I have worked in retail for several years now and have horror stories with the best of them, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves that hope for the future is not entirely lost. With the upcoming holidays, we could all use some cheer.
I have a love of unique and vintage fashion and, to be entirely honest, I don’t always look very mainstream. About six months ago I finally got the courage to dye my hair a lovely shade of purple, after agonizing over it for about a year. I love how it looks, and couldn’t be happier.
After the change, I completely expected questions and comments from strangers, both polite and not so polite. After all, I spend my day working with the general population, and in a retail setting sometimes filters seem to disappear. What I was not prepared for was the touching. Men and women, children and adults; they have all attempted to pet me. It happens with such frequency that it is just second nature now to take a step back, sometimes accompanied by, “Please don’t”, and then continue like nothing happened. My friends are surprised by how little it surprises me anymore.
Conversely, it has allowed me to witness some wonderful teaching moments. Just yesterday, I felt a strange tickling on my back. Upon turning around, I discovered a young girl (maybe 8 or 9) playing with my hair. After a, ” Oh, hi there”, from me, her mother swooped in and said, “We don’t touch people we don’t know. You know better than that. Now, apologize to the nice lady.” The little girl promptly apologized and they went back to shopping. (Needless to say, I made sure that mother had an awesome shopping experience.) This, luckily, is how almost all parents have handled the situation.
I know this story isn’t exciting, or filled with drama, but it is heartwarming to see how many parents are trying to teach their children to be polite to strangers, even in the stress of the season. So etiquette mavens be cheered, we may feel like a dying breed, but there is hope for the future. 1218-14