There is absolutely no words that can describe what I just went through. Needless to say, I hate shopping. It’s hit a low I don’t think I’ll ever reach again.
Lori and I decided, instead of flowers, to get Teresa’s baby a teddy bear. So we go to vermontteddybear.com to look for one. Turns out this would cost more than $100 including a ridiculous shipping price. Then I recalled that there’s this new Build-A-Bear Workshop store in the Burlington Mall. Why not do that? Well, I’ll tell you.
So we go there during lunch break. We enter this store with shiny, happy, prozac-medicated employees. First guy wasn’t so bad. Gave us the low down on what’s up. “Have you ever been here before?… Well, here’s how it works. Yadda yadda. You pick out an unstuffed bear, stuff it, give it an air bath, and then dress it and pay at the end.” Well he said it in semi-toddlerish words. I guess he forgot we were adults. Whatever.
We’re looking around, trying to ignore the Channel 2-ish music looping again and again in the background. We finally decide on a bunny which we bring over to stuff. So what could this all involve? Get the rabbit, stuff it, dress it, and be on our merry way. No, no. You’re forgeting this is happening to me, not to mention Lori’s with me and she seems to have the same kind of “every day’s a Monday” days that I have.
Anyway, so we bring our unstuffed rabbit to the stuffing booth. This OVERLY, and I can’t express that enough, man says, “OK. I’m going to need your help.” Oh, good god. “I need you to step on this pedal.” Lori and I look at each other. I’m thinking, “We’re paying for this thing. You step on the pedal.” But I was nice. I reluctantly step. It would be nice if that were all I had to do.
Then he says, “Now pick a little satin heart to go inside.” Fine. Here you go. “Now rub the heart. You don’t want to put a cold heart inside.” So I squeeze the heart with a look on my face that combined embarrassment and a look that said, “We really don’t want to waste time here.”
Guy: “Now put it on your forehead so the bunny can be smart.”
Me: “Are you serious?”
Guy: “Yes.” (So I comply.) “Now, put it on your chin for good luck.” (I don’t believe I’m doing this. Then he tells Lori to do the same.) “Now, put it on your stomach so the bear doesn’t go hungry.” (Oh we mustn’t have that now.) “Now kiss the heart.”
Finally, this excruciating ordeal is over. Well, the heart part anyway. Then he tells us to go give the bear an air bath. It clearly had no point except to make it fun for kids. Lori did this. I just stood and watched. Then we dressed the bear. Man, I can never see me dressing a child. I’d probably be arrested for abuse. I’m cramming the feet into the shoes on this table that’s about knee height. I had Lori do the rest of the dressing ’cause she’s got a baby so she’s used to it. To me, it felt almost perverted, especially when we put the underwear on it.
Now it’s time to make the birth certificate. I have to type all this info into this computer with Funhouse font on the keys and every letter I press, it talks to me telling me what letter it is. That was just obnoxious, but not nearly as obnoxious as the people.
So now we’re done. We go to the register and this woman who I’m expecting to be halfway normal is far from it. She’s talking in a voice that’s about 2 octaves higher than the average person’s and apparently she’s the “sheriff.” Says she, “Oh, no! I lost my star! I’m the sheriff and no one’s gonna know I’m the sheriff now!” After all, what happens if we need help from the law? So the whole time she’s talking to us like we’re 3. She’s also talking to the rabbit. She’s trying to get it into the box and she’s like, “Sorry, but we’re going to have to sit you down so you can fit in here?”
Lori tells me later that the “sheriff” asked her, “Do you play this kind of music at your work? Oh, you can come back here anytime and listen to it.” Thanks. I’ll pass.
Now, on entering the store at first, I saw the people talking like this to a little kid making his bear and I thought, “Oh, it’s nice they’re involved with him through the whole process.” I am still in utter disbelief that they did the exact same thing to us. It was obvious we were people buying for someone else, we’re on lunch break, and we’re not toddlers ourselves. There are times you know people are just joking around or they’re really the way they are. These people were totally like that. Sooo soo creepy. It started out annoying, then it just got creepy. The whole aura of the place felt like everyone had just gotten out of a psych ward, high on some kind of happy pill.
Again, nothing I can write here can even explain what this was like. When we left, I was a combo of aggravated and freaked out. There is much to be said for shopping online and this is yet another example.