Arnon Grunberg



On Tuesday afternoon, I went to Barneys, I took the elevator to the floor where you can buy clothes for children. I was in need of a few shirts and sweaters for my godson.
“I’m looking for shirts and sweaters for an eight-year-old boy,” I said.
He is only seven, but it’s good to buy in advance.
“Everything over there is on sale,” the sales clerk said, an elderly woman.
“What size do I need?” I asked.
“Excuse me?” “What size do I need? I’m looking for a gift for an eight-year-old boy.” She gave me a wearisome look.
“Oh, no,” she said.
“Oh no?” “We don’t carry his size.” “You have nothing for him? There is nothing here for an eight-year-old-boy?” “No,” she said. “No. Nothing. Nothing” Does she hate me, I asked myself. Or has the sales clerk just gone mad? But I didn’t want to leave the store; I was not in the mood for conceding defeat.
Success after all is not giving up.
So I said: “I’m here to spend some money. I would like to buy a gift for an eight-year-old-boy. I’m looking for shirts, sweaters, pants, anything. Can you help me?” “No,” she said.
“No?” I answered. Now I was really flabbergasted. “What do you advise me?” “Go to Bloomingdale’s,” she said.
Then I decided to leave Barneys.