( Washington Post ) Mary Carson picks up her leopard-print tote bag and tugs on her leopard-print scarf.
“I’m just going to do a little bit of business,” the 77-year-old says as she walks into Neiman Marcus at the Tysons Galleria in Northern Virginia and asks for the manager. He appears in a pinstripe suit and shakes her hand.
“I’m very disappointed in what’s happened with the Trump line,” she tells him. “I hate to do this — I’m not a real activist — but I learned a long, long time ago that you cannot mix business and politics.”
The manager listens patiently.
Carson, who worked in marketing before she retired, pulls out her Neiman Marcus credit card and prepares to give it back. It was the obvious thing to do, she says, once the retailer stopped carrying Ivanka Trump’s jewelry line on its website a few weeks ago.
“If the company feels like they can hurt the daughter of a president by doing something like this, that’s mean,” said Carson, who voted for Trump. “I feel very strongly about that.”
A week earlier, Carson had driven to the nearby Nordstrom and returned her store credit card. She’d had that card since 1988, she told the manager, and had used it to buy at least one St. John suit a year — price tag, roughly $1,400 — for decades.
“I said to her, ‘You all really are the best store in the area,’ ” recalled Carson, who lives in Vienna, Va. “ ‘It’s a shame you couldn’t keep your mouths shut about our president.’ ”
… The manager assures Carson that a few Neiman Marcus stores still carry Ivanka Trump jewelry, so she decides to hold onto her credit card — for now.
“But if that changes, I’ll be back to ask more questions,” she says. “I’m going to keep my eye on this.”
‘There are a lot of us’
A few days later, Carson is back at the mall. It’s Sunday afternoon, just after church, and she sees something that startles her: a T-shirt that says “F*** America” prominently displayed in a store entrance.
She walks in and asks the manager to remove it. “It’s not appropriate,” she says. When he refuses — it’s his opinion against hers, he tells her — she enlists the mall’s management. The shirt is removed.