28 March 1857
A CRYING EVIL.
I wonder if shopkeepers (who often, I confess, are bored to death by silly women,) are aware that there are some sensible ones, who go shopping because they wish to purchase, and not to amuse themselves; who make up their minds before they start, what they want, and how much, and are not to be coaxed or badgered into buying what they don't want; who are disgusted and annoyed beyond measure to have a store-keeper rattle off an inventory-volley of his goods in their ears, the instant they have the ill-luck to close his door; or to have some grinning ape follow them around with his face within an inch of their noses, with, "can't I temp you, ladies? Allow me—permit me—if you'll only let me show you what I have," &c., &c. Equally disgusting is the impertinent practice of informing a lady, that some article she desires, which the shop-kepper does not happen to have, is "old-fashioned," or "out of style;" or to make her walk to the end of a long store, and frequently up stairs at the end of that, (for an article which they positively assure her on her entrance that they have,) only to show her some fabric, between which and the desired article they think she will not know the difference. These are losing games for any shop-keeper to play; for any woman of sense would think it worth her while to walk an extra mile to a store where she is treated civilly and respectfully; where she is allowed to get her breath after entering, before she is deafened with interrogatories; or to cast her eye upon a piece of goods, without having a yard-stick and a pair of scissors immediately brandished under her nose.
Fanny Fern, "A Crying Evil," The New-York Ledger (28 March 1857): 4
To cite this project:
Fanny Fern, "A Crying Evil," Fanny Fern in The New York Ledger, Ed. Kevin McMullen (2018) http://fannyfern.org.