I hopped over to Millbrook the other the day to buy my helmet. I picked Millbrook because they’re close, they have a good selection of everything and the people are nice in there.
Yet, I still feel like a fish in a rowboat when I walk into these places alone. I instinctively avoided the English section, my old prejudices kicking up again. I mean, I like English saddles, so you would think I would be over it.
Nope. It took two trips around the store, before I risked entering The Forbidden Zone. But I’m glad I did, because that’s where they keep the riding helmets. I think they do this on purpose.
They had a good selection all right. The boxes sported names like “Performance”, “Sport Riding”, “Elite”, “Olympian”. I wanted a good one, but not one that presumed anything. I didn’t know what the hell to get.
A young store clerk noted my consternation and came to my aid. Her nametag said “Kelly”.
“Are you doing okay?” I liked that she was concerned.
“I’m not sure. I’m looking for a riding helmet.” Sometimes you have to state the obvious in order to begin your half of a conversation.
“For your kids?”
“Indirectly it is. No, actually it’s for me to use.”
Kelly glanced at me and said, “Oh – well, you’ll need one.”
This, I took as a compliment. Much better than her looking at me and saying, “Ah, don’t bother.”
I nodded. “But I’m not sure what to get.”
“Well, what kind of riding are you doing?”
“I do everything. I just started last year.”
“I want a guy kind of helmet.”
“I’m concerned about the color.”
“Well, here…” Kelly picked up a box labeled “Troxel” and “Schooling”.
I liked the sound of that.
She opened the box and pulled out a brown helmet.
Oh yes. Perfect. I put it on and looked at Kelly.
She nodded and smiled. “That’s a good look for you.”
Of course, there was a mirror right there. And I had to disagree with her.
“Gawd. I look like a dork.”
Kelly nodded and smiled again. “Yeah, we all say that. They’re helmets.”
That worked for me. Sometimes you have to state the obvious to make somebody feel better. And make a sale.
But really, it’s good to have a real human being on hand at such moments. I know I could have ordered this on-line and had it shipped directly to my front door. But it wouldn’t have come with a Kelly.
When I got home, my advisory committee gave their opinion.
Two paws up.