A Writer's 21st Century Memoir.

The Department Store Diaries: Day 20

Try describing the color blue to someone who has never seen the color before in their life—go ahead—I dare you. Tough isn’t it? Well, at least I thought so.

It had to have been a coupon day with the amount of people storming into the store that morning. Children were screaming bloody murder, and impatient adults were rolling their eyes in line and tapping their fingers on the unstable racks next to the line that they were standing in as if it would make me ring up everyone’s purchases even faster than the speed that I was already working at. The store was a mess and I had no patience for the people who woke up that morning and decided to be assholes.

“Excuse me young lady. Can you tell me the price of this please?” An older woman had walked up to the counter holding a stack of random bathing suits underneath her arm. She laid a dark blue suit with an attached skort at the bottom.

I picked up the suit and scanned the tag. “It’s ten dollars and 40 cents.”

“Okay, now how about this one?” She laid an olive green suit down on the counter.

I looked at the clearly marked tag. “It says that it’s twelve dollars and 30 cents ma’am.”

“Okay. Can you tell me how this cost?” The woman laid another bathing suit on the counter. At this point the line of customers behind her had gotten so long that people had to start wrapping around the entire register counter and down the long walkway into the men’s department. I gave out an audible sigh and told her the price.

“Okay, so can you describe to me the color of the first one?” The woman lifted up the dark blue bathing suit and it was then, after I looked into her clouded hazel eyes, that I realized what was going on.

“Oh. Umm, well it a dark blue color closer to black and darker than the other bathing suits here.” I placed the suit into the woman’s hands and let her feel the bottom of the suit.

“Oh it’s a skort. Will it match these flip flops that I grabbed?” She lifted up a pair of dark green flip flops and held them in front of my face.

I gently pushed them away from my nose and let her know that they matched the other green suit that had shorts attached to it and put those in her hands.

“Oh, okay. Thank you so much. I only asked you because I’m actually legally blind and I wanted to look cute for the pool.” We both laughed.

“Yeah, no problem,” I said as I rang up her selected purchase. She smiled and thanked me again. Another woman walked up and asked her if she found what she was looking for.

“Yes, this nice lady helped me pick something out.” The other woman then guided the blind lady out of the store and turned around quickly to flash me a thankful smile. I smiled back, almost a little guiltily, because before I realized that the customer I was helping was blind I was actually annoyed with her just as I have with all of the other customers that day. I had judged the people who were standing impatiently in line—and yes they really could have been assholes—but I didn’t know the whole story or what they had gone through to get to where they were that day. I guess I was the one who really couldn’t see that day.

Read the madness from the beginning.

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