The Man Who Wouldn’t Shop

Working at the cash register at my TJ Maxx shift Monday, I saw an older man walk in, moving quickly and purposely toward the men’s department. Seconds later, his wife came in, trying to keep up.

He already had a pack of t-shirts in his hand by the time she caught up to him, but she had to check to make sure had had the right size. I could tell he did not. She got him the correct pack and he turned to head toward me at the register.

“What about socks” she asked. He clearly was done shopping, or, as I think he heard her question, “What if I chain you to this display and we never leave.” Oh, such torture he had to endure to walk 10 feet to the sock display, mumbling all the way, “I don’t need socks.”

But his wife was quick/well-practiced. She already had two packs of black socks in her hands and held them up to him for inspection. As if. As if he had time to look at the socks after already having had to look at the t-shirts.

He looked (barely) and said “Fine. Let’s go!” and said it forceful enough that I looked right at him (instead of pretending to tidy up while spying). He looked right back at me and said, “I can’t help it. I’m a guy. I hate shopping.”

I should note that he was not naked. But, it seemed to me, his job was to put clothes on. His wife’s job was to make them available.

Since there was no one in line I let them squeeze around a display to get to my register as quickly as possible. I was concerned the man was going to blow a gasket.

As soon as the transaction was finished (and it took a good 30 seconds longer than I planned because his wife had a gift certificate – Geez lady, your man is going to die right here at register 5!), I looked up at the man and said, “You. You get out. I’m kicking you out. You are no longer welcome here.”

He looked right at me and said, “Thank you!”

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