Sunday, November 9, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

While out doing my part to sustain our capitalist empire today, I had many an observation that I thought I’d share. Not that anyone could possibly want to know this much about me; I just feel like writing. The mission was to go to Off Broadway Shoes, one of our local discount shoe warehouse type stores. I like these because they are the size of a football field, the prices are good and they are self-service. That last part is a marvelous contrast to sitting shoeless helplessly confined to a Nordstrom’s chair awaiting the return of an over burdened shoe sales person who is waiting on too many other people. The part of today’s adventure that I took the greatest pride in was that I had to buy new workout sneakers. That means I have been going to the gym with so much regularity that I have in fact warn out my old pair. To celebrate, I stopped at the In and Out Burger joint next to the shoe store. Never mind that I had loaded up my cabinets, freezer and frig via a Trader Joe’s run only yesterday. Am I the only one who feels pressured to eat the fresh veggies shortly after spending the money on them? The bag of baby spinach and the two highly ripened tomatoes beckoned to me from the crisper, but they were no match for the Double Double Cheeseburger on the In and Out menu. My rationalization was that it’s nearly that time of the month, and of course the warn out gym sneakers. After my meal, a sign appeared in the ladies room clearly affirming my decision: “All In and Out Associates must wash their hands before returning to work.”

On to the matter at hand, I went right to the sneaker section where I was temporarily blinded by shelf loads of shoes from K Swiss or some such brand. Their shoes were a striking shade of pure white shoe polish. It was as if someone had been up on a crack bender shining all of them. The whole section of them created a bad Pat Boone sort of reminiscence. Really, is there any such thing as a good Pat Boone reminiscence? So I found a pair of black Sketchers. Sketchers knows its customers well. These had no shoe laces. Glancing over to the old beat up pair of sneakers I had walked in wearing that were strewn on the floor, the inescapable truth that I am lazy was in evidence by their tied laces. I accepted this realization and moved on to the handbag department, black Sketchers in tow.

So there’s this prayer I have been petitioning the Fashion Angels about for the past several years. It’s the one that goes, “Would you please ask purse manufacturers to stop making handbags that double as carryon luggage and diaper bags?” Who needs to carry that much stuff? Doesn’t it get heavy? It’s for their laptops I’ve been reckoning, as if none of us could possibly be away from our computers for more than a few hours. Low and behold, it seems that Steve Jobs has heard and answered my prayers with Apple’s iTouch/iPhone. You can browse the net, have your shopping lists, calendar and address book handy, and answer your email, and it fits in your hand. The fashion world needs to catch up. And while they are downsizing our bags, I hope that they also take all of the gaudy, 60's flashback, and completely useless decorations off of these things. I found exactly one elegant, rich genuine leather, black bag with ample, but not too much room. But it only reminded me of the other reason I don’t purchase too many purses: at the “discount” store it’s price was $269. Have people lost their minds? Do you know how many self-help books you could buy with that kind of money? Read a few, and you will no longer need to carry the word coach with you in order to enter public life. I concluded that the economists are correct, the banks have been handing out far too much loose credit, and I headed for that most comforting of all wardrobe pieces, socks.

I am not a frivolous sock shopper either. Off Broadway had a generous assortment of multipacks of socks, many with a variety of colors in each pack. Tempting as attractive arrays of colors are, I have this theory about odd socks. I suspect that they are hiding out with a multitude of pens that I’ve left by the phone, laughing. So I buy several packs of the exact same socks. Maybe when I’m a home owner and have the sanctity of my own personal washer and dryer, I’ll get a little wilder with sock purchases. For now, I’m untroubled by the renegades in the bunch. I did make a happy discovery, the sport dress sock. As Fall dictates the wearing of closed dress shoes, unless you’re blond and 20-something in which case flip flops never go out of style, I was looking for dark dress socks. But I’ve always hated that terribly artificial material most are made of, nylon I think it is. It’s thin, doesn’t absorb moisture and feels so unnatural. Finally someone besides Steve Jobs thought of me as these looked seasonally appropriate and tasteful enough and were plush and soft. I bought a few pair of these, yes all black, and will let you know how they work out.

As we’re heading toward Veteran’s Day, much love to those individuals and their families who do so much more than shop for their country. I am ever grateful for their service and sacrifice.

With love,

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