Thursday, December 18, 2008

Episode 87: An Amusing Shopping Experience

Bella's sent the script back with some comments, a good deal of which make sense, by which I mean they can feasibly be incorporated into a revised script. Some of them make a little less sense, so tomorrow I will have to ask Bella to explain what she wants. Went shopping in Orchard by myself today. First stop was at Borders, where I managed to find another book in The History Of Middle-earth series, which pleased me greatly. One of my fears is that I won't be able to collect the whole series in the current edition, as it'll be out of print and all the copies will have been sold. Slightly silly, but there you go. My mum gave me a couple of G2000 vouchers when I got back to Singapore, and they expire today, so obviously, I went off to the G2 Black Label store in Ngee Ann City, where I bought a belt and used the $20 voucher. The discounts were really good, and I ended up paying about $30 for something that cost more than twice that. Had to get it altered so that it would actually hold my jeans up because as sexy as the hipster look potentially is on me, it's rather annoying after a while to be constantly tugging your jeans up to avoid a wardrobe malfunction.

Okay, so here's where the shopping trip turns into yet another example that I can trot out when I next assert in front of Eugene that I have youthful good looks. To summarise, a salesman indirectly told me today I look too young to be in university and too good not to be attached. The guy who was snipping the belt started making small talk with me. It began with a simple question about the rings that I was wearing, like why was one silver and one black. To which my rather daft reply was that there was no reason. (Although in hindsight, I think why I wear two rings of different colours, one on each index finger, is just another instance of my fixation on symmetry and patterns.) Anyway, when he found out that I was a university student, he exclaimed that I couldn't be that young then, to which my reply was that I'm 21. (Most people will generally agree that I don't look definitely 21. The precise age they would peg me with differs, with the lowest being around 18. 16, if you're my barber.) We chatted a bit more about studying and what I'm going to do for my job in future, and then as he's packing the belt for me and I'm about to head off, he suddenly asks whether I have a girlfriend and if I've thought about when I'm going to get married. (The answer to the former is no, although I have given some thought to the latter and think that 27 would be a good age.) So it's such a completely random question, so I just say no, it's still too early. To which his rejoinder is something to the effect that a handsome fellow like me is bluffing if he says he doesn't have a girlfriend. (So girls, clearly you should all be fighting to get a piece of me. Haha!) Ben Woon, being the wonderful friend that he is, helpfully suggested that he was trying to hit on me. Right.

This isn't the end of the story though! So I went upstairs to Kinokuniya and picked up a few collections of local poetry, including Alfian Sa'at's A History Of Amnesia. (On a side note, I'm thinking of bringing all the local poetry collections I have over with me, which means I've got even more books that I want to bring back to Warwick now. I should probably weigh all of them before making up my mind, since my baggage allowance is severely limited. At one point, I considered bringing all my Murakami books over, but I'm afraid I might have to change my mind about that now.) After that, I figured that I'd go downstairs again to buy a few shirts, hit $120 or more for the bill, and then I'd be able to use the other voucher. Well, it turns out the voucher is only valid for full-priced items, and practically everything in the store was on sale. I did get an additional 10% discount for paying with a DBS credit card, and my parents decided to foot the bill for everything I bought at the store, as a Christmas present, so money isn't the point of this story.

The point of the story is to highlight what a smooth operator that guy was. No, he didn't try to pick me up, but he did manage to double my bill by selling me a pair of trousers that I wouldn't have picked out on my own. What happened was this: I was trying on a shirt, and then he asked if I'd tried a pair of trousers yet. I hadn't, so I told him I'm a size 32, go pick a pair out for me and I'll just try it. At this point, I hadn't seriously considered buying the trousers yet. So after trying everything on, I'm about to change back into my own clothes and head out to pay, when he knocks, asks me how everything looks and tells me not to be shy and come out. So since he's been completely affable all this while, I comply. Like any good salesman, he naturally flatters me and tells me that I look good in the shirt and trousers, and that they suit me much better than whatever I was originally wearing. In case you think I didn't believe him just because it's his job to tell me I look good in whatever he's selling, I actually didn't need him to tell me that. I already know that I look pretty damn fine in formal wear (for someone who doesn't work out at all), ever since I shed a few pounds during BMT. My point here is simply that I'm a bit of a sucker when it comes to sales tactics. I find it incredibly hard to turn people down when they're being unfailingly nice and polite. So I walked out of that store, having spent more than $200, and made up my mind that when I start teaching and actually need to wear a shirt everyday, I know where those shirts are coming from.

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