So I went to Macy's today in Herald Square on my lunch break to buy some winter clothes. Of course, I didn't realize that the store is completely for women. By the time I had ridden the escalators all the way to the 5th floor, I had gathered, from the racks of women's clothes that continued to confront me at every turn, that I had made a horrible mistake, and I was the only guy, surrounded by woman shoppers.
And I couldn't find my way out. Everywhere I looked were racks upon racks of pantsuits, blouses, skirts. 15% to 20% off. Every escalator continued to go up, where, I imagined, there existed about thirty other floors of wall to wall women's wear.
I was panicked. I had only ten minutes to get back to work and I was starting to get dizzy from the maddening floral perfume that was holding the air hostage.
Finally, after a diligent search (of course I didn't ask directions), I found a way down. As I was about to step onto the escalator, I heard a voice. "Excuse me."
I turned and saw a girl, probably not much younger than me. "Excuse me, could you help me?"
I wasn't sure if she thought I was a salesperson, or if she simply assumed, being that I was the only guy around, that I knew something about women's clothes.
"Could you help me up the escalator?"
I looked at her. She appeared healthy.
"Are you serious?"
"Yeah," she replied.
So we went over to the escalator up.
"Hold my hand?"
So I did.
We headed up, and I desperately tried to make some sort of small talk to make the situation less awkward.
"So... you don't like escalators?"
"Why are you here?" she asked me.
"Shopping," I replied.
"In the women's section?"
"Um, I'm shopping for a friend."
"I'm shopping for my mother, but I don't know what she likes."
"Well, what does she usually wear?"
"Stripes," the girl said. "She wears a lot of stripes."
"I'm not sure where the stripes are," I said.
After helping her up the escalator, she realized that it was the wrong floor, and I helped her back down the escalator, holding her hand. At the bottom, we parted ways.
"Thanks," she said.
The ride back down to the jewelry and cosmetics was uneventful. I just kept thinking about what had happened. SO strange. So odd.
Then, on my way out, I saw a midget woman pushing a baby stroller.
I am never shopping at Macy's again.