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Sweating Without A Sweater

, , , , | Friendly | January 27, 2023

Two days before Thanksgiving, I go to the store to pick out an outfit for the holiday. I remember seeing a specific sweater at this store before, so I am hoping it’s still in stock. I get there, and of course, it is nowhere to be found.

So, at this point, I’m just wandering the clothing department, trying to find something else instead. (Mind you, I am an extremely indecisive person.)

I walk by this woman and think nothing of it. I move to another part of the department, and again we pass, making eye contact this time. Funny coincidence, sure, but I continue minding my own business, trying to decide which sweater I want to try on. I’ve found multiple I like at this point, but I haven’t picked any up since I’m still not sure which one I want.

Finally, a third time, I pass this woman. This time, she decides to confront me.

Woman: “Are you following me?”

Me: “Nope, just wandering the department.”

Woman: “Are you sure? We keep running into each other.”

Me: “Yep, weird coincidence, huh?”

Woman: “Well, I’ve seen you multiple times now, and I haven’t seen you pick up one thing.”

I’m trying to brush off the anxiety that’s creeping up.

Me: “Yeah, I just can’t decide what I want. I keep going back and forth between a few things I want. I’m pretty indecisive, and there are a lot of options I like here.”

She clearly doesn’t believe me.

Woman: “Oh, yeah, this store is just the bee’s knees. Well, don’t you think it’s weird that I’m asking you this question?”

Me: “I mean, I get why you’re asking.”

Woman: “Oh, you do?”

Me: “Yeah, really interesting how we keep accidentally running into each other.”

By this time, my heart is racing and my social anxiety has peaked.

Woman: “Well, if you aren’t following me, then why are your cheeks getting red?”

Because you’re making me uncomfortable, lady!

Me: “Honestly, I don’t know, but I can promise you I’m not trying to follow you.”

Finally, I decided I’d had enough of this conversation, so I pretended to like the sweater I was looking at, picked it up, and raced as far away from that lady as possible, never looking back.

And that’s the story of the time I almost had my first public anxiety attack — all because the store was out of the sweater I came in for!

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