I hate open letters. I mean I really, really hate open letters. Used correctly, they can be somewhat useful, but mostly, they are overdone.
I hope like hell this one is not overdone.
I tried to come back here several times in the past week. I wanted to give you an update on my father-in-law, but I couldn't find the strength to do so. He passed away on Friday, November 1, and in a future post, I will share what happened, because the moment of his death was a true testimony to his faith – and it gives me goosebumps to reflect on it.
But that is not what this post is about.
I was left in charge of his funeral, mostly because my father-in-law thought I was the best person to handle it, so the past week has been one of much emotion for me. Death is never an easy time for anyone, death brings drama and hurt feelings and frustrations right to the surface - and my father in law and I had grown close over the past months. I was his full time nursing care provider. Although I knew he was going, and I feel at peace with this fact, I've still been an emotional, mental, and physical wreck for the past 10 days - the time he was in the hospital, the day he passed, and up until now. There are so many details when it comes to laying someone to rest. Details that I didn't even understand, things about which I had no concept, but now with which I am all-too-familiar.
Yes, tights. Like, the tights you wear.
I didn't even really stop to think that when I needed proper funeral clothes for my children, that would include black tights for my youngest girls. I took a trip to the mall today, because I have had no luck buying black tights anywhere else. I walked up and down the mall couple of times, looking in this store and that store, and not finding much.
I also needed to buy a sweater for myself. I did find that. So, score there.
At the mall, the center space in the aisles is filled with kiosks. Hocking everything from make up to lotion to threading, flat irons, jewelry, and cell phone plans – they are everywhere. I do not begrudge anyone the need to make a living. I totally understand that. I'm very good at walking past them, ignoring when they try to engage, and saying no thank you. I am polite.
I am POLITE. I wave, say no thank you, and move on. I'm not going to buy from them, but I respect their efforts.
Today, I walked past a kiosk for a company called Mineral Cosmetics JJ. I walked past the salesman twice. The first time, I said, "No thank you", and moved on. The second time, I said "No Thank You", and as I walked past, he said "Expletive deleted. You couldn't afford it anyway."
I deleted the expletive. He didn't.
What was the company called again? Oh, yes. Mineral Cosmetics JJ.
I wheeled around, and asked him to repeat himself. He immediately became flustered, and denied ever saying anything at all. I know what he said. I heard it loud and clear, just as if it was broadcast over the radio. He knows what he said, and I know that he knows this, because I could see it in his face.
Here's the thing, Mineral Cosmetics JJ sales person who works at a kiosk in the mall.
Not everyone who comes to the mall is coming for a good time. Not everyone who comes to the mall is there to see Santa, buy a wedding dress, look for prom shoes, or spend a bonus check. Some of us are there because something very terrible happened in their life, and they need to groom themselves and clothe themselves appropriately. You had no right to insult me. You had no right to cast aspersions on me, because I wouldn't stop and let you put some of your cheap, disgusting, crappily made cosmetics on my face.
You may have been having a bad day. Maybe you haven't made any sales. Maybe you don't like your job. But I would be willing to bet that the last 10 days for me have been much worse than anything you have ever imagined.
Mall kiosk workers of the world, take note: I will spell this out for you. You are welcome to advertise your products, but if a person says no, doesn't engage, or seems as if they're not interested – they aren't.
Not everyone comes to the mall to have a good time.
I left the mall. I drove away, shaking and crying and completely upset. I sat at a stoplight, and decided that, by leaving, I'd let him know that it was appropriate to say these things. That it was ok to be rude and say something that was so hurtful that it made me cry - although every damned thing makes me cry. I went and spoke to the mall manager, who swears to handle it and follow up.
I hope he does.