep me out. The Never-Ending Story" is the worst (I became physically sick twice after viewing this one), followed by the "Lord of the Rings." The whole trilogy. For some odd reason though, I LOVE Harry Potter... go figure.

6) "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series. Everybody was raving about it, so I put my name on the (100 or so person long) hold list at the Edmond's library. Finally got it last week. Read the first 150 pages and am bored and am choosing to abandon the book.

7) Gingerbread lattes, pumpkin spice lattes, Eggnog lattes, or any other holiday flavor for that matter. Each year, I attempt to try one after the initial excitement that they are BACK for the season and decide (year after year) plain, boring Vanilla is much tastier.

8) Napoleon Dynamite. Yes, I realize I am taking you back a bit, but remember how popular this movie was? Back in 04' (or something) I was stoked to see it playing at the movie theater in Queen Anne. It was going to be SOOO funny. I was wrong. This movie was just kind of dumb. And the worst part was that for years people quoted every line from it, wore "Vote for Pedro" t-shirts, and acted out that dance scene. Since most people seemed to think it was hilarious, it kind of made me wonder, "maybe I am just not that funny?"

9) Gin and Tonics/Vodka Soda. It seemed that sometime in my mid-twenties, most girls switched from beer to these beverages of choice. I of course would usually order my usual champagne, but became curious about these new more "adult" drinks. Were they really delicious? One night I bravely ordered a Vodka Soda with LOTS of lime (I hate gin and tonic, so that drink was out of the question). I took a ship. Not bad...but not good either. Then, each sip became worse than the last. It took me quite a while to get that sucker down, and I was left with an awful taste in my mouth. Also, the whole time, I wished I had ordered champagne or beer. Now I know better.

I realize this list sounds rather negative, but there were also many trends I did enjoy quite a bit (New Kids on the Block, overalls, colored jeans, tall boots, pea-coats, and embarrassingly... wearing REALLY flared jeans). Maybe not liking the current trends today means I am boring? Or maybe it just means that now I am not afraid to go against the trends and find what I really like to wear, read, and watch...