Friday, May 19, 2006

Girl Clothes

Two Days Until Showtime

So why is it that most decent outfits don't have any pockets on them whatsoever? Do clothing makers assume that women always have their purses with them? They obviously don't design clothes for women who go to dog shows.

After pawing through my wardrobe of rarely-worn "nice" clothes, I discovered that not a single outfit had a pocket anywhere -- and that the only clothes that actually fit me were either black (which meant they'd blend in with Dinah's coat) or too casual for dog show use. There remained only one solution: Mercantile Therapy.

Shopping malls were gobs of fun when my sister and I were growing up. Our little town didn't offer much in the way of entertainment, but as soon as I had a driver's license, she and I would head off to the nearest shopping malls. We ate Food Court food, bought stuff (or didn't), chatted up guys in the record store, and wandered around for hours looking at everything and nothing. That was a blast, compared to what we would have been doing at home.

It's been a long time since I've regarded shopping malls as fun. Maybe my regular life is more exciting, or maybe my tolerance for Orange Julius has decreased over the intervening years. Whatever the reason, my main objective upon entering a shopping mall is to exit again as soon as possible, preferably with the object of the search nestled in a bag in my left hand.

Since there was nothing else for it, I marched myself into Macy's with my goal firmly in mind: to find the one suitable suit in the store and to walk out with it again in as short a time as possible.

This task proved to be a tad more difficult than first imagined. For one thing, I'd managed to parlay the classic "newlywed's 20" into another dress size, and I was appalled that I would have to shop in the (gasp) women's section. In addition, all the nice suits were black, and the rest didn't have pockets. I admired a fancy-looking red suit with a skirt and wondered how much it would detract from the overall presentation if I simply went into the ring with a hot dog dangling from my neck.

"May I help you find something?" My savior arrived in the person of Kathy, a chipper Macy's saleslady who had been hanging new suits on racks as she watched me frantically speed-examining every outfit in her department. A little breathlessly, I replied, "I-need-a-suit-with-pockets-that-isn't-black-and-it-preferably-has-pants-but-skirts-are-okay-cause-I-gotta-wear-it-in-a-dog-show..."

Kathy probably deals with a lot of this in her job. She smiled and practially led me by the hand on a much slower tour of the department. She lifted a garment, we'd examine it for pockets, and then reluctantly let it drop back into place on the rack.

Eventually, she selected a rather fetching off-white jacket with gray and taupe pinstripes and a coordinating cocoa-brown pair of trousers -- the only pair of its kind in the department. Miracle of miracles, the thing fit me perfectly. I offered up a chorus of thanks and hallelujahs to Kathy, and then sprinted for the car.

Note to self: On some non-show weekend, do some reconnaissance and buy everything that has pockets.

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