Retail Therapy

Bookseller: Hi there! Can I help you find a book?

Guy: Yeah, uhm….I’m looking for something for my daughter. Some books to give her. For her birthday. I just stopped in for some coffee and my wife texted me to remind me it's my daughter's birthday this weekend.

Bookseller: Great! I can help you out! How old is your daughter?

Guy: Eleven. Or wait, ten. She’s going to be eleven.

Bookseller: What grade is she in?



Guy: Ffffffouuu..ifth. Fifth. Fifth grade.

Bookseller: Okay, fifth grade. And what kinds of books does she like to read?

Guy: Hmmmm.

Bookseller: Well, what are some things she’s interested in? Or what kind of activities is she involved in?

Guy: Well, she played soccer in Kindergarten.

Bookseller: Does she still play soccer? Do you think she’d like a book about soccer? Mia Hamm?

Guy: Uhm…you know…hmmmm. I’m not sure.

Bookseller: Okay. Let’s see…what are some things she likes to talk about with you? You know...friends, school, movies, music. Maybe that will give us a clue.




Bookseller: Does she like puzzles? Does she like to draw?

Guy: Hmm.

Bookseller: Does she like animals? Is she a girly girl or a tomboy, or a bit of each?

Guy: Uhm…?

Bookseller: Does like to cook or do crafts?

Guy: Jeez…I'm just...I’m just not sure.

Bookseller: How about boys? Is she started to get interested in boys?


Bookseller: Sir?

Guy: I’m thinking….

Bookseller: Okay.

Guy: I’m thinking...maybe I really don’t know my own daughter very well…do I?


Guy: Oh boy.

Bookseller: Listen…here’s an idea. Why don’t you bring her to the store this week, and she can show you what she likes. You can ask her some questions, and she can tell you what she’s interested in.


Bookseller: Then have some cocoa and cookies at the café and together you can look over the books she's chosen.

Guy: I think she’d like that.

Bookseller: I think she would, too.

Guy: Thank you. Thank you.

Bookseller: No problem! Have a great day.

Guy: No…really.


Guy: Thank you.

Bookseller: Don't mention it. You're very, very welcome.


Caryn said...

That's so sad and sweet all at once. Hope he really does come back w/ her.

Alison said...

You were very kind when you gave him a wake-up call. Hope he follows through.

Fairly Odd Mother said...


I bet that is more common than not.

You handled that really well. I hope he comes back. said...

It happens a whole lot. This most recent example is actually an exchange that started between a co-worker and customer. But I've also had a lot of these myself. Some slightly different variations each time. Sometimes it's a grandparent. Sometimes is a wife trying to buy something for a husband. Sometimes understandable not knowings. Other times people realizing that they just don't know as much about a person as they thought they did, although not as bad as this example.

Holiday and birthday shopping can be interesting litmus tests. :-)

Anonymous said...

You know, I used to have similar conversation with fathers who would get angry and storm out.
I really can't help someone who is incapable of seeing beyond their own nose.
Shame on them.

D.B. Echo said...

I had a similar experience with a friend about fifteen years ago. We were both in our late twenties then. We had gone into a record store to buy her nephew a present.

"I think I'll buy him a rock-and-roll CD. He likes that," she said.

"Errr, that covers a lot of territory," I responded. "Do you know what he likes? Led Zeppelin, White Zombie, Smashing Pumpkins?"

"No, I don't know. What would be a good rock-and-roll CD?"

It went downhill from there.

anne nahm said...

Please be back next weekend, dad!

Life As I Know It said...

wow. nice work on that one!
Poor guy. And poor daughter. Hope they come back together and get to know one another!

Maurice Reeves said...

Cue the Harry Chapin. Yikes.

Poor papa, poor daughter. I feel for the family the whole way round.

It just breaks my heart all around.

And you know, if he really does follow through on this, and takes her to the bookstore and sits with her, it will probably be better than any of the books he buys.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful story (assuming he follows through). I'd like to think Joe would do way better in that situation.

Variations On A Theme said...

We all thank you, bookseller!

JuliaG said...

And good for the mom, without whom he'd never even have remembered the girl's birthday!

buying research papers said...

I think it often seen in people during periods of depression or transition, it is normally a short-lived habit. Items purchased during periods of retail therapy are sometimes referred to as "comfort buys".

drug testing said...

Dude that is so creep!

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