Magda is the kind of person you pray you’ll meet after squeezing into every high-rise, low-rise, mid-rise, straight, skinny, cropped, distressed, boyfriend possibility in every Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.
And still when you get home with the best of the worst those who love you say take them back: “There’s too much material in front or the butt is hanging, or maybe jeans aren’t for you anymore now that your body is fatter, skinnier, saggier, changing.”
Like me, Magda is shorter than average, and they don’t make much for us since 5’ 4” is the new normal and more women are eating right or wrong and getting taller and broader.
So when I see her working at Nordstrom in King of Prussia and beg for help for people like us, she says sorry no pants, no tops, no dresses, except maybe one or two, then leads me hand-in-hand to those few items.
But no jeans.
Then she directs me to Ann Taylor Loft, where I find two pair. She shopped me right out of her store.
When I get home I wonder what’s wrong with Magda. Or right? Why didn’t she try to sell me like most salespeople do? Is honesty really her best policy -- does it pay off?
I can only guess. But I’ve been back to Magda many times, she tells me the truth.
And I wonder if more salespeople operated this way maybe they wouldn’t score at the very bottom of the list of trusted professionals, right on par with lobbyists and below members of Congress.
Statistics show as few as 3% of the public trusts the man or woman who helps them buy anything from cars to couches to suits and shoes. In the clothing world at least, they’d climb a few percentage points in my book if they followed these rules:
When I say I’m just looking, I mean it. And I don’t mean looking for you.
If you want to compliment me, please don’t include an entourage. Seven salespeople screaming “Oh My God” on cue will not get any of you into the pearly gates.
Do not expect me to buy something because you say I look gorgeous, skinny, young. You do say that to all the girls.
Wait until I fully enter the store before you tell me everything is 20% off. Mature women don’t buy things just because they’re cheap. Mostly.
Every time I touch something, don’t rattle off details about how your sister has it and loves it and you can’t wait to get it. First, I don’t believe you, and second, if everyone has it, why do I want it?
If I need you, I’ll let you know. Trust me on this.
Don’t ignore me either. Feel free to be friendly, but not too. I’m on a mission.
Don’t tell me you like my hair, skirt, hat and bracelet all at the same time. I know you’re trying to get on my good side. People apparently don’t buy from people they like, they buy from people they trust.
If I buy the pink flowered mu-mu you said looked good on a small woman, please wait until I leave the store to start laughing. I may have set you up with a hidden camera. In fact, I’m planning on it.
I do appreciate your input, but if you don’t tell me the truth, I’ll probably never walk into your shop again. And maybe I’ll even write about you, and not in a good way. What was your name?
But Magda I will write about with pleasure and thank her for helping me out. Because a girl with a new pair of jeans she can rock -- no matter how tall or short she is, no matter how plus size or petite -- is a girl who feels gorgeous, skinny and young. And that’s the truth.
August 12, 2018