I’m pretty sure that online shopping was invented for me and my fellow introverts. For us, going to the mall in the middle of a weekday is torture, never mind on a weekend, like today. My husband and I were just going to return a sweater to J. Jill and have some lunch. My husband also wanted to stop by Bath and Body Works to get more foamy hand soap. I love things that smell good, so I agreed to go with him. Big mistake. Bath and Body Works is having their SEMI-ANNUAL SALE, which means a lot of frigging people were in the store. People.
And by people, I’m not just talking about shoppers, and there were tons of those. There were also approximately 9,582 salespeople in blue aprons on duty. Everywhere I turned, someone was telling me about things that were 75% off, or things that were buy 2 get 1 free. They were asking if they could help me find something when I was trying to read the labels on the various foamy soaps. There was nothing but chatty people and conversations about numbers. It was an introverted English major’s nightmare.
Obviously, I could never work at Bath and Body Works, or anywhere where you have to approach other humans and talk. This, along with the fact that I don’t like to wear pants with real waistbands, is why I work online. (I have no idea how I used to do stand-up comedy.) Just for fun, I tried to imagine the meeting that happened before the store opened. I pictured a middle-aged woman, in a blue apron, who smelled like a mixture of Velvet Sugar and Japanese Cherry Blossom, standing in front of 9,500, or so, sales girls (I have yet to see a male sales person in Bath and Body Works) in a small, back room filled with blue gingham bags and boxes. Her pep talk would go something like this:
OK ladies!! Listen up! Yesterday we sold 580,997 dollars in lotions alone, but we can do better. You have to be PERKIER ladies! We have a Starbucks two stores down from us, and a Teavana a little bit down from that. CAFFEINATE! Snort the espresso grounds if you have to! Go up to every person that comes through that door. Tell them about the 3 for 2. Offer to let them sample things. EVERY PERSON. If you get too shaky from the grounds, huff the Eucalyptus Bath Salts, I mean Soak. It’s a SOAK now. DO NOT call it BATH SALTS, not after that whole face-eating thing. It’s in the bathroom behind the Sexy Dahlia Rush spray.
They must have listened to her because they were everywhere. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of blue gingham. I thought maybe I should have WORN head to toe blue gingham, with matching face paint, like some kind of Bath and Body Works camo. That way I could have just shopped in peace without all of this “help.” I wanted to get in fetal position by the candle wall and scream, “STOP TALKING TO ME! I can READ the signs and labels! Leave me alone; I just want to buy soap!!”
It was total sensory overload. Not only was there SO MUCH NOISE from all of the TALKING, there were too many scents. Enchanted Orchid was mixing with Party Dress (Wouldn’t that smell like sweat and spilled vodka?), and Espresso Bar was competing with both of them for storage space in my nostrils, thus suffocating me as much as the constant attention from the Gingham Army.
After this scary experience, my husband and I went to Molly Woo’s for a late lunch. It was not crowded and they have a bar. Win win. So, like a lot of people, I wanted to post a picture of my beverages on Instagram. I thought it would be amusing since I ordered hot tea and a shot of vodka. It’s medicinal; don’t judge me. Anyway, I asked my husband what the hash tag for Bath and Body Works was since he used to work for the parent company. He told me BBW. So, I put #BBW on my picture of a teapot, teacup, and highball glass. You guys, #BBW is so NOT Bath and Body Works. I did a search on Instagram, just to check, and I saw a lot of shots of voluptuous women in bikinis. I quickly learned that it means “big, beautiful women.” Who knew? I think my curvier sisters are beautiful and all; I just feel bad for the guy who did that hash tag search after I posted my pic. Sorry about that!