Sunday, July 25, 2004

Wear Perfume

When I say Wear Perfume, I do NOT suggest marinating yourself in it as well, as I had the unfortunate account of having an elderly woman in the store.

Why is it that when elderly people wear perfume, they cause everyone around them to also smell like Eau de Toilette?

This woman comes in, and I eagerly stride around the counter to greet her and ask if she needed any assistance in finding any particular item. (Did I mention she was the first customer of the day and I wanted the day to start out well?)

Either way, I get about 3 feet away from this woman when WHAM! The smell hits me like a tidal wave of ferocious intoxicating gas. I stumble back a few steps, my head spinning from the head-on collision of this woman's aura.

I quickly view the boundaries in which I am prohibited, and I realize that I cannot get within 10 feet of this woman without being in her bubble of toxic fumes.

So I cup my hands around my mouth and yell across two aisles: "Are you having trouble locating anything ma'am?"

The woman slowly revolves around the spot to face me, clutching a particularly hideous bow; I see a ripple of her perfume cascade around the imaginary bubble of toxic fumes.
"What was that dearie?" She says kindly, cupping her hand around her ear in turn.

Oh no.

There are only two solutions: one would be to ignore what she said and walk away, and the other, more imaginary solution, would involve a blowtorch and the hideous patriotic bow she was holding.

Of course, there is a third, and this is to obviously face my fears of drowning and go toward this woman. Although the blowtorch option sounds nice, I do not think we have a substitute for such a versatile object in the store.

So I settle for the third option.

I walk toward her cautiously, and, just outside the boundary of her intoxicating, fumigated bubble, I take a deep breath, ready to make the plunge of my life, and step inside.

All is quiet, for it seemed as if the world shut itself off except for the gentle humming of 1000 volts overhead, or it could be the lack of any other customers in the store, either way -

"Do you need help locating anything in the store?" I say through the corner of my mouth. My eyes are watering, and I had only been in this woman's aura for a minute now.

"Oh no dearie, I just came in to buy one of these beautiful bows." She then gestures towards the hideous patriotic bow. Losing oxygen by the minute, I quickly tell her to call me if she needed anything and turned away.

Just outside of her bubble range, I take in huge gasps of air, feeling as if I had just sprinted the mile.

That was close.

I made it through another day, and although I was severely tempted to wear an oxygen mask when checking her out, I was still alive when that woman left, luckily.