Shopping spree win a real mixed bag

In July, I was delighted to win something every woman would love – a $500 gift certificate to Nordstrom’s, one of the most expensive stores in Dallas. I knew it was on the level because I’ve been entering sweepstakes for at least 30 years. I sent in only one entry, so Lady Luck was with me.  

I’ve never shopped at Nordstrom’s because like many folks, I’m frugal. But after receiving a text message on my phone that I’d won, I started imagining all the beautiful things I could buy:  a pretty dress, jewelry, skirts, blouses, jackets, shoes, make-up … the list was endless. 

What really surprised me was the message on my cell phone, which said I was a winner, some guy’s name and that I’d receive further notice in a week or so. I didn’t know what to do with it because it was the first time I had ever received a win notice by text. I was afraid I would accidentally delete it. I checked my text messages several times a day just to make sure it was still there because I wasn’t sure how to claim it. The waiting was unbearable.  

I was expecting a letter through the mail; instead, my win coupon code came in another text.

I dragged my husband with me to browse through Nordstrom’s at NorthPark first, just to see what was available. We chose the worst time to go – the afternoon – with 100-degree-plus heat. We mistakenly parked far from the entrance and were huffing and puffing by the time we got to the front door. I went to the first clerk I saw, told him I’d won a $500 gift certificate and I didn’t know how to claim it. He congratulated me and simply moved my text code to the “Gallery” on my cell and I was home free.

I was in hog heaven. The whole store, all three floors, were at my disposal. I didn’t know where to start, so I began my search on the first floor in the men’s department.

It was only fair that I share my big win with my husband, but he hates to shop. When he saw the prices, he didn’t want anything. He’s retired so he had no need of dress clothes, anyway. One nice feature of Nordstrom’s; it has sympathy for men who “shop” with their wives. They provide nice, large, comfortable chairs by the escalators for them, which makes it easy for the ladies to find them.

My first buying excursion proved fruitless. I couldn’t find anything I liked. My husband found acomfortable seat to read his western novel while I shopped for an hour and a half, skimming the store for some article of clothing that caught my eye. To my dismay, I discovered there were no sizes on the clothes. Instead, they were separated on the racks by designers’ names. I didn’t know one designer from another so I was totally lost. All the clothes that weren’t on sale were more than $100. That would have sucked up my $500 win pretty quickly.

I next tried the lingerie department because I wanted some new pajamas. I was disappointed there too because none of the sale PJs had a pocket, which I must have. So I was forced to buy a navy blue pair for $80! I had no problem showing my Nordstrom text code – the woman simply deducted it, but I have never, ever, in my entire life, paid $80 for a pair of PJs!

On my second excursion, my buying experience wasn’t much better. My husband took his seat by the escalator and I shopped on another floor. I found some sale racks, but after trying on a few skirts, blouses and slacks, came to the conclusion that I’m just too large of a woman to fit in Nordstrom’s clothing. I was shocked to find I could only fit in an “extra large,” which a salesperson told me was on another floor.

Of all the beautiful, sparkling jewelry I drooled over, little of it was on sale and none of it was anything I could wear to school without looking like a movie star.

I shopped on the third floor on my last trip – the one with the extra large clothing.  I managed to spend the rest of my win on two camisoles, a skirt, a jacket, two blouses, black socks, white socks, one lipstick for $17 and another pair of beige PJs with a pocket for $80! It was all I could find to fit me. I came to the conclusion that, if you’re a size 4 to 10, you’ll find plenty of clothes from which to choose, but if you’re over size 12 like I am, the selections are limited.

The experience was mind-boggling. As I went from floor to floor, I felt like I was being watched. The sales people, mostly 20-somethings, were overly friendly, asking me my name and trying to find something to fit me. That never happens at other stores.

As a whole, I was glad I won the prize, but I won’t be shopping at Nordstrom’s again anytime soon. I really love those PJs. They’re the most comfortable pajamas I have ever worn.