While visiting my sister this past weekend (more on that later), we decided to indulge in a little shopping. I hadn't been to a mall in months (okay, maybe weeks) and was looking forward to perusing some shops, trying on some spring accessories, and gawking at displays in what was once known as the World's Largest Mall.
We shopped for hours and my feet were aching. Seriously, it was bad. I work in an office where I sit most hours of the day and I definitely wasn't used to being on my feet for six hours at a time. My sister, who works at a locally-owned restaurant and is on her feet the whole day, just laughed at me.
It was time to start limping back to the car. I was tired, my eyes started to glaze over a bit, and my headache score was 3/10. I was also getting pretty hungry as it was nearing 8:00pm and we hadn't eaten since noon.
Then out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the store Anthropologie. I've heard about this store through various blogs, on Pinterest, and in multiple magazines but had never actually seen/been inside one for myself. Considering all I had to show for my exhaustive day of shopping was a scarf and a pair of earrings I figured one more store couldn't hurt. Excitedly, I pulled my sister into the store. She found a comfy chair to lounge in while I decided to go on my treasure hunt.
I'm going to confess that I found this store a bit...random. There were definitely some interesting pieces that caught my attention, but then there were also the 'eyebrow raisers.' Nonetheless, I wanted to find something unique and this was the place to do it.
While looking at a display of candles or something of the sort, I felt someone brush against me. I turned around to apologize (because I'm the weird sort of person who apologizes even when not at fault: like, "Oh, I'm so sorry I was in the pathway of your purse" sort of apology). Must be a Canadian thing. But when I swung around, it turned out to be a guy. And not some poor fellow who's wife had dragged him in to the store to hold the reindeer antlers or lettuce shaped tureen she was purchasing for the dining room reno, but a sixteen(ish) year old gothic-type of guy dressed in faded black denim from head-to-toe with greasy hair and a porn-stache. I was a bit taken aback to see him...not that I'm an expert in the demographics of Anthropologie shoppers or anything (like I said, it was my first time in the store) but this guy seemed out of place. This store sells fun and quirky women's clothing, accessories and home furnishings. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and moved along to another display.
But I had this lingering feeling that I was being watched. Not the kind of attention I sometimes get from people who are curious as to how tall I am (nope, I'm not wearing heels) but the uncomfortable type of feeling that your actions and whereabouts are being monitored. Was this guy following me around the store? Now I was going crazy. I'm sure it had to be the fact that my feet were so sore, my eyes were going a bit buggy, and I had a mild headache, but that little feeling didn't go away.
A few minutes later I was bumped into again and by bumped into, I mean someone poked me in the butt. What the hell? Who should be but ten feet from me walking in the opposite direction but Greasy Gothic Boy. Did he seriously just poke me in the butt? I decided to play a game of 'let's walk through the store randomly and in odd configurations and see where this guy ends up". I kid you not when I say I walked around a circular table two times and sure enough, he slowly followed me around the table. Now I knew something was really up. There was no way he was interested in ruffled blazers.
This was just stupid and I was determined to give this guy a piece of my mind. I purposefully walked in the direction of a sales associate in hopes that he would follow me. He did, and when he walked behind me to (assumingly) get off on poking me again, I whipped around to give him a dirty look and tried to grab his hand. I don't know what I was planning to do if I was successful. Drag his sorry ass to the counter and make him apologize? Smack him across his greasy cheek and tell him to keep his dirty hands to himself? I'm the least confrontational person ever and I definitely hate making a scene, but this was way beyond inappropriate and I was already cranky. Unfortunately when I whipped around he dodged me and disappeared in a rack of clothes and bookcases. I didn't see him again.
I ended up going to the counter and telling the sales associate what had happened. She apologized profusely and said that they'd look into it. I couldn't point out the perpetrator as he had since disappeared but I didn't want him lingering around the store bothering other shoppers. I felt completely disgusted with what had transpired and just wanted to get out of there. I found my sister still lounging in the same comfy chair I’d left her in and I told her what had happened to her shock and appall. We left the store, disappointed that what was supposed to be an exciting experience turned out so badly.
Has anything like this ever happened to you? I honestly don't know if what I did was the best course of action but I was just completely grossed out. Do you trust your intuition or feel bad for making snap judgments? Would you have confronted the guy? Would you have warned other people? All I know is that I can't think of going back into that store without getting a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach... which is really unfortunate because they had absolutely nothing to do with what happened and they do have some wonderful treasures.
I guess I'll stick to online shopping for the next while.