Dear Neiman Marcus Last Call Saleswoman

Dear Neiman Marcus Last Call Saleswoman,

I think of you this morning as I endure yet another breathtakingly uncomfortable ride on the express bus. When I came to your workplace yesterday afternoon, I was flustered, confused, anxious about my impending fate of going improperly attired to a gala thing I was meant to attend last evening that, as of the time I was dressing myself yesterday morning, I had completely forgotten about. Perhaps those with more personal confidence or savoir faire could have rocked linen pants and a wrinkled blue button down to the party, but that person is not me. Upon arriving at work and realizing that the event was that very evening, I started to plan out different scenarios in which I could clothe myself in something more appropriate. (Appropriate to the event or perhaps appropriate for my own expectations of how I ought to appear? Don’t know, don’t care, either way, needed a change of clothes.)

I was meant to pick up C at 5:30 pm from after school, but my whole office was leaving for the party a little before 5, and we were supposed to get a cat (me and C, not me and the office). There was a mountain of work on my desk (spoiler alert: there still is), new work was piling up, I couldn’t be in two places at once, and I still had nothing to wear! Was there time to go home? No, only if I gave up on work for the whole day and focused entirely on my clothes, which lets face it, I’m more than capable of doing (hi mom), but I knew I had to show some restraint. First things first: where would I be at 5:30? At pick up (which you know is my legitimate total pleasure), or in a car speeding toward the Bronx for this work thing?

Managed to get through to Dave, not always an easy feat in mid work day, and he confirmed that he would be able to make it to pick up in time. Phew! Then I broke the news about the cat. You won’t believe it when I tell you that he groused and complained not! He quickly decided exactly how he would retrieve the cat carrier, get to the sad abandoned need homes so badly you could cry cat place, and then do the whole domestic evening thing which, Neiman Marcus Last Call Saleswoman, I don’t know if you are familiar with, being as you look young and interesting and potentially childless, is a whole big thing involving dinner, and stories, and teeth brushing, and homework.

That’s where you came on the scene, with the child and child centric obligations all sorted, I ventured forth to your workplace, just across the street from my own. I came to the fitting room with everything I could find that might be passable, might go with my sandals (I was not going to buy new shoes, the line must be drawn somewhere after all), and might work with the undergarments I was wearing (because again,there is a line). Full disclosure: I’m not great with talking to people in stores. I don’t have a good sense of the relationship. Are you helping? Am I in your way? Are we supposed to make small talk? Should we joke? I don’t know, I worry I’ll make an awkward situation even more awkward. But in this case, Neiman Marcus Saleswoman, I needed you.

When you showed me into the dressing room and your name tag ribbon popped off onto the floor, I didn’t notice either. But when you came back for it, I bit down hard on the bullet in my wardrobe and asked what you thought of the skirt is tried on. “It looks great,” you said, “but not with that top.” I’d been hoping to find a skirt that worked with the top, but alas, the one skirt I found that looked nice could not accommodate my top. I spilled my guts. You were so sympathetic yet honest. You found me a shirt, you told me not to wear the scarf (the one that lives in my purse), because it didn’t go, you understood about the sandals with semi formal office casual, and to top it all off you got me a discount.

Thank you. I looked fine. The sandals were fine. I didn’t spill anything on myself, even with the passed teriyaki beef on sticks, and the little chorizo empanadas, and all the wine. To top it all off, I’ll probably even wear this outfit again.

Yours with gratitude,


Me and shadows and a big fountain and a little skunk that’s hard to see.

Sea lions at the Bronx Zoo, where the gala was held.

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