It’s Windy City here in Richmond. Good thing, because it’s nearly 80 degrees. In March! It makes me nervous when we have a couple of days like this in Virginia. Last year it seemed we had about a week of Spring and then it was Summer and nasty for about 5 months.
The old ladies went to the Mall today. Shopping for clothes is something I like less and less as I grow older and fatter, and I’ve never been someone who can shop all day. So I don’t go very often at all, and when I do, it’s nice to have She along. Otherwise, I’d try on one thing, see “old” and “fat” in the mirror, and come home and put my head under the comforter all afternoon. She keeps my spirits up. Although she did comment about one pair of pants I was considering for try-on: “Where’s your bucket? Where’s your straw hat? Aren’t you going clam digging?” Didn’t try ‘em. We went to Nordstrom. The prices were not K-Mart or Target low, but they weren’t bad, either. When you consider that every pair of pants we buy needs taking up, and Nordstrom does it for free, and how great their customer service is, it makes more sense. We each bought two pairs of pants and several tops. We had the salesperson on the run fetching different sizes and colors, and she was always delightful. She even took our purchases to the car for us! I don’t know why every store can’t copy the Nordstrom model of customer service. There is a clerk at Macy’s who has been there for years. She’s as helpful as a rock, and just about as bright. She only becomes animated when she’s ringing up the purchase, and then she hopes you will “go to the online survey and tell Macy’s what excellent customer service you enjoyed today.” Service for what? Punching the cash register keys? Well, it looks like I won’t have to enjoy her service this season.
We had the opposite in customer service at our next stop, which was lunch. I knew we should have simply pressed on for home, but it was 2:30 pm already, and we had been curious about “Max & Erma’s,” a new restaurant along Broad Street. Good Lord. The place smelled like stale cigarette smoke as we walked in, but I’ve been smelling strange things lately, according to She who wondered out loud if I didn’t have a brain tumor because that’s a symptom. Cheesy, faux cheerful décor. Fawning waitress (for awhile, anyway) who asked me soberly if I wanted to “upgrade” my fries to onion rings. Upgrade? That’s a new one in a restaurant, isn’t it? With four or five other patrons in the whole place, we waited over 30 minutes for our sandwiches. When She asked about our order, Fawn said “It takes a moment [sic], ma’am” and disappeared. Finally the so-so but thankfully not repulsive food arrived. While we ate, Fawn buzzed our table like a stunt pilot. Then: nothing. No Fawn. I tried to pay “up front” but the hostess said our “server” needed to take care of that. The hostess was pretty busy, watching some afternoon judge show on TV and reading the paper, but she supposedly toddled off to locate said server. After another long wait, Fawn drifted over with the check, we paid up and boogied. Never again. Bonne chance, Fawn. Eat dirt, Max & Erma.