Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Shopping Fears

In general, the joys of shopping are restricted to the women-folk. Since the beginning of time, we men have somehow been inept at performing this task; hence we resort to repeated complaints and dissatisfaction with almost any purchase they make. Why, if we go back in time to the Garden of Eden we see that the first ‘trip to the grocers’ was undertaken by Eve; that was a disaster for all concerned, and yet we have not learned our lesson.

So when I say that I dislike shopping, especially for clothes, it should come as no surprise. But just wait till you find out why.

The other day the family had gone to Colombo. As with any pilgrimage to the only developed city in our island, our trip would not be complete without dropping into the marquee department stores. Most of our trips to these shops come about not because we are looking for a particular item to add to our wardrobe, but simply to ‘check it out’ in the off-chance we do find something good and worthwhile. I was hesitant for many reasons, one of them being that I hadn’t found anything in these stores for years. Either their standards had dropped or my sense of style had suddenly died. Nevertheless, I trudged to the men’s section, and looked over a few pairs of jeans. I was just putting a pair back in the shelf when ‘it’ happened; the dreaded act that almost always happened to me in clothes stores. “Excuse me”, a man said, “do you have those trousers with those extra pockets?” With a slight look of disgust, I stared at him for 5 seconds before telling him politely that I didn’t work here. Once again, someone had mistaken me for the shop assistant.

As mentioned before, this is not the first time this has happened. Oh no, this scenario seems to shadow me like something out of bad horror flick; and just when my guard is down and I feel that I’m only being paranoid, the music rises to a crescendo and ‘it’ jumps at me in the shape of a confused shopper asking for another size. I just don’t get it! At first it was mildly humorous, but after the hundredth time I seriously started to wonder if I was part of some extremely well organised prank! What is it about me that says ‘shop assistant’?? I’d understand if by some freak chance my t-shirt and jeans happened to match the dress code of the shop’s staff, but that has never been the case! It was especially frustrating when I was in college. My girlfriend and I would often drop into a particular clothes store when we weren’t too broke. I never bought anything, but I enjoyed shopping for her (a loop hole in the system apparently). Yes, believe it or not I have taste, or so it seems. But just when I think I’ve earned a lot of plus points during the spree, ‘it’ happens. Imagine the scene; she opens the door of the changing room, looks for me to ask my opinion and instead finds me with an embarrassed smile, talking to an attractive girl holding a halter that is obviously too small for her. Let just say I’m glad I wasn’t standing in the lingerie section.

Over the years it has been a pattern - either I’ll be picking something out of a shelf, putting something back or just standing and looking out the window - it doesn’t matter. Young and old, men and women all come running to me asking where the kids section is or whether the denim capris came in size 38 as well. Once some guy actually came up to me and asked me whether the underwear packages in the shelf were briefs or boxers. Or maybe that was just a really lame gay pick-up line.

But the most bizarre occurrence had to be a few months ago, and let me tell you why it was bizarre. It wasn’t because it was an old lady that mistook me for store staff, nor was it because she was asking me about chinaware (we were in a interior d├ęcor store – my little ‘problem’ wanted a change apparently); it was because this time I was by far the most out of place person in the shop. There was no way that I could have been working in that store, not a chance in hell. Why? Because of what I was wearing, because of the colour of my skin, and because of the camera in my hand.

You see, this incident occurred while I was on vacation – in Denmark. Though I suppose this should come as no surprise, given my history. I might as well have hung a sign around my neck that said “I don’t work here – no, I really don’t” in Danish; who knows, maybe the manager would have walked up to me and said “Good job, Olaf, we’re giving you a raise!”


krazykyd said...

hahahahaha.... and i tght i was the only one who had this problem..!!


p.s - why so serious?! ;)

Jetini said...


In case you didn't get it I am laughing at YOU!

alicia said...

:D the cherry was the Denmark incident..

Dinuli said...

haha... jetini is so funny.. good job olaf! i really liked it..

Scrumpulicious said...


You have a new reader in me! :)

Sabby said...

Oh Olaf, you crack me up.
I guess you just have the very goody-goody salesman look =P

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