Last night I cooked, and we watched home videos, laughing our heads off. We found some really awesome blackmail material. It was hilarious.
To thank me for keeping track of her other children, my mom gave me a gift certificate to an upscale shopping area in town. Note: the gift certificate was given to her by her JA students, and she re-gifted it to me. We both agreed that this was the one time where re-gifting isn't tacky. Anyway, Punky and I decided to go to said upscale shopping area (I will not use the name to protect snobby shoppers).
It was one of the most degrading shopping experiences I've ever had.
I should've known this. I should've been prepared. I used to work at a store in the complex. But I rarely go there myself, and I had forgotten how repulsively high-scale it is. Actually, it wasn't the merchandise that bothered me. It was the salespeople and other patrons.
In every single store my sister and I entered, we were looked over like we were attending New York Fashion Week. I was even dressed a little nicer than usual, in a black shift dress and flip flops, and carrying my [genuine] Coach bag. But that didn't matter. Northeast Jackson society has a radar for who is filthy rich and who is...well....normal. I promise you they can scan a person with their eyes and in minutes they know what your financial status is. Disgusting.
One such experience: We entered a clothing store, which I would never normally be able to afford. But since I had my gift certificate, I had in mind what I could spend, and immediately went to the sale section. For awhile, an older saleslady stared at me and said nothing. As in, I saw her looking at me but never once did she offer to help me, say hello, or even acknowledge my presence. After realizing that I would never be asked if I needed a dressing room, I helped myself to one.
Remember the scene in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts goes into the store on Rodeo Drive and is treated one way when she's dressed like a hooker and another way when she's dressed like a smart businesswoman?
I was treated like the hooker scenario. Except I wasn't dressed like a hooker.
I finally found a shirt that I liked and stepped up to the counter. A girl came up and said, "Oh. I guess you need to be checked out." Uhhh.......YEAH?! I managed a cheerful "Hello" [through gritted teeth] and the girl looked at me like I was on crack cocaine and mumbled something like a "Hi." By this time my sister was about to throw up with distate for the whole situation. As we walked to the car we just looked and each other.
Maybe it's just me, but this is not okay. I know that every city has THAT store, where you have to be of a certain family lineage to shop there. But I'm going to be very honest. It just seems more prominent in this city. Granted, I went to the private school and watched it all first-hand, but I never got used to it. I never got used to my friends carrying designer bags in 9th grade, and asking me where I got my bag. They were always shocked when I told them that mine was from the 1970s and came from Greece (it was my Mom's), or that my jacket was vintage and hand-made in Israel (another thing of my Mom's). They just couldn't believe that I wasn't a label snob. Sorry, I wasn't raised that way.
The whole experience made me want to shop bargains the rest of my life. I do have certain things that I would eventually like to invest in, but give me a break. Give me Marshall's and TJ Maxx, thank you!