Wednesday, September 04, 2019

I navigated the mists of perfume and miscellaneous promotions at Macy’s to find my way upstairs to buy a blazer. All was calm up there, sales associates hanging out, gossiping lightly. How could this still be a business? Every other brick and mortar store closing doors.

A woman assisted me in a pleasingly unhurried, uneager fashion. She seemed to have been there, pacing these same aisles, for decades. Try this size, looks good, do you need a shirt? I realized yes but not a moment before she asked. She left me to browse the racks, instructing me to come back to her for help, not any other clerk. We all know how it works.

At the end I bought what I wanted to buy and I guess what she wanted me to buy too. I applied for the credit card just to get the discount, just like everybody knows. She noticed we were born the same year and expertly punctuated our interaction with a gesture of informality: “You’re as old as me?” Smile, nod, we’re not getting any younger.

She does this for a living.