I worked at The GAP for four years in High School and College.
I came away with that job with two things.
First, a Pavlovian response to fold and refold my jeans whenever I hear the song Seasons of Love from Rent, ’cause you know they blared that shit every Christmas, because The GAP is the epitome of all things youthful, hip and relevant.
Secondly, I learned there are some things in life that are just never acceptable to do in public.
Wait, I also came to adore soft pretzels dipped in cream cheese from the food court.
But, it’s the second item that’s relevant to my story. The whole pretzel thing is only relevant to, like, the size of my ass.
So, The GAP used to have a kick ass return policy. I remember someone returning stonewash jeans from the 80’s that they still had the tags and reciept for. Full refund. No questions asked.
Which is insane. Who waits a decade to return jeans that don’t fit?
I mean, I am lazy about doing shit, just ask the Redbox DVD I have had on my counter for 23 days (I love you Hank Mardukas), but that shit is crazy.
Unless she was just super embarrassed about her jean size. I mean, who hasn’t been there? After my second child, I was so embarrassed about how big my pants were, I used to ask for a gift receipt when I checked out, so that the 17 year old Hills reject at the register wouldn’t think that I could possible needs jeans that size, and they were totally just a gift for my super huge, anonymous relative…who apparently trusts me to do all her clothes shopping…because she is bed ridden…on account of being so fat…you get the point.
So anyways, yes, as long as the item was unworn, and you had a receipt, boom, refund.
Except this one time, during the Christmas season, when things are particularily busy and chaotic, I was working at the registers, because I don’t like being on the floor interacting with the crabby old people shopping off a list from their grand kids, who feel the need to remind me I’m ass raping their food, medicine and old people stuff budget because they aren’t used to paying more than $5 for a pair of “denim slacks.”
So, I hid at the cash register so that I could play God as I called people up from the line. I could be all, whoa lady, I didn’t call next yet, I am busy doing GAP shit that you wouldn’t even understand, so you need to take your slippers and your V Neck sweater, and take about 10 steps back. Do you know how to fold a puffy jacket in 10 seconds? No. Because you are not me, and I am so busy and important right now, it would blow your civilian, non-GAP, mind.
Ahhh…the holiday roped off GAP checkout line. An invention of pure brilliance.
Plus, it allowed me to stall so that I could avoid certain people in the line that looked totally mean or like they might smell really barfy.
Back to my story.
Up next in line was this large looming lady, who looked super pissed off and had a tattoo of a skull on her neck. Not quite my target GAP checkout line demographic, so I pretended to re-tie my Dr. Martens so that someone else could get her. Plus, she had a return in her hands, and that was just way more work than I felt like doing that day.
However, my coworkers were apparently on to me, and I got stuck with her anyways.
So, she pulls out these jeans, and clearly, they were worn, and something definitely went down in them.
They stunk. Like…um…vagina sweat.
So, I was all, unfortunately, we can’t return items that have been worn, and she was like, I never wore them, I decided I didn’t like them.
So, like, in my head I am like, Dude, somebody’s naked or leaky vagina has been in these jeans.
But how do you tactfully say that to someone who probably poops things bigger than you?
So, I desperately tried to make eye contact with my manager, and like, send her some kind of secret message with my corneas like, OMFG get over here, this lady’s jeans smell like a dead whore’s vagina, and she is way too big and scary for me, an under-paid non manager, to have this conversation with her.
So, my manager came over, took one whiff of air surrounding the denim yeast infection, and was like, sorry, but the jeans have been worn, we are unable to return them. And the lady got all mean, and was like, listen, I told you I never wore them, give me my money back.
Ok, what happens next was literally the thing of GAP legends, and would forever be remembered in the Southwyck Mall GAP store until the end of days!
My manager picked up the jeans, turned them inside out, and smelled the crotch. Of the jeans. In front of everyone.
SHE PUT HER NAKED NOSE ON THE CROTCH OF THE SMELLY JEANS OF A GIANT HUMAN WITH A TATTOO ON HER NECK.
And she was all like, see, this smells like private parts, the jeans have been worn, I cannot return them.
And then? I fainted.
To this day, I have never returned a pair of pants to the GAP.
And, I still smell vagina in the mall at Christmas time.