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I just had the most surreal shopping experience, and I wasn’t even buying anything for myself.
The boy’s sister is getting married in January. His dad needed to get a new suit for the wedding. He is a farmer, and the last suit he bought was probably 30 years ago (according to the boy’s mother). So it was agreed that the boy’s parents would come to our place today, and we would take them shopping in the city for a new suit.
They arrived, and it was apparent from the moment they arrived that the boy’s father was not happy about having to go shopping. But we all got in our car and drove into the city. We parked just behind David Jones, which is a large department store in Melbourne, and trotted up to the second floor to men’s suits.
And there the fun began. The first jacket we looked at was “no good”. Neither was the second. The third, “I’m not paying that much money for a suit!”. (yes it was expensive, but it was a damn nice suit). After doing a lap of the floor, with the boy’s father becoming more and more mulish and his mother getting more and more frustrated, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. The boy had already threatened to get in the car and leave everyone behind. It wasn’t going well.
I went over and spoke to the sales assistant, who was a very nice man, and closer to the boy’s father’s age than my own. I told him we had to get a suit for a wedding, that the person in question was being difficult, and could he please help us. With great confidence he said, “leave it with me”. He is my new hero. 20 minutes later the boy’s father had tried on three suits, chosen one, and was getting the trousers measured for taking up the hem. They had even chosen a shirt and tie to go with it.
The boy’s father complained all the way home, but he has a very nice suit for the wedding. He even paid more than $100.00 for it. Now all he needs are shoes. I was told not to even mention those today. 🙂
It was a weird experience. I’ve never actually seen a grown man of 62 behave in such a petulant manner. However, I did know that the boy’s father might throw a temper tantrum in front of his wife, his son and me, but he wouldn’t do it in front of a stranger. Which is why I dragged in the salesman.
Thank goodness for all those years of psychology training in how to deal with difficult and stressful situations, and dealing with people behaving badly.