I have noticed a strange phenomenon with my favorite clothing company. For my last two pregnancies they make the cutest clothes and styles when I am at my largest and can’t wear or try them on in person. Eddie Bauer was relentless this second time around sending their catalog to my house and email. And worst of all they had the best sales on all my favorite items. To add insult to injury they gifted me triple point rewards on all purchases made the month of my birthday. Sadly my birthday month was also my due date month (at the very end of the month too!). Why would they taunt me at my most vulnerable and fragile state?
Then when I was not pregnant anymore I rushed to my nearest store only to find all the clothes I wanted are gone. I am not a shopper, in fact, I loath shopping for most things, especially clothes. I usually buy something every few years, wear it until it falls off my body in some way and then sadly wave goodbye to it at the good-will drop off. This last time I got a shirt just in time. Which is rare for me. I tried on a really cute one I had eyed through my entire pregnancy and watched as the price kept lowering and lowering to a point I would consider actually buying the thing. Then I go to the store, try on a size too small and one too large only to realize they don’t have my size. “No problem” the sales lady assures me, “just order it over there on our customer-service phone.” What a nice store, they must have been thinking of me when they installed the phones. All I had to do was pick it up and a sales representative was right there. I didn’t have to wait for ringing or anything else. It actually caught me off guard.
“How can I help you?” She chirps.
“Uh, I want to buy this shirt…” I started to blank on where to go from here, pregnancy really does a number on brain function and I was just beginning to get mine back after the abuse it had been through the last nine months.
After an awkward pause she gently directs me, “Can you give me more information about the shirt?”
“Oh, well it is hot pink, but I was hoping to get it in the ‘ocean blue’ color I saw in your magazine. Also this one is large and I want a medium.” I think I rambled on a bit more before she finally stopped me.
“Can you tell me what the catalog number is?” She was being so patient with me, I decided she must have to deal with people like me on a daily or even hourly basis. Thinking about all the other people out there as mentally deprived as me at that moment made me really anxious. I fluttered around the booth trying to figure out how to find the catalog number on the shirt. Would they have it on the tag? Thankfully she must have heard my brain trying to think because she added helpfully, “Look in the catalog in front of you.” I then noticed the catalogs stacked neatly in front of me. I quickly glanced around the room. How did she know? Was she watching me and giggling at me from a distance? I decided not to ponder on that one for too long as I grabbed for the magazine and began frantically searching the pages. I would think after pining over this shirt for months I would have memorized the page number for an emergency situation like this. “It’s ok, take your time.” She soothes me. This time I searched the room more thoroughly; she had to be watching me! I could feel people were starting to stare at the commotion I was making in the corner, so I quickly turned back around before they thought I was loony homeless bag lady and kicked me out of the store. I don’t have the best sense of style and my hair was all messed up because as a new mom I don’t have time to really make it look good, so I was actually in danger of my feared scenario coming true.
Finally I found the page number and ordered the shirt. Thank God! And they only had one left. I got so excited I leaked a little breast milk. Except they only had brown. I have a closet full of brown shirts, so I guess this one will fit right in with the rest. When things like that happen to me, like getting the last item in a clothing store, I think they must have set that up to make me feel I really scored big. Ha! I would exclaim and run off to the register and quickly pay and run off with my goods. Then the sales people would go in the back and pick out another of the same shirt hang it nicely on the rack. It would have to be placed in a semi-obvious spot, but not too obvious so as not to insult the intelligence of the victim, uh I mean, buyer. They do this for people like me who never buy anything unless they are pushed in some way. Seeing a really cool shirt that actually looks nice on me, and it is the only one, is too much to pass up. I am on to them now though.
I just got the catalog for fall and was really excited to see what they would have. I usually need new shirts after giving birth. Clothes never fit right after your body has been stretched to impossible limits. Sadly they are back to advertising un-exciting items. Or they have really cute things I would never, ever, wear.
Let me guide you to page 80 where we have a nice brunette lady sporting a chocolate brown cowboy hat, poncho, and tan corduroy pants. The pants appear to being going for the painted-on-as-a-second skin look, which I am sure I cannot pull off at this post-pregnancy time. And a poncho? Come on Eddie Bauer, I think I haven’t worn a poncho since I dressed up as Pocahontas for three consecutive Halloweens when I was a teen. I don’t remember being as sexy as the model while doing it though. Which leads me to another annoyance with clothing companies. How come all the clothes look so awesome on the models? I know that is their job, but in reality they should have normal looking people wearing the clothes so I can more accurately make decisions on what will actually look good on me. The model is also wearing a “come hither” look that I know will appeal to a number of men, but sporting that poncho the look just falls flat to me.
Another look (page 88) has another brunette model with a cardigan. I sometimes wonder if they have my profile information and send me catalogs with mostly brunette models that look like me. Which is kind of a bit paranoid to think about, but it is an awfully big coincidence.
I’m on to you Eddie Bauer.
The cardigan the model is wearing is beautiful with its rich autumn colors in merino wool. Then she has a tan skirt and lace up boots. I always love the skirt idea in theory but, I have a nice chicken leg look going on and I don’t want to spoil the view of my blinding white legs with a skirt that is so long it will cover most of them up.
Eddie Bauer, when will you learn? Its no wonder you almost went bankrupt. How will you make money off of me if you keep playing this dangerous game? I think the company must find it funny to taunt its pregnant customers; but in the end it is their loss.