Sunday, August 3, 2008

Adventures in Shopping

Have I mentioned that I really hate shopping?

I know, I know, if you’re one of the three people reading this (relatives, all), you’ll think to yourself, “Hey, I thought Shelly really liked shopping. She does enough of it.” Let me clarify. I like shopping—sort of—with my mom and sisters or with my girlfriends when shopping involves just hanging out looking at stuff and having lunch.

But what I do isn’t the kind of shopping I like. What I do is run to a store (or several stores), pick up what I need, and go back home.

I like home. It’s a good place to be. No bright, halogen lights there. No crabby people in bad polyester not offering to help me when it looks like I obviously am lost and can’t find what I need. And no red and white bullseyes.

Just lots of neutral, calming colors.

Yesterday’s adventure was shopping of the worst kind because I wasn’t even looking for one thing for myself. We were shopping for B. Heaven help us!

B shops about twice a year. He goes to Steinmart and picks out a couple of “outfits” and takes them home. The End.

To be fair, he doesn’t wear casual clothes that much. He’s a banker, so he wears a suit every day, and that’s how I like it. I love a man in a suit. Just don’t ask me where his suits come from—I don’t get to go along on those little jaunts. Every once in a while a new suit just shows up in the closet, but not very often because he doesn’t have that many. Now I ask you, if you were a guy, wouldn’t you have, like, 20 suits so you’d only have to wear them once a month or so? Not B. He’s got a rotation that’s so tight you wouldn’t believe it if I told you. He’s frugal that way. Go figure.

We’re leaving on a big trip this week, all five of us, and we looked around and realized that we don’t have enough luggage. I guess we haven’t gone anywhere together in a while. So B needed a suitcase. Where does one go to find the best deal on a suitcase? T. J. Maxx, here we come!

And, well, since T. J. Maxx is right near Homegoods, we thought we’d stop in there to see if they have a suitable rug for B’s “new” den which isn’t really new because it’s a room we’ve had in our house for the entire 10 years we’ve lived here. But it’s a new den for him because for Father’s Day I gave him a new desk to go in that room. I even used the money I was saving for a new front door and a tile backsplash to buy it for him. I’m generous that way.

The girls say that the desk isn’t really the Father’s Day present because we probably would have eventually bought it anyway. The Father’s Day present, if you want to get technical about it, was the permission to have his own room in our house. I’ve kind of been against that for a while, fearing that if he had his own space he’d use it to escape retreat from all the women in this house. The verdict is still out.

So we walked over to Homegoods, B muttering the whole time that they’ll never have anything he would like and how could we possibly find “just the right thing”?

“I mean, do they even have rugs there?”

Oh my dear. You’ve obviously never been to Homegoods.

Not only did we find a rug for his new room, B ended up smiling, smiling!, and saying, “I like that store!” Amazing adventure for sure.

So we left that strip mall and headed to another. Oh, how I LOVE getting in and out of the car every five minutes. Not.

Steinmart was next on our list because B needs clothes for our trip. The two pairs of khakis he owns are probably 10 years old—purchased on one of our annual forays to Steinmart. It’s time to update.

B headed straight to the thousand racks of khakis, but I got sidetracked by the beautiful striped shirt on display just inside the front door. It’s cool, it’s hip, it’s updated. It’s like nothing B owns.

“Hey, honey, look at this shirt. Isn’t it cool?” I slyly ask.

“Yeah, it’s O.K. It’s not me though.”

A truer word has never been spoken.

“Just try it on. It’ll look great on you.”

“Nah. I don’t think so. Just let me look around.”

O.K. I leave him, grabbing Maggie by the hand and charging Abby to make him get something cool watch over his purchases. B and I just cannot shop together. I don’t know why, but we can’t. I guess I hover, practically willing him to buy what I like, and he leaves me alone too much, not encouraging me like my girlfriends do to “buy it, it’ll look great on you!”

So after about 30 minutes of leaving him alone, Maggie and I decided to spy on him and see what he had picked out. Come on, shopping this lame needs some spicing up! We saw him coming out of the dressing room with one pair of khaki pants and one pair of navy blue pants. Whoopee!

I decided it was time to take some initiative. Abby was trying her best, but just wasn’t having any success getting B to try on even one cute shirt.

“Hey, honey, why don’t you try on one of those striped shirts? They look really good with a colored t-shirt underneath. It’s what everyone is wearing these days.”

“Well, I kind of like this one over here,” and B showed me a nice-looking striped shirt. We quickly found a t-shirt to go underneath it. Then we sidled up to the display that I had seen when we first walked into the store.

“You should really try this one on. It’s so good looking,” I said.

“Yeah, Dad, it’s really cool,” the two girls chimed in. Thank you, girls. I’ll pay you later.

“Oh, alright. I’ll try it on. But I just don’t think it will look good on me. I mean, it’s got a lime green stripe.” Gasp!

You gotta give the guy credit for even trying it on. Not that he wasn’t pushed in the right direction. But he really didn’t want to even touch it let alone put it on his body.

Finally, the “cool” shirt was modeled with a bright blue t-shirt underneath it. It looked great. We three girls thought so anyway, and the poor guy was so brow-beaten that we bought it.

Along with one pair of khakis, one pair of navy pants, and one brown belt. Maybe next year we’ll work on his bottom half.

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