During a recent trip to the Los Angeles area I had a full eight hours all to myself as my friend had to go to work during the day. I hung out in Downtown Santa Monica, taking in the culture, shopping, and enjoying food and caffeine.
It didn’t take long to realize that hiding in the swarm of people were solicitors for various non-profit organizations. At the beginning of the day I talked to a few of them because I found it entertaining and I didn’t have much else to do.
I met a lovely man named Bernard who was working his heart out flashing his pearly whites and talking the talk in order to raise money for a children’s charity. Out of the 17 people who asked me for donations or spare change that day, I told them I did not have either. That was the truth, but maybe that doesn’t matter as most of them would gladly write down your credit card number.
When I told Bernard I didn’t have cash or spare change, he stepped back and asked, “Well, just where are you from?” I told him I am from North Dakota.
“If you want to donate after you visit an ATM or something, I will gladly take whatever it is you use there in Australia – we do accept euros,” he said.
Yes, I am serious.
By mid-afternoon when my blood sugar dropped and Zach from the American Red Cross was about to make me pass out with his pushiness, this stopped counting as entertainment. It was hot, my body thought it was 3:30 p.m. and I hadn’t had lunch yet. I almost snapped but lucky for him, I am North Dakota nice.
After some food, I ended up in one of the L.A. area’s up and coming chain stores that sells clothing and accessories. It caters to celebrities, famous kids and any other fashionistas, of which there are many in that town. Some prices were right, some were high.
A staff stylist looked me up and down and threw out “Oh my God, I love your top” through clenched teeth, hot pink lipstick and a “Flashdance” outfit. I felt like we were filming a scene for the movie “Mean Girls,” because I don’t believe she was sincere. Hopefully she’s not an “actress.”
I will give her credit for trying her hardest to close a sale, but then little comments like, “Do you even own a pair of skinny jeans – you know, something not…boot cut?” and “You would look so fab in this sweatshirt…it really goes with your skin tone and brings out that beautiful color in your eyes” or “Let me grab you a pair of those jeans, what are you, a size 6?” I am many things, but to the novice, and especially the trained fashion eye, I am clearly not a size 6. Please.
She laid it on too thick.
I ended up buying a black sweater that was 70% off. I’m sure that’s not what she wanted on her commission tab for the day. The sweatshirt she urged me to buy was fun, but it was distressed and already ‘pilled’ on purpose to give it that “worn look.” By the way, it was $98 – for a ratty sweatshirt.
Too bad I didn’t have any euros on me, I’m sure she would have accepted those too.