Unicorn Tears

I’m feeling pretty pumped right now. Today, I gave a killer presentation on my Emily Dickinson paper. I’m reading Dracula for my Victorian Literature class. My boyfriend and I just got done watching two hours of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia plus watching an hour of cast interviews on YouTube. AND, just now, right this second, I found out it was not 1:30 AM, but 12:47 AM. I was reading the paused microwave timer instead of the clock. Jeff discovered this and I just about died with stokedness. I have been given the gift of time, you guys. That shit’s for real.

Overall, this week is going pretty well.

This week. 

Now, I don’t know if you have noticed, but I have been more or less absent for the past few days. Basically, I’ve just been busy with school. Non-stop. It’s annoying. I can’t read The Hunger Games as often as I like and this bothers me. By the way, I don’t even care who knows that I’ve been reading The Hunger Games. It’s a great book, OK?!

What has really been getting me down is work. I’m a little sick of selling candles to assholes.

There. I said it.

Last weekend, I went a little off my rocker while I was at work. A woman came in with long, blonde hair and as she was shopping around I was doing some stuff behind the counter when all of a sudden I zoned out real hard on her hair, and my thoughts went something like this:

She has so much hair. God, look at that hair. What is hair, anyway? Hair is toenails and teeth. It’s all the same. Doesn’t she realize she has toenails and teeth growing out of her head? She grooms that stuff. She flat irons it, dyes it, brushes it. Why? We’re just animals. Why do we even try to take care of our hair? Why is it even attractive to other people? It gets in food, on clothing, in drains. That’s why I cut all of my hair off. I’m not like you people. I’m not like any of you people. Oh my god. We are all animals. All we do is consume. I work in a candle store where people come to spend thirty dollars on a single candle. We’re animals. We’re just animals. All the hair on your head is dead by the time it comes out. Wait. Did I just go crazy for a second?

That’s pretty much what happened. I went a little cuckoo bananas.

Every once and a while, this happens to me while I’m working at the mall and I fantasize about moving to an island and living in a hut with Jeff where we grow our lovely lumberjack children who never have to face the terrors of the world. Then, I wonder what would happen if we died and I remember The Blue Lagoon and I freak out a little more.

But I can’t get down too hard. There have been good moments in retail for me. In fact, there have been great moments in retail.

My favorite moment goes like this:

A few years ago, I was the manager on duty, all alone in the store and bored out of my mind. It was the middle of summer when people don’t want to buy candles because of the whole fire=hot thing. Finally, a couple comes in, and I flip out (in my head) because the man looked just like a real life Peter Griffin. You know. Family GuyWe’re talking same outfit, same build, you name it, he had it. The green pants. The tucked in, white shirt, the glasses, the hair. Needless to say, I was fascinated and wanted to know more, so I schmoozed it up with the couple. The wife was nice, really into the candles, but Pete wasn’t feeling it so much. He asked the prices and, of course, when I told him the candle cost $25.99, he looked at me and said, “Jesus! What the hell is in these things?” To which I replied, “Unicorn tears.”

This moment could have gone one of two ways: terrible or awesome.

It went awesome.

Mr. Griffin didn’t miss a beat before he said, “Well shit, I’ll take three.” And if you can believe it, he actually did. He bought three candles for his wife. Then, he shook my hand and said, “I like you.”

And I swear to gawd, even though it was indoors sometime around 2 PM, that man carried those candles into the sweetest red sunset I’ve ever seen.

Who else could possibly understand my love/hate relationship with retail? Why, David Sedaris, of course! Holidays On Ice, though it is in part about a retail job during the Christmas season, is exactly what retail is like. It’s odd that you see the worst in people when you’re serving them. You’d think that people would just be happy to be getting help, but that’s just not the way it goes. People are more suspicious than anything when you’re nice to them. They think you’re up to no good. Or that you are working on commission, even after you tell them, “No. I do not work on commission.” Or they don’t listen when you say, “These candles are buy two, get one free. But just these ones. Right here. This table. Only this table.” And then they bring a bunch of non-sale candles up front and tell you that you told them they were on sale, when they know good goddamn well that’s not what the fuck just happened.


Anyway. Read Holidays On Ice. I know a lot of people hate David Sedaris, and I don’t care. He’s funny, dammit.

Man, I missed you guys.


  1. Amanda, this is awesome– really one of my favorite posts of yours. I loved the hair riff, the punchy sentences– all of it. I also liked Holidays on Ice. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much. I have to say, it was really fun to write. It also felt great to get back to blogging after a week of no creative outlet.

      So tell me, are you a Sedaris fan like me? Do you also read his books in public and snicker at people who walk past because they just won’t get it? Say yes.

    1. I have heard a lot of “writers” say that he just writes jokes. There is no substance.

      Firstly, that’s a little harsh.

      Second, who cares? He’s funny and relatable. I think that’s enough.

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