Thursday, August 1, 2013

Shopping for the Book Launch

Since the book launch is Saturday, I decided to up my blog output just a little to chronicle the events leading up to the big day. For example, Maggie said that I should have some new clothes for the launch. I don’t know why. I have plenty of t-shirts, and I thought jeans with holes were the style. Just because I wore the holes in them myself, shouldn’t change that.
But who was I kiddin’….
“You need some new clothes. I’m tired of seeing you in those same ol’ ratty jeans. Besides,” she said, “I’m an author’s wife and I want to look nice, so you’re going shopping with me.”
“Me? You talkin’ to me?”

“Yes I’m talking to you…. I want your opinion.”

“Okay. You look good in everything.”
Now most guys hate to shop. And I’m no exception. I shop when I have to—once or twice a year maybe, not counting Christmas: a couple pairs of jeans, some shirts, underwear … maybe a pair of socks, and I’m set. But then there’s the occasional occasion when there’s no avoiding going shopping ... with a woman. A book launch qualifies.

Visions of traipsing from store to store passed before my eyes; like your life when you think you’re gonna die. Back and forth, from one store to another, then back again. I mean, how many times does one have to visit the same store? I saw myself following her like a dejected child—pouting; standing around while she rummaged through rack after rack trying to find something that:

Didn’t make her look fat.
Was pretty.
Didn’t make her look fat.
Was appropriate.
Didn’t make her look fat.

So she drags me to the Mall. There must be a thousand stores in that place. And I fully expected to visit each-and-every-one. She likes Macys. So that’s where I park. Who knew the store she’d actually buy in was on the other side of the planet.

The dressy casual dresses are on the second floor. I didn’t even know that was a category. Thank the Lord there were escalators. We head upstairs and walked a mile or so to the casual dress section. She begins her run and I wait. A day later, she says, “I can’t find anything. Let’s go to Penney’s.”

We walk to the other side of the Mall. She starts another run. I wait. “There’s more dresses downstairs,” she says, so down we go. This time, we have to use the stairway outside the store because it’s closer than the escalator. Well, that’s fine with me. It was downhill.

“There’s nothing here. Let’s go back. I want to look at one I saw upstairs again.” Now, it’s uphill. Two landings. I hate stairs. She decides “we” need to go to another store. We pass Sears.

“Let’s try here.”

“Sears? You need power tools?”

“No, silly. A dress.”

It may as well have been power tools, since there were no dresses that she liked. We make a beeline to Boscov’s. Nothing. Back to Penney’s. We come to a set of stairs that look awfully familiar. Up we go.

“I can’t make up my mind. Help me.” She disappears and comes back wearing the first of seventeen dresses she’s picked out.
 “I like that one. Let’s go home.”

Ooooh-noooo! I have to see each one. Between changes, I occupied myself by taking short trips across the tile floor, making sure my sneakers landed squarely on the tile without touching a grout joint. Tiring of that, I traveled in tiny figure eights. Its funny how, if you look at them sideways, they look like the symbol for Infinity, meaning without end; just like this trip.  
At one point, a salesman walked by.
“Can I help you, sir?”
The answer came as a sigh preceded by a breath. “Noooo … shopping with a woman.”
“Ah!” he said. “Well, we have plenty of comfy chairs,” and then he continued on, snickering under his breath.
Eventually, she settles on a dress she likes.
Finally. "You look great. Let's go home."

“I need accessories.”

“Accessories? What? … like an A/C adaptor?”

So with dress in hand, we traipse over to the shoe department.

“I’m not paying $80 for a pair of shoes,” she says. “We can find them cheaper someplace else.”

Great! Now she’s frugal.

After visiting a store that had the gall to refer to itself as “Payless,” there were four other shoe stores to visit. None had anything that matched the dress. Back to Penney’s. I forked out the eighty bucks hoping to get home before the turn of the century.

“Okay, just one more thing.”

Another “thing?” How many “things” do women need? This is a one-day affair, not a camping trip.

Back to Payless. Handbags.

“Why didn’t you just get the handbag when we were here the first time?”

“We didn’t have the shoes. The handbag has to match the shoes.”

“Don’t the dress match the shoes?


“So? …”

“So the handbag has to match the shoes.”


“Weren’t you just here?” the saleswoman said.

“Yeah, in another lifetime.”

Nothing there. Back to Penney’s. I think I’m gonna buy stock.

“The weatherman said it was going to be cool Saturday,” she murmured.

“Yeah. So?”

“I might get chilly. Help me find a bolero.”

“Okay…. That’s some kind o’ hat, right?”

I never heard so many women snickering at one time.

Well, I have to admit. When we did finally get home, she put everything on and looked stunning. I decided it was worth the trip and then some.

“You know, honey” I said. “You’ll be the prettiest woman there.”

By the way, I know I have a flare for exaggeration, but honestly, most of this actually happened. I just embellished a little.


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