An American Girl in Washington

A long day at Local Dept Store

Posted in All about moi by AGinDC on 3 October 2010

After writing my super self-motivational post on Friday I was all ready to get up and do something with my life.  First, though, I had an all day shift at Local Department Store (LDS for short, but not the Mormon one).  I wasn’t looking forward to nine hours on my feet selling “fine” jewelry but the bills must be paid, so off I went.  The first few days at LDS were fun.  A few hours here and there meeting the really nice women I’m working with, trying on lots of engagement rings, whatevs.  But nine hours is a really long time and after a while I just couldn’t stop the mild depression from sinking in.  There I was, selling jewels to Russians (foreigners are apparently the only people who can afford to buy expensive jewelry these days), helping girls my age with my bag and name badges from firms and companies that I could be working for if I didn’t hate cubicles and offices and boredom, and saying, “Can I help you with anything ma’am?” to every person who was apparently “just looking”.  It didn’t help that every black man who walked in was buying something for the white girl besides him and every black woman was buying something for herself.  How depressing is that?  Those engagement rings were starting to haunt me.

By the seventh hour I couldn’t take any more. Unlike the summers spent selling retail when I knew there was a limited time period, this time I don’t know when it will end.  I’m working with women who have been there for four, ten, twenty, even thirty-seven years.  Thirty-seven years behind the counter at a department store. Kill me now.  And then I found out that I was scheduled for the night I wanted to go see Salome at the opera.  They’re having a lecture about it at the Kennedy Center and then the performance and then cocktails.  It sounds perfect.  And I couldn’t say anything because I really need the money, so I have to work.  And my friends were leaving messages asking where I was and why they couldn’t get in touch with me because, of course, they don’t work on Saturdays.

Intellectually, I know this is just a rough patch.  I know that many, many Americans are facing much harder times than my pathetic little complaints are worth.  That was clear by the massive rally for jobs on the Mall this weekend.  I know I don’t have a right to say anything, or to feel sad, or to feel anything except lucky to have this job and The Palace and people who care about me.  But by the time I was finished yesterday, I was finished.  I had to meet friends at my house and it took everything in me not to cry every step of the way from Dupont Circle to my front door.  It doesn’t help that I’m three years to thirty in 17 days and I am, as I always have been, completely and utterly alone.  I haven’t met anyone dateable here yet and working behind the counter at LDS isn’t exactly the way to do it.  At this point, I can’t even fathom what it would be like to be in a relationship, to have someone else to count on.  Turning another year older just makes me more and more terrified that maybe this is it for me.  Maybe I’ll be seeing the opera alone every season for the rest of my life.

Or worse, maybe I won’t have anyone to tell that I have to cancel because I have to work.




2 Responses

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  1. Marjorie said, on 3 October 2010 at 10:31 pm

    I worked at Foley’s in Irving for exactly 2 days in December 2002. I feel your pain. Trust me — we all go through these patches. Except I once lived with a super-controlling man for longer than I should have, and by the time he did the decent thing and dumped me, I was ready for freedom. Oh, and did I mention that I was nearly 30 when it happened?

    Enjoy your freedom to explore the world, explore your mind, explore your options. I know it sounds like a cliche, but you WILL find someone. Unfortunately, it never happens when we want it to happen, but that just makes the surprise all the more fun. 🙂


    • agindc said, on 4 October 2010 at 2:07 pm

      True. I think I’m thinking more about this relationship stuff because I’m so unsettled in the rest of my life. I just need one thing to be stable!! Thanks for the motivation yet again.

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