You Get More Bees (Or In This Case, Bat Mitzvah Dresses) With Honey | MitzvahMarket | MitzvahMarket

You Get More Bees (Or In This Case, Bat Mitzvah Dresses) With Honey

You Get More Bees (Or In This Case, Bat Mitzvah Dresses) With Honey


We live in an era of online shopping and instant gratification. Something as simple and (once) enjoyable as dress shopping has now turned into either a transactional event (between you and your phone) or a unicorn where you actually take the time from your busy schedule to go into a store.

If you are an avid shopper, then maybe that’s not the case. However, most people I ask order things online and expect them to be on their stoop in 48 hours flat.

Furthermore, they have no problem ordering batteries, toilet paper, and a formal ball gown at the same time. With that said, online shopping also comes with flexibility, ease, and the luxury of a generous return policy. One can try on multiple options at the same time in the comfort of their own home and simply send back the discards for a full refund.

Having said that – as we started shopping for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah dress, I wanted her to feel like a princess, try on dresses in stores, and create a memorable experience. Up until then, we’d never had an occasion for her to have a fancy dress, so this was exciting. It was also a lesson on matching the dress to being the center of attention – even if that was outside of her comfort zone. In short, I wanted the shop girls to fawn over her and I wanted her to feel special as we shopped.

As with all types of customer service, there’s a wide range of people in the retail industry. Some people do not care when you walk into their stores, and some people care too much and do not leave you alone.

Some stores required an appointment and some stores said to just come in and browse. Since this category was new to her, browsing took center stage. This was also my opportunity to teach her the valuable lesson that sometimes a dress may look one way on a hanger and different on her. This was (of course) challenging for her to accept and where we had some, let’s say, heated discussions, mainly because she is twelve. To be fair, I remember having this same rite of passage discussion in 1991 with my mother.

Variety can be a little overwhelming, especially if a child has never experienced the feeling of organza, wearing bling, or the challenge of keeping up a strapless dress (knowing gravity will always win).

For the most part, we got great customer service everywhere we went. However, one funny experience does stand out. It was at the very first store, so my daughter had no idea what she wanted. Nevertheless, she did know what she liked once it was on her.

In this particular store, the woman said she could only keep four dresses in the dressing room at a time. As a respectful customer, I understood and sat there patiently. It soon came out that this limit was purely so my daughter did not get confused about having too many choices in the room.

Then she started finding dresses that she liked. She liked the top of one and the bottom of another. This one in one color and that one in another. She wanted to try them all on to compare and contrast. But like her mother, she was quick to discard the ones that did not work.

She was on her fifth dress of the finalists and still undecided. I told her to just keep it in the room and we would do last licks at the very end.

Now, this is where it gets funny. At this point, the woman turned to me and snapped that my daughter was only able to have four dresses in the room, otherwise she’d get confused. I said I think we are good, she is not confused, and it is ok.

But the woman was not ok.

I thought for a second – ok, maybe I heard that as rude when it wasn’t. Maybe my radar was off. I was willing to let it go.

Then I looked up and saw my little girl looking at me wide-eyed from behind the curtain laughing. So I started laughing.

As obedient shoppers, the fifth dress came out and sat on the hook so my A+ daughter in accelerated classes would not get confused.

The woman’s snapping did not stop there. She was sweet as sugar to my daughter and then would turn and snap at me. Like a sartorial Jekyll and Hyde. Our laughter increased and it became clear to me that this boutique was not getting my business.

As I sat there looking at the fifth dress, I thought to myself: isn’t the customer always right? Is keeping this one extra dress in the room – a true act of defiance – worth losing the sale?

In the end, and as you could predict if you have seen this movie before, she liked the fifth dress best. Guess what? We found it somewhere else, where they were nice to both of us, and we bought it there.

This experience brought to my attention the importance of good customer service now more than ever, especially as retail is hanging on by a thread. Pun intended.

While we did not get a dress that day, we left with a memorable bonding moment and a funny story to share. It was also a good segway to teach the concept that one gets more bees with honey, a lesson that all twelve-year-old girls everywhere should learn. Today.


By Stacey Wallenstein


Posted in Mitzvah Ideas, Fashion, Mitzvah Ideas, Mom to Mom