Friday, July 06, 2007

Moses's Wardrobe

Today, on my day off, I finally got around to catching up on details that had been lagging for months...thank-you notes for baby gifts (if any of you gift givers are reading--I'm sorry, sorry, sorry for being so late in's just that there's been a baby and all...), leftover Texas trip laundry, scooping cat litter boxes, making a trip to the credit union, drinking my weight in chai tea, you know...the same old, same old.

But, there was this little niggling thing that has been hanging over my head since about January...the issue of the fundamentalist Christian resale store and the state of my maternity clothes. You see, in mid-January I dropped off a whole shit-load of maternity clothes I had grown out of and which had been worn about, oh, once before I grew out of them. I dropped them off that day when it was snowing and now, you see, it's near 90 degrees. So, it's time to do something. For lo, it is now summer.

In my defense, the official little form they gave me when I dropped the clothes off to be considered for resale said (and I'm quoting directly here...) "Once we have evaluated your items, we will then call you with two purchase offers, consignment or store credit. At that time you may choose the offer that best fits your needs. If we do not reach you, we will leave a message or continue calling until one or the other has been achieved. Therefore, it is not necessary to call regarding your items. We happily take this responsibility in an effort to make the process less complicated for you and your family."

So, you know, I got fatter. And then I had a kid. And then I took good care of that kid. And winter turned to spring and spring turned to summer and, lo and behold, I never heard from fundamentalist Christian resale shop (where all the proceeds seem to go to wacky Christian sectarian groups). And, they did say they would "happily take on this responsibility." I imagined the little fundie ladies with their hair in tight buns, wearing modest clothing and whistling as they sorted and tagged and labeled my merchandise and then anticipated a chatty, friendly phone call in due time. So, on this 6th of July I placed a little call to the business which I shall refer to as Moses's Wardrobe, the happy place which had, sadly, never taken their appointed responsibility as promised.

Mr. Moses himself answered his phone and when I explained my dilemma, the not hearing from them, and the wondering what happened with all my shit, I mean stuff (cause I care about not hurting a fundamentalist Christian's ears), Mr. Moses said, "I have no record of it." When I explained that I had the little "Buying Policy" receipt thing and that, certainly, they must have SOME record, after all I did fill out that little 3x5 card with my name and address, I was told quite unhappily, "I have no record." I took a deep breath and asked Mr. Moses to please look through his records. And I was put on hold. For a long time. A long time.

And...Mr. Moses, he did come back on the line and ask if I, was "Christian." I figured, being a fundy establishment it wouldn't hurt to answer to that misnomer. He said, "Well, I talked to you and you said we could sell the following items..." and he named about a third of what I dropped off. I politely told him that he never spoke with me. And he said, "Oh yes I did." And I said, "Ah, no, we never spoke." And he said, "Yes, I did" with an oh-so-certain tone. And I said, "I would have remembered, and would have picked up the items you did not want to sell." This led into a firm and emphatic, "No, I spoke with you." I paused, thinking, "What the hell happened to 'the customer is always right?'" There was silence on the line. "Ma'am," Moses said, "I talked to you." And the way he said it insisted that he, Mr. Moses, who has never given birth but who owns a maternity store was right. Finally, in exasperation I said, "I am not crazy!"

We were getting nowhere. Grayson was crying loudly for a bottle. The dog was whining in her cage. I had to pee. Universes were colliding. I couldn't fight the patriarchy anymore. "Fine," I said. And that was that.

R., overhearing our little exchange, overhearing my voice rising higher and higher (and I swear, I am by no means a hysterical person) said, "You want me to call?" I think R. knew by then that when dealing with conservative men who think that they can win in a verbal argument by simply speaking louder and with more emphasis, having a penis might have its advantages in the patriarchal world.

R., having aforementioned necessary penis and deep voice, phoned and said three important words. Better Business Bureau. And mean Christian man seemed to perk up a little bit. We'll see what unfolds.

It was only later that I realized my problem. I didn't remind Mr. Moses of how much Jesus was crying about the way he was treating a fellow Christian. Or perhaps I didn't walk into the shop in a prairie skirt with my hair in a Nazarene french braid. Or maybe he just whiffed the scent of the secular humanist within me and knew I voted for John Kerry in the last election. Maybe he saw my "Peace is Patriotic" bumper sticker, or had an inkling that I once volunteered for NARAL and decided it was easy to write me off since I would certainly burn in hell in due time.

Moral of the story: Moses's Wardrobe sucks.

And Jesus doesn't like liars, Mr. Moses. And he may even have voted for John Kerry. So there.

And now, Mr. Moses, I need to go to bed so I can ask forgiveness for my mean thoughts about you. And compliment myself on not using your store's real name in this post, 'cause even those of us without penises do have some integrity.


CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

I am laughing--not at your plight, which sucks--but at Mean Mr. Moses, who doesn't have a clue that he betrayed Jesus over and over again during his conversation with you. Thank you for sharing this story, even though the telling of it must have been painful.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I deal with these sorts of people all the time here in the Deep South. I am always newly amazed at their nastiness, but they can't see that, as they are on a mission to be right and to prove the little lady wrong and put her in her place. Hence, Hillary Clinton is a HUGE threat to them, so she might as well not campaign where I live; she might need to bring body guards. ... sigh.