Sunday, December 6, 2009

I'm The Most Awkward Customer Ever (Part II: I Bleed All Over H&M's Merchandise)

Following my haircut (Part I: I'm No Good At Salon Small Talk plays a role in this story), I decided to maybe rev up my appearance. I mean, I had a haircut and I've been putting off buying new I went out and bought new shoes.

Then, I decided to keep going and finally buy a belt that wasn't falling apart and making me look like a savage or mental patient. It's stretched and falling apart and just all-around crazy. So I went to H&M because I heard they also have good deals on polo shirts, which I need for my job (people may be starting to notice that I only have six collared shirts for my five days of work every week).

I get to the H&M at the Irvine Spectrum. Once inside, I immediately realize how rarely it is that I buy clothes like a real person. I usually wait for gifts, warehouse sales or just a random thing I see that's cool. I almost never go out to browse. I try on some jackets and some sweaters, winding through all these sharper dressers. I then realize how unsafe and unhip I feel around fashionable people. It's like they know something I don't.

Finally, I get around to trying on a white polo shirt. It fits nicely, but when I put it back on the rack, I notice a massive reddish smear. It looks like make-up or something. I think, "How the hell did I not notice that when I first picked it up?" Then I worry it's from me. I touch my neck to see if I had accidentally reopened a cut from shaving or something. Nope. Nothing.

Weird. Someone just smeared a bunch of make-up on that shirt like a fucking weirdo. See, this is why I don't go shopping, I think.

Then, I try on a plain white t-shirt. I set it back down on the rack. There's blood on this one! Actual drops of blood! What the fuck is happening here? It's like a crazy part in a horror movie. I touch my neck again. No blood. It has to be me. But how? Then I somehow convince myself that I just happened to pick out the two already ruined white shirts in the store by some grand inane implausible coincidence. I don't know how I did it, but I did.

Now, in line to pay for my stuff, I'm next to a mirror, so I check out my neck in the mirror. Nope. No blood. Then I check the other side of my neck. Nope. No blood there...


I see my ear. Apparently, from the looks of it, I have been shot in the head by a bazooka and I had no idea. It looks like there is a serious fucking head wound on the left side of my head. My ear is totally bloody.


No, thankfully, I am not, and did not. I learn this as I frantically dab my ear with my a crazy person. There is now blood all over my hands. I am now rubbing them together as fast as I can, trying to mash the blood into my skin. This is, of course...insane. It looks like I'm washing my hands with soap in a bathroom...except I'm in some kind of invisible bathroom in the middle of a fucking H&M and it's blood that is clearly from the side of my head.

I don't get very far before a tall, attractive blonde (apparently, they work everywhere on Sundays) says, "I can help the next customer."

Approaching her from my "good side," I hand her my two polo shirts and belt, careful not to touch the white shirt with my hands (which I am also trying to hide, because there is still visible blood on my knuckles.

I feel very uneasy about the entire situation. My eyes go all squirrely as I try to figure out just how what happened to me...happened to me. I finally decide that the stylist had marked me earlier (after a closer inspection upon returning home, it looked more like a thin slit than a small cut). I think she sliced me with the scissors, it for some reason stopped and then pushing and pulling clothes over my head kicked it open again.

"Do you need gift receipts? Or are you treating yourself?" the girl asks very warmly.

"Oh...I'm treating myself," I respond, followed by a mock guilty look, as I struggle to appear like a normal person (you know, like one who hasn't just tried to get away with committing homicide on himself in public).

"You don't need to feel guilty," she says, smiling.

"True. I'll probably start feeling guilty closer to Christmas," I say with what could have been considered a shitty talk show host impression.

But, still, things are going well, it seems. And then a drop! A drop of blood hits my ear lobe. Oh no! This is goddamn ridiculous, I think. I can now feel my head leaking. I tell myself, "I'm like that goddamn Headwound Harry sketch from Saturday Night Live (the one where Dana Carvey just ruins parties by bleeding everywhere on everything and everyone). I have officially become a disaster." I am now a joke of a person, I figure. I have just become the character in television shows and movies that I don't think could really exist.

"Did you get this belt over there?" she suddenly asks, pointing.

I don't follow her finger. Instead, I just stare at the counter (I think).

"Oh...yeah," I say, somewhere between mumbling and speaking.

"Over there, by the jackets, right?"

She points again. I still don't move my head.

"Yeah, over there by the jackets," I repeat like this is my first interaction with a stranger.

"Oh ok. There's no price tag on this belt, so I'm going to go grab one just like it."

She leaves and I keep my head at an angle where she won't see the protruding gash I call an ear. She returns, scans the belt and finishes up. I take the bag from her, mumble something incoherent and hurry the fuck out of the store.

I still have yet to decide how I feel exactly about people that were in the Irvine H&M store tonight going home and telling everyone they know, "Holy shit, you're not going to believe this. I was in H&M tonight and there was a guy who had his ear missing like Vincent Van Gogh just smearing his blood all over the white shirts. It was total fucking insanity. This absolute crazy person just walked around trying on things, like it was no big deal, just totally ignoring the fact that he was dripping blood everywhere. He was just totally ignoring the fact that he was smearing blood all over these nice clothes. How could you possibly ignore that? And then he got in line, still bleeding to death, and bought all of these other shirts that he didn't actually ruin. I've never seen anything like it."

See, this is the whole problem with consumerism: people like me.