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Snubbed at Macy’s (Or Is This Classism?)

on 13 November, 2014

I’ve been in this online “discussion” for a few weeks with a popular women’s blogger, ostensibly about  racism, but really more about really recognizing racism in every day societal interactions.

I had contended that her much of her post about being the object of racism was misinterpretation of interactions and other people’s behaviors. That really what she was doing was looking for racism where it didn’t exist. In short, I thought she was blowing things out of proportion. It has been a lively debate, with plenty of very carefully worded sentiments and statements. Bottom line, it is all forced pleasantries – but we’ve agreed to disagree.

What I garner from her is that while she looks at me with my very white complexion and wonders exactly what I might know of racism. So while not “racism” per sé, there is much bigotry still out there for women – especially women in what is considered to be a “man’s industry” – as well as religious intolerance. And while I, for the most part, pretty much consider myself agnostic, my religious heritage is there nonetheless.

The one thing I never thought I would encounter is financial bigotry. So in the middle of the week in the middle of the day, I opted to spend my lunch stocking up on my cosmetics. I don’t wear a lot but what I do use, I am very loyal to (as a brand). And let me tell you, this stuff ain’t cheap. Between the two counters of cosmetics and fragrance, I dropped five bills in about 20 minutes. And those weren’t ones, fives or twenties – if you catch my drift. While there, I opted to check out the shoe department, since it was right there and I was wearing one of my favorite new pairs of pants (in blue) that I’ve been unable to find shoes to match.

Okay, first let me just set the stage. Lots of sales clerks. Lots of merchandise. Not that many shoppers. I think it would be fairly obvious that I was looking for something in particular. Yet, even though I walked right up to displays and picked up shoes (in an attempt to show I was trying to match shoes to pants) where a store clerk was standing not 3 feet away from me.

I was this close to walking out!At least four times in a row, those store employees turned the other way or “overlooked” me. I was this close to walking out of the store when I finally had someone ask me if they could help me. Not only was I carrying two Macy’s bags (proof that I had already been shopping) but I was looking at expensive shoes.

df0168-492x660Granted I was wearing a Monster hoodie and wearing one of my favorite pairs of the most comfortable shoes on earth from Payless Shoes, and wearing my just slightly better than jeans – Lee pants – so I might not look like some of the women who were shopping around me, but I was presentable!

As a side note, there was a woman next to me in fragrances that was dressed to the nines in a suit, wearing a hat and literally had a fur stole on her shoulders. She was the epitome of high class – “old white money”.I don't "do" pointy toe shoes!The funny thing is, I walked out in a new pair of shoes that I don’t think I even like! They are fashionable and so far, comfortable, but not really my style. I almost think I did it just to prove to the salesclerk that I could afford it. Which is laughable! And disappointing.

Yes, I am disappointed in myself. I’ve never dressed for anyone but myself. Well, at least in the past 20 years or so. And honestly, I don’t really feel like I have to prove anything to anyone. But I honestly felt like I was being ignored and intentionally ignored. And it did not feel nice.

Perhaps I need to rethink my stance in the argument that I am having with the woman about racism. Maybe I am wrong.



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