I was at the grocery store earlier this week when I found myself staring at two-year-old’s expensive brown leather sandals. It was easy to tell that he was wearing the real McCoy. There was no cracked pleather or vinyl sheen. And as I was calculating how much more his shoes cost than my five-year-old Mary Jane’s, I realized his mother was watching me watch him. She was a tall woman whose perfect bob was the same shade of blonde as her son’s.
Say something, Mona, so you don’t look like an idiot, the voice in my head instructed. And this time, try hard, would ya?
“I love his shoes! Where did you get them?” I feigned. This is the classic inquiry if you don’t know what else to say to another mother. It’s easier to ask another mother where she bought something because you’re sure to get some expected retail answer unlike the time I filled an awkward silence with my co-worker by oohing over his cologne and asking him excitedly what that delicious fragrance was. His answer: “Ban roll-on deodorant.” Way to go, Mona. You armpit lover.
“Oh, I got it at Nordstrom.” The woman cooed the way women do when they drop a fancy name. You’ll never hear me say, “These jeans? Jordache, dahhhling.”
“They’re ‘See Kai Run.'” The woman added. “They’re new. From the spring line.”
“I didn’t see them the last time I was there!” I exclaimed again. This was true. The last time I went into Nordstrom was two years ago and I was just looking for the bathroom.
How low have I sunk to fake a conversation with a rich woman so I wouldn’t look like a predator?
Truth is, I’ll never be able to begin a sentence with, “I was shopping at Nordstorm’s the other day…” For one, I don’t even know if it’s Nordstrom or Nordstrom’s and sometimes I spell it Nordstorm which sounds like a Norse Mythology Outlet where you can buy overstock fishing nets from the Loki, God of Mischief Collection.
All I know is that I’ve seen license plates that say, “I’d rather be shopping at Nordie’s!” and that these plates belong to drivers who have never had to break a sweat because they were trying to gun it up to 30 mph while driving a Dae Woo.