It was bound to come to this. First, Occupy Wall Street. Then, Occupy Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles. I wanted to do my part. I decided to Occupy Nordstrom.
I was a recent victim of Nordstrom's blatant discrimination and downright cruelty. Had they not, after all, chosen to discontinue my favorite Lancome face cleanser, the one I had used and loved for years? The very same cleanser that In-Style magazine reported Cameron Diaz using? Now my skin was covered in unattractive dry patches. I felt outraged, mad, scaly, and I was not going to take it anymore.
I marched into my local Nordstrom and started to pitch my tent in the Cosmetics Department. For a moment, I considered the Shoe Department (this would at least give me something to do—try on shoes—while I was waiting for my Occupy Nordstrom movement to take effect), but ultimately I decided that since cosmetics were to blame, this was the best spot for me.
I was mentally preparing for a salesclerk or a manager to kick me out. No. This is not the way things work at Nordstrom.
Instead, I was approached by none other than the GM of the store, a petite, Donna Karan-clad, brunette woman, who introduced herself as Chris Fielding. “But call me Chris,” she said politely, while handing me a bottled water and a choice of magazines, “everyone calls me Chris.”
“Well, Chris,” I said as I cavalierly tossed aside the magazines she gave me (oh, whoops, the latest Travel and Leisure, maybe I should hold onto that one for later), “I am the 51%.”
“The 51%?” she asked, puzzled. “The 51% of what?”
“You know, the Occupy Movement?” I held up one of my posters I’d made in advance. In big bold letters I had scrawled I am the 99%! Bring back my cleanser!
The look on Chris’s face said something was wrong.
I stammered, “I mean, I am the 99%. That’s what I meant to say. Sorry, math is not my strong suit. I am the 99%, that’s why I’m here, and I’m not going to leave until my demands are met.”
Chris turned and walked away, discreetly speaking into her walkie-talkie. A minute later, a uniformed guard came over. He was about eight feet tall and reminded me of Herman Munster. “I’m Joe,” he said, extending his hand to shake, “Chris sent me over here to help you pitch your tent.” Joe squatted down on the ground and started pulling on ropes and hooking metal things together and the next thing you know, my tent was all set up. Truth be told, he did a damn fine job.
“Thanks, Joe,” I said gratefully, while thinking to myself: This is exactly why I chose to Occupy Nordstrom and not Occupy Macy’s or Occupy JCPenney’s.
Joe smiled and then said, “Can I get you a cappuccino? I was going to go get one myself.”
“Oh, sure, Joe, that would be really nice. I take non-fat milk in mine.” I reached in my wallet and got out $5.
“No, no, it’s on me,” he winked.
Right then, Chris walked back. “Ma’am?” she began, “I hate to tell you this, but I just had a little chat with our corporate office about this, uh, situation, and they said to make sure your tent is not blocking the aisle because of OSHA regulations for handicapped customers to get by. We’re going to have to relocate your tent over to the Housewares and Gifts area. Or would you prefer Fine Jewelry? It’s up to you.”
God, this Chris person was being so unreasonable! And all over my stupid cleanser! If they would only bring back the Lancome cleanser, guess what—I would most likely leave.
“Chris, let me think on that a sec. But first, can you please tell me where the Ladies’ Room is?”
“Sure. Past the Children’s Department, keep going—you’ll see that fish tank—then it’s in the back on the right. There is a potted palm tree near the door.”
I followed her (very good) directions and did not get lost. I used the bathroom, and then I washed my hands. I noticed the hand-soap in the silver container smelled like roses. I thought about washing my face with it, but then that would sort of defeat the whole purpose of me being here. I washed my hands for a second time. Mmmmmmm. Now they were really silky smooth. No one would mind if I washed my face with the hand-soap, would they? I gently lathered up the soap and spread it all over my face. As I was rinsing, I could feel the grime of months of city living without my beloved Lancome dissolving down the drain.
I looked in the mirror and my skin positively glowed. My cheeks felt soft, and all the formerly dry spots were gone. This was the Best. Soap. Ever.
I walked back out to find Chris. I noticed she was holding a bright yellow measuring tape in her hand. “Good news!” she said enthusiastically, “Turns out we won’t have to move your tent after all, you have five feet around you on all sides,” she grinned wide, proud of herself.
“Chris, can I ask you something?” I whispered, stepping closer. “What kind of soap do you put in the Women’s Restroom? It’s fantastic.”
“Gosh, I’m not sure. Let me contact our Supplies Coordinator and get you an answer.” Chris disappeared with her walkie-talkie radio while I tore out articles on Spain from the Travel and Leisure magazine.
She returned a few moments later. “I found out the name of the soap for you. It’s called Method, and the Supplies Coordinator told me they sell it at Target.”
I thanked Chris, got my skinny cappuccino from Joe, folded up my Spain articles, and walked out. That’s when I realized: I am the 51%. The 51% who shops at Target.
("Movement's Occupy Victim")