A saleswoman approached me while I was looking at clothes. Because I was at the swanky Plaza Frontenac, it somehow felt wrong to say, “I’m just looking,” because of course I wasn’t just looking, I was looking and touching. I wasn’t pawing at the merchandise, in fact I was delicately holding it between thumb and index and my pinkie was upraised, because, as I say, swanky Plaza Frontenac. Plaza Frontenac, where I think “just looking” is probably frowned upon, because that’s the type of thing people without money do.
That’s why instead of “Just looking,” I answered her with, “I’m looking for something with dolman sleeves.”
It isn’t the eighties, anymore, so this was a perfect ruse. I wish we still had dolman sleeves, or batwing sleeves, or even a generous raglan sleeve, because I am pear-shaped. But I remember when Mom’s lack of arm mobility had me looking everywhere for dolman sleeves, and they are very hard to find.
I used that line everywhere.
- Neiman-Marcus - puzzled, shook her head.
- Chicos - really tried, actually got me int0 a scarf/kimono top.
- Brooks Brothers - did not know what dolman sleeves were until I said “raglan” and she said, “oh, dropped sleeves.”
- Eileen Fisher - agreed they would be the place for dolman sleeves (at that point I had convinced myself I really wanted dolman sleeves), but they did have a few things with “ample sleeves.”
I couldn’t use the ruse at Williams-Sonoma, so I was honest and just said, “I’m killing time before the movie.” That broke the spell.
Of course, they’ll remember me at Plaza Frontenac, so next time I’ll need to look for some other hopeless thing, like neon Qiana fabrics. It would be horrifying if they stocked their stores with dolman sleeves because of public demand.