Monday, December 18, 2006

On Shopping (A Rant)

So I was told in no uncertain terms by the wife that jeans and old t-shirt with the messed-up vest I use everyday will simply not cut it in order to go to the Company’s Christmas party next Sunday. I am covered in the pants and shoes section but lacking on the nice-shirt and decent-looking cover garment part (one non-negotiable requisite was that I am packing come hell or high water) and thus I must get suitable threads. I try to evade the deal by asking the wife to come with me on Saturday to a super-duper-mega-huge outlet mall near the Everglades but she used logic (I hate when she does that) and reminded me that this coming weekend is the last one before Christmas Eve and it would be busy and crazy enough for me to start foaming at the mouth and go ballistic 35 seconds after I we go in. Defeated, I promise her to go in the afternoon, on my own, and get me a nice red shirt and a light black jacket which are the color she chooses for my ensemble. I park very near the first store she “suggested” I check: Burlington Coat Factory. I am not kidding, I was literally less than 20 yards from the entrance and I thought to myself: “Whoa, this might not be bad after all.” Foolish thought!I go inside BCF and head straight for the Jackets. I look for black….. and it must be a fashion faux ‘cause other than tuxes, nothing was black. Charcoal, Grey, White, Cream with Black pinstripes and other assorted and very “pimpish” cuts and models. Oh hell, it does not look good! After 20 minutes of search I decide to peruse the shirt section and find one single solitary red shirt about 4 sizes too small so I return to the jackets. On the way I have to go by the winter clothing and I am stunned to see people actually buying parkas, gloves and scarves which is not that unusual if you are in a BCF in Montana but this is South Frigging Florida and it is eighty degrees outside! I can’t help myself and I ask a group of younger fellas buying the stuff if they are planning to go up north for a trip and they all said one of two things: It might get cold on January (it may get down to 60) or “It looks cool.” Or something along those lines. BCF is a bust so I go to J.C. Penny’s where some cheap crap might be found in the Rod Stewart Collection but it is also a bust. They had like five dress jackets and about seven hundred parkas. No red shirts either but I did manage to catch a set of metric wrenches for nine bucks. At least I got something. Next Store: Super Target. The Super Target is a repeat of the first two incursions: nothing but frigging parkas or crappy-colored THICK wool suits. Shirts were available in red but damn if I was going to buy a shirt that cost one and a half times more than a 5.11 vest for one event. I decide to turn around and I can’t find a dam aisle that is not blocked by either people, stuff or (I wonder who was the genius behind this) another aisle running 90 degrees against the aisle I was in. I ended up having to go through women’s undergarments, cut by toys (Barbie section) where I could glimpse the exit far far away. On my way out I see this kid, some 12 years old wearing a pair of parachute pants that were so big you could not see his shoes and was trailing like 5 feet of assorted fabric straps. He looked like he had last choice at the Salvation Army Free Pant Giveaway but he had the snug look that say “Look at me! I look Cool!” So I end up apologizing to the kid and the mom after I “accidentally” step on the straps and the kid lands face first on the aromatherapy bath oil gift baskets. I made a quick exit before security gets there and get arrested for assaulting a Clown or a White Boy dressing as Rapper (misdemeanor in the State of Florida. You get 30 seconds of community service and an award for Environmental Improvement). By now I am in the middle of super-duper-mega-huge outlet mall when it dawns on me: “Get a dressy vest!” DUH! I should have thought of that! So I go on the hunt again and found out that: 1) Vests seem to be outdated. 2) Whatever vest offerings are there are only for very thin women or for the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. 3) Leather Vests are frigging expensive and too damn short.So I give up and try to head back to where my car was parked….. and then I realize I have no idea where I was. No information booth in sight, no way I was going to ask a Security guy (they might still be looking for me) and there is no “You Are Here” anywhere. I do get lucky and see a maintenance guy who points me in the right direction and gives me a 2 page-long set of instructions on how to get back to BCF. I do not deviate from the instructions, although not being able to stop at the Cinnabuns was a hardship, and make it to BCF and eventually my truck. YESSSS!I climb in, light up and feel my blood pressure drop as my body relaxes. I start the truck and try to head for home when a cute blond cuts me off the exit trying to get a space about to be freed by another leaving customer. I need about 10 inches of clearance to go by but Blondie can’t seem to figure out that she is blocking me. I roll down my window, smile and wave at her signaling that she should also roll down her window. She does it with a flashing smile and I ask her: “Are you a real blonde?” She perks up, smiles even bigger and proudly says yes. Then the true-exhausted and defeated me appeared: “Well, I can @##% tell you are a @##% Blonde! Move you @##%*& car so I can get by!” And after some 20 seconds of her neuron processing the information and some hard blinking she finally gave me enough space to pass and make my escape to I-75.I called my wife and informed her on how I failed to accomplish the mission. She laughed and said no to worry that she may know a store where she could get me a shirt, but that I had to find out where to get a cover garment. I hung up and ruminated all the way home what to do. Then, inspiration from Above! My memory remembered a picture of an old feller from the Old Country with white socks, sandals and a decent looking vest. YES!!! Smith & Alexander might be the answer! I checked the website, gave them a call and a very nice lady informed me that black Smith & Alexander Vests were available and she could send me one with enough time to make it to the party. I made it! I ordered it and was feeling pretty damn good about conquering the task imposed by the wife. My wife arrived some 10 minutes later than usual with a decent looking red shirt, in my size and proceeded to tell me that it took her all of 45 seconds to locate the darn thing and another 30 seconds to pay and leave the store. “I don’t know why you are such a baby when it comes to shopping.” she quipped. I kept my mouth shut. I know I managed to score a victory with the vest but I felt shamed that I strayed away from the usual sources for CCW people and went with the Regular Folk stuff. There is a lesson there Folks. As for shopping, unless I hear that Kmart is selling Colt M4’s for under $200, I am planning to stay the hell away from any place of shopping until sometime after January 6th. It is a frigging Jungle Out there and the vines are all full of nutjobs!

1 comment:

javier said...

You made me laugh!... and you are correct. Stay away from that mall!