Don’t Judge Me by My Underwear

Living in Juneau, Alaska has it ups and downs.

For me a downside would be shopping.  The opportunity and variety are lacking.  Juneau doesn’t have a big shopping mall.  No Macy’s, Nordstroms, not even a Target or Old Navy.  No Barnes & Noble, Pier One or REI.  No Victoria’s Secret, Walgreens or basically insert the store name here:__________  we don’t have that one either.

Whenever you get out (meaning, to the lower 48 states) you always, always, always shop.  Spending an extra day or two in Seattle to hit the malls is not uncommon for a Juneauite.  Since we’re a cooler climate, shopping when you’re on your winter vacation is best as sun dresses and tank tops aren’t going to do you much good here for the majority of the year.

If you don’t shop while you’re outside – then you’re stuck with two options:

1.  Mail order

2.  Local stores

With mail order, you try and try until you get the size right.  Sending back, exchanging sizes, receiving new packages.  What would take the normal person an hour or two on a Saturday down south, can take upwards of a month in mail order time.

Frustrating.

But if you’re shopping for personal items such as …..lingerie, mail order can be the way to go.  It’s unlikely you’re going to find something in our two main shopping outlets:  Wal-Mart or Fred Meyers.

If you’re unfamiliar with Fred Meyers.  It’s literally one stop shopping.  Go in the left hand side of the building and buy all your “fresh” (for Alaska) produce items – continuing through the store you have your average grocery, stationary, clothing, housewares, hardware, gardening and firearms sections.

Normally, I don’t buy my “small clothes” at Fred Meyers. I like to have a selection of styles, colors, shapes, materials and sizes.  When you wander through a real store, the options are endless: bikini, thong, hipster, tanga, boy short, brief, g-string!  Full coverage, push-up, demi, padded, lightly padded, racer back, front closure!  And not just one or two colors….but shades of colors, patterns, lace, ribbons, animal prints, ruffles, mesh, feathers, cut outs, rhinestones!

I love options.

The other day I happened past the lingerie section at Fred Meyers.  It’s actually located next to the greeting card section.  Weird location.  It probably works well at Valentine’s Day.  Makes it easy for the men.

Anyhow,  I happened to be looking for a Father’s Day card for Eric…. “from the pets” and when I turned around, to continue my shopping, I noticed the cutest poka dot bra and panty set.

Okay, this is as random as a lightning strike in Juneau.

It’s cute.

It’s matching.

Got to have it.

Picked out my sizes and continued on my way.

When I got home, I realized what I thought meant “one size fits all” on the bottoms was really something else and I had selected the wrong size.  NEWMAN.

I tuck the receipt and item back into my bag and make a mental note to stop by the next time to exchange.

Three trips later, I am still waiting to exchange the item.

Why?

It’s the same guy at the exchange counter!  I don’t want some random guy to know what kind of panties I wear!  For me, THIS is embarrassing.  I know what you’re thinking…..

He’s not even going to notice.

Yeah, right.  How is he not going to notice when he has to find the sales tag to zap into the system?  Can you explain that to me?  Then he’ll see I wear X style (no, I’m not telling you what kind) and look at me like, “really?”   It’s not like there’s a whole heck of a lot of fabric there to begin with – of course he’s going to see what kind of panty it is.

Then he’ll know:  oh she’s one of THOSE women.  Of course, being one of THOSE women could be anything from granny panty wearing to g-string lover.  Why do I care?  First off, it’s creepy to have a stranger know what you’re wearing beneath your clothes.  Of course, who cares what any of us are wearing or not wearing under our clothes.  If I decide to share my intimates with you – then so be it.  Yes, I do wear that kind …. and that kind and that one too.  Men, only have a few options – women have many.  I prefer to keep them guessing.

Having to return this item to a strange man is as uncomfortable for me as it must be when you needa price check.  The cashier yells over the intercom:

 I need a price check on this jumbo-tron combo pack of Rhino Rubbers and Ecstasy Oil.

Of course, when I return the panties, the question will undoubtedly arise….

What’s the reason for return?

Insert my eye roll and….wrong size answer here.

Just let the floor open up and swallow me at that point.

Really, just like they have self-service check out – they should have self-service return counters.   What a time saver.

Why should it bother me so much?

I explained my predicament to Eric.  He said it’s obviously the guy’s job – to handle the returns.  Yeah, no shit.  But what the hell….does he LIVE there?  Three times – it’s the same guy.  When are they going to put a woman up there?  Seriously.

Eric said he’ll take it back for me.  Tell the guy it didn’t fit.  I not surprised he’d do this.  I’m actually contemplating going that route, not only because it’d be funny but I’d really like to get my money back.  Of course, with my luck, it won’t be the guy and I’ll be able to do the return on my own.  Eric will want to go ahead with the return just to mess with the employee – I can see it now.

No, I’m not worried about not having the proper size panty for the exchange.  On my second exchange attempt, when I realized this was going to be a process, I went ahead and bought the proper sized panty.   I would have been disappointed if I had to return the entire set because I didn’t purchase the correct size to begin with.  In the end, it’s all in the details.

Of course, should that have happened, the returns guy would have said:

You know we can do measurements for that.

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