Friday, September 24, 2010

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Small towns. That is what this story is about.

I'm currently staying in a small town way out in East Texas and although I have driven through the town on many occasions I haven't visited all the stores that piqued my interest. After staying in our trailer day after day I reminded myself that I needed to get out and see new things.......even if I did have to go it alone.

As I drove around all four blocks surrounding the courthouse downtown I ran into a problem. I would find a store I wanted to nose around in just to see what they had and of course upon entering I would find that I was the only customer in there. Not only would the proprietor look up and see me walking around but they would also see me leave empty handed. When asked if I needed any help I found myself repeating, "Oh I'm just browsing, thank you."

I had noticed there were some artful window hangings in one of the pharmacy's downtown and I thought I would pop in to see what kind of trinkets they had for sale. The other pharmacy downtown has a gift store attached to it but this particular pharmacy that I walked into was nothing more than........well, a pharmacy. As soon as I entered I wanted to walk out but as I was the only one in there the ladies behind the counter took notice of me and offered a friendly greeting. No chance of escape now, especially when the door behind me wouldn't shut and I had to force it to close drawing more attention to myself. I figured the least I could do was pretend to look at something. The item of choice - Aloe Vera. I picked up the bottle and examined it pretending I had at last found what I was looking for. (Heaven knows I wasn't going to pay that price for it though.) After a minute or two had gone by I figured that enough time had passed by since entering the store and I could safely leave the store without any awkwardness of not purchasing anything. I placed the item back on the shelf and left just as quietly as I had entered.

I feel so awkward when I'm the only one in a store wandering around the aisles and such. How am I supposed to blend when there's no one to hide behind?! I feel so conspicuous.

Small towns.......definitely not the place for a mystery shopper. LOL!

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