Monday, September 20, 2004



Taking my wife shopping for clothes is comparable to extracting teeth from a sabre tooth tiger, in plain language near impossible.
On Saturday we went shopping for clothes. Admittedly we had some dramas on the way. Once we reached the main shopping centre (after going to a smaller one for some discounted brand labels for myself) we had to split up so Jude could feed the baby. That was fine, I was planning ahead, making sure there would be no crying babies to distract from the clothes buying process. Jude went to feed while I took the girls shoe shopping. The first store I got to we went to the shoe section, grabbed the first pairs we could find that fit and were out of there. We found a toy demo play area where we could take home what we made - we made lots! Jude met us there and then we started the boutique shopping process.
First store was yuck.
Second store was yuck.
Third store was starting to get the evil eye but I resisted and took her down the back where I found some skirts that looked ok. The kids discovered a sofa in the change area and then settled on the floor to play with the new toys.
So baby is happy, kids are quiet and happy, wife is still grumpy but has no reasonable excuse now not to try on clothes.
I installed her in a change booth and worked on the principle of keeping her in there by making sure she has more to try on. This means while she is changing I am grabbing 2 or 3 items at a time from the racks and heading back to the change booth
The first 5 skirts were yuck. First top ignored. Principle here is to use items that I know she won't like so as not to waste the good ones. Eventually she starts to realise she is not going out of there without buying something so starts trying to decide between things. I put a quick stop to that with "we are buying whatever fits and is nice."
By this time my frenetic rack raiding activity has not gone unnoticed by store staff, and the 4 kids in the change area though still playing quietly are also getting noticed. This is where customer service works. If they had ignored us they probably would have got a sale of maybe 1 skirt or nothing.
However a nice lady came to help. We held whispered conspiratorial conversations about Jude's reluctance to try on gear, her likes and dislikes, measurements etc. She assisted me with the rack raiding and we located numerous tops and dresses to try.
Jude is now resigned to the process if not actually enjoying it and the kids are still going well. Erin has stopped playing and is now kissing herself in the full length dress mirrors leaving smudge marks. However still being good and the sales ladies think this is cute. We now have 1 skirt and a top that are OK and have discarded the other 10 or so skirts and 3 or 4 tops. The lady brings me 4 more skirts. 2 are summarily discarded "Don't like that" and two tried. 1 fits and is added to the pile. The baby starts to cry so I am rocking the pram back and forth, effectively stopping the rack raiding. With no more ammunition being fired at her Jude uses the lull in proceedings as an opportunity to escape from the change booth and I give in knowing we got 2 skirts and a top. I send the kids out with Judith while paying for the gear. $220 bucks later the sales assistant was warmly thanked for all her help and she now has to clean two smudged mirrors and put away 15 outfits but she sold more by being helpful than by not.

I am wanting to hit the next store but Jude has had enough so its off to the cafe for a drink and icecream before heading home.

Oh and the reason for the shopping? Jude bought two pairs of sexy shoes in a sale and I said - OK now you need outfits to go with that and I got loot to spend.

How many woman do you know would be reluctant to get new outfits to match the shoes they just bought?

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