I don’t remember where or when I bought my first article of clothing from Ann Taylor Loft. All I know is hardly a day goes by when I’m not wearing a sweater or a t-shirt or a pair of pants that doesn’t have the Loft tag on them.
I subscribe to their e-mails, so I know when they will take 40 percent off “Everything in the Store!” or 50 percent off “All New Arrivals!” We also live five minutes away from one of the nicest malls in the U.S. of A, Somerset, and it’s hard not to find an excuse to mosey over there.
Before I discovered the Loft’s charms (one of which is roomy size 12 pants) I shopped at Hudson’s before it became Marshall Fields, and Marshall Fields before it became Macy’s, with an occasional foray to Parisian or The Limited or The Gap.
I still buy my jeans at The Gap. Their jeans stretch. Hoo-haw!
Lately, the lady gals who work at the Loft have treated me with a friendliness that can only convey, “Haven’t I seen you in here before?”
Which I take as, “Yes, you have seen me in here before but I do have a life and it’s not like I only think about clothes and appearances and pants that fit nicely around the mid-section.”
Well. It’s one thing to feel that. But it’s another to be called out on it – in the open – in front of a line of 40-and-50-something lady-gal customers who are also here to purchase 40 percent off “Everything in the Store!”
Which is exactly what happened when I was there last Saturday.
“You come in here a lot, don’t you?” said the friendly sales lady behind the counter as I placed my purchases next to the register.
Good thing I’d finished my Starbucks; otherwise, I might have spewed coffee all over my new clothes.
Trying to justify my multiple appearances, I said, “Yes, I do. It’s a little embarrassing, if you know what I mean, heh-heh, but you know, they send e-mails every day, so how can I resist 40 percent off?”
“I know, it’s great isn’t it? We didn’t even know they were going to have this sale today until we got here!”
“Heh-heh, I think my whole wardrobe is from the Loft,” I continue as I stand there wearing a Loft sweater and Loft t-shirt (even though my jeans are from The Gap).
But please don’t get the wrong impression. I’m not a suburban diva who shops all day. Oh yeah, maybe I’ve been in here a lot lately, but there was a time when I only shopped on my lunch hour. Because I worked. Away from home. And I was busy, yes, busy! And I shopped on my lunch hour! Only! Back when I had lunch hours!
Now, I’m home through no fault of my own – because a stinky, old corporate reorganization eliminated an entire supply chain – and all the jobs that went with it – not just mine! Do you hear me? I wasn’t singled out! Really! People valued me for my contributions! I am not kidding!!
And now, now, even though I have transitioned to becoming a Work-At-Home-Mom – or a WAHM for the uninitiated – I have a little extra time on my hands, okay?? Especially now that I’m not commuting 30 miles (or 28.3 for those who think in exact measurements) each way to work!
So. Are you happy, you who says you-see-me-in-here-alot?? I like to shop. Is that so wrong? If it is, let me be right!
But that would be really weird and uncomfortable if I dumped all that on the friendly sales associate.
So instead, I take my purchases, walk through the entire shoe section at Nordstrom, and wonder if I have enough Ann Taylor Loft t-shirts to last the entire summer.