Sunday, March 19, 2006

Shopping, Dammit

I hate to shop.

If this gets my second X chromosome revoked, so be it.

Shopping, Part One: How to Prevent a Bad Case of Nakedness

I’m going Traveling next week. In two days, actually. And I have the world’s most pitiful wardrobe.

Friend Alanna and I landed in a WalMart today and in about 10 minutes pulled four perfectly serviceable tops off the rack for me. We were quite proud of ourselves.

Shopping, Part Two: Pushing the Envelope

After Alanna and I parted ways, however, I went to four more stores and made purchases in three of them.

I came home and tried everything on and now must make returns to all four stores. However, I’m keeping quite a bit. I now officially have enough clothes to wear something different each of the five days of the trip, including the trip to a blues club, with only minimal use of the hotel’s laundry facilities being necessary.

Shopping, Part Three: The Perfect Cut

My hair officially lost its shape about two weeks ago, and I am desperate. While at the mall, a place I visit less often than I do the local zoo, I walked past a hair salon. I stared at the door for some time, debating whether to go in.

It’ll be too expensive, Bitty.

Ah, but Bitty, it’s right here and then you’ll have it done.

Ok, Bitty, but we’re paying no more than $20, agreed?

Agreed, Bitty.

I stepped inside and was greeted by a personable young woman. I asked how much.

Cuts start at $30, she told me.

(I immediately wondered what the difference was. At what point does your $30 cut cross the line into the $40 cut, and what do you do then, if you only want a $30 cut? Ask the stylist to stop cutting?)

I can be bit of a wuss. At that point, I should have spoken the truth (I don’t want to pay that much) or a semi-lie (I don’t have that much…fingers crossed: on me, but I do on my debit card). But no. I didn’t want to sound cheap in front of a stranger, so I asked how long the wait was. The young woman (They’re always young; what happens to aging stylists?) told me, in detail, what she had to do for her current customer, and then pronounced she could take me in 15 minutes. A perfectly reasonable wait, so now what? I stared at the clock behind her for an unreasonable time, probably chewed my lip as I am wont to do, and then thanked her and said I really needed to get going.

How lame was that? I should have just said I didn’t have thirty bucks.

I should have just said I didn’t have thirty bucks.

And now I still have to make the time to get a haircut tomorrow.

Shopping, Part Four: Searching Throughout the Kingdom for the Shoe that Fits This Foot

I am a shoe whore.

That’s not what you think it might be. You might think the Sex and the City women were shoe whores. You would be wrong.

I will buy any shoe, any time, no questions asked, as long as it fits.

Paradoxically, I don’t buy a lot of shoes.

This is how I shop for shoes: I run my eyes up and down the rows of boxes looking for my unholy size, 10 WIDE (which is not that much of an oddball size). While other people are shopping by style and color and asking sweetly does this come in my size?, I’m asking, does anything come in my size???

After having visited six stores over the past two weeks and having found NO shoes (and don’t send me to Payless; most of their shoes are synthetic and make my feet STINK), I came home from today's aforementioned shopping trip and turned to my second best friend, The Internet.

Even that turned out to be a challenge. Ten WIDE is apparently beyond the pale (at least in terms of actually being in stock; many claim to have them...until you try to put the shoes in the shopping cart) for most shoe vendors throughout the Whole Wide World.

My best results were at, where shipping on orders over $40 is FREE because they’re celebrating some anniversary or another. I ordered SIX pairs of shoes, and even that was a challenge because most of what I wanted did not come in my size or preferred color, but I persevered.

When I finished with the order, and after inserting the special code for free shipping, the site charged me just under six bucks for shipping.

The woman who would not pay $30 for a haircut was not about to pay $6 for free shipping.

I backed out of the order and sent an e-mail to Penney’s, in more polite words than these, ssking What the hell?

I await their answer.


meowkaat said...

Hahaa... Bitty, your shopping stories made me laugh. I wish I could go shopping for you!
Thinking of you today on Grammie's birthday.
Have a really nice trip!

vausey said...

My sympathies to you on your shoe shopping Bitty. I have a similar problem with buying shoes -- my feet are unusally short for an adult and way too wide. Birkenstocks and the Internet are my answers.

I am interested to hear what Penney's says about your free shipping too.

Bitty said...

I'd be happy to let you go shopping for me. One challenge, of course, is that you don't get much money but must get much results!

The best way to honor Grammie's birthday, I figure, is to talk to other relatives, which I am doing. Thanks for the thoughts.

I haven't received an answer from JCP yet, but rereading the offer, I suspect it's because some of the shoes are on sale. (The ad uses fuzzy language along the lines of "special offers" being exempt; something like that.)

Yes, everyone tells me to go to the Birkenstocks store, and I intend to. But I'm going to Chicago, not the ideal place to wear Birkenstocks, and I had irrationally hoped the shoes would arrive in time to make the trip.

Alanna said...

The tops are all in your colours, and you will be beautiful. Have a great trip.