On a recent visit to Restoration Hardware, I purchased a few lighting fixtures that weren’t on display in the store and had them shipped to my apartment so I could see them in person before making a selection. I was very clear in my intent to return the ones I didn’t like, which is not really the point of this story, but the point is the actual dollar amount of the purchase was realistically going to be half of what I spent. Not that the actual dollar amount should matter. Anyhow, when I pulled out my credit card, the sales associate asked,
“Is it his?”
Well, that caught me by surprise, so my initial reaction was to say:
“What?” (Less in a Did you really say that? way, more in a Did I hear you correctly? way.)
He did not miss a beat, nor seem to catch any hint of incredulousness at my reaction. Instead, he leaned in, for emphasis:
“Is it hiiis???”
I was kind of in shock, so I could only muster up a flat, matter-of-fact response:
“No, it’s mine.”
He simply gave a flippant, “oh” and told me my lights would arrive in 7-10 business days, and I could return them right back to the store. But I wondered how that conversation typically goes for him. Surely I can’t be the first woman he’s ever used that line with! How would other women respond to that? What if the card was his, how does the rest of that conversation play out? I started to imagine a few alternative scenarios, mostly if I were watching myself on TV:
- “It most certainly is not. How presumptuous of you, you little troll.” Snatches back credit card. “I’ll be taking my business to Crate & Barrel.”
- “Yes! How did you know? I told him if Daddy gets a new Porsche, then Mommy gets a new kitchen!” Sales associate and woman throw their heads back in laughter.
Truth be told, I really couldn’t think of too many ways that conversation would go down, nor did I really spend more than the few moments I was drifting out of the store thinking about it. But do we really live in a world where people think it’s okay to say that to a grown woman, regardless of whether or not she makes her own living? Ladies, how would you have reacted? And have you ever had similar experiences with ignorant people of any gender?
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