Fall Back Into the Gap

Three years and three hundred and sixty four days after my first first day at the Ridgefield Gap, I was back in action this afternoon. At least I didn’t have to start on Christmas Eve, like my very first day in retail in high school. And nobody turned an armful of clothes inside out and ordered me into the fitting room to clean them up (is there a Gap Inc. hazing policy?). I got a few dirty looks when the manager asked me to change displays, a coveted honor, but almost everyone was friendly and one co-worker even hugged me on my way out. I am trying to get a sense of all the social dynamics, the grudges, the cliques, etc. I am a veteran of what was totally in the hottest clique. We aspired to Gap ads.

My craziest customer was a guy who came in looking for the Gap Blue scent to go along with his “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” theme, which sounded so creative that I hated telling him that Blue has been retired since I worked at Gap the last time. He ended up settling on a crayola blue sweater, but not before freaking out because he couldn’t put his finger on the vocalists on a particular Muzak track (Sheryl Crow and “Rick…Nick…” “Mick?” “Mick Jagger! Yes! That would have driven me crazy!”).

Frantic shoppers came in all afternoon looking for the perfect outfit for Christmas Eve Eve dinners and parties. I love feeling like I’m getting the whole town ready for their big social events. You dress them up, calm their nerves, tell them how great they look and send them out on the town like a proud mom on prom night. One woman asked me flat out to rate her butt in a pair of jeans. Another fretted over velvet pants and then told me that her ex was going to be at the party and she wanted to look, “you know, incredibly hot.” She bought the velvet pants.

Quote of the day: “Oh, princess, you make the party, with your hands in your pockets and your innocent eyes, and all those things running around in your head” – Matt Nathanson