It was a Sunday morning. Fine. I was in a hurry. Granted. The store had literally just opened, in fact, I was waiting for the lock to be flipped. Maybe I took her off guard. Maybe she’d had a super fun Saturday night and wasn’t QUITE prepared to be “on” for the buying public. I was wearing Lululemons (no, not the see through ones) and salt stained boots. Got it! But, COME ON! It’s not like I always dress like that… well usually anyway, okay fine, so not constantly, (but often)… anyway back to the point. Which is that I didn’t have her attention.
So I had just found out that I have this event coming up which I’m expected to attend. It’s an annual thing… same time every year. I always forget it’s coming up. So I guess you can tell I don’t LOVE it.
I thought I would treat myself (or rather my feet) this year, by wearing flats, and sooooo, I needed trousers. Yes, I did need new ones! I had a “look” in mind and damn it, if I’m going to this thingy then I’ll go looking like I want to look! WITH comfortable feet. So I pop over to a store nearby which I won’t name mostly ‘cuz one of my friends works for the chain, and it’s usually a really great place to shop. You know, quality pieces and good prices with very knowledgable staff. Usually.
Here’s exactly how the conversation went…
“Hi there, I’m looking for something like that, but in a silvery grey.” I say gesturing to a WHOLE WALL of ankle length trousers in a PLETHORA of colours.
“No, I’m sorry we don’t have any in grey.” She began to wring her hands, leading me to believe that she might be kind of into this whole notion of finding me something to wear.
“Do you suppose that any of your other stores might have them in a grey?” Figuring that I’ll try them on in the yellow gingham in my size then call my friend and ask her to pick up the same in the silvery grey which she’s promised they have.
“I have no idea. We never have any idea what other stores have!” That was abrupt, and just ever so slightly and unnecessarily defensive.
“Okay so maybe let’s look at ANYTHING in grey, silvery grey preferably, but just a grey trouser.” I say, aiming for an easy going, casual, “I’m a flexible kinda chick” sort of tone.
“We have nothing in grey.” Still with the look of a woman seeming to want to help, but possibly losing a tiny bit of interest, clearly not buying my act.
I start wandering through the store at this point, ‘cuz I KNOW they have to have SOMETHING in grey.
“I mean honestly, I’ll look at anything, anything at all in grey—light, dark, silvery or otherwise! I just want a pair of grey trousers.” I know I’m starting to sound a little desperate but this is a conservative chain and pale grey is hardly an unusual request in the spring right?
“No, we have absolutely nothing whatsoever in grey of any shade.” I was definitely getting a hint of anger from her at this point. I’m sure my look of incredulity wasn’t helping.
“What about these?” I say as I pulled a pair of what appeared to be ankle length, grey, yes even, dare I say it? Silvery grey trousers off a rack.
“Well, THOSE are a size 4.” She stated with great disdain as she cast an eye over my decidedly NOT size 4 hips.
I know that mostly this is just a funny story to share with you all, and make no mistake, I did think it was funny. I was actually laughing aloud in the change room, where the trousers (IN MY SIZE which were right there on the rack with the tiny size 4’s and) looked awesome by the way! But more than that I thought it was a story about the difference between listening and hearing.
How often do we listen to the same message and never really hear its actual meaning? I know for a fact that I can listen to the same thing repeatedly and not really get the message. But suddenly when it’s presented to me in a new light I will HEAR it differently. Hopefully as it was intended to be heard even.
So next time I want a pair of silvery grey, or dove grey or just plain old boring grey-grey trousers, I’m going to first ask for a bright red backless dress. WITH sequins!